This week the rest of my office is on the staff retreat in the district. I, unable to fly and unable to travel as far as the district, am alone in the office. Except for today, when Dietrich came with me, played in the fountain outside, and is now napping through his own wet dog smell next to my chair.
I’m fairly comfortable with my job and the expectations now, four weeks into the whole gig. Keeping the entire office afloat is another story. On second thought, “afloat” is no problem, “running smoothly” is the real catch. So far so good, I guess. If I could figure out where faxes are supposed to come from, that would be helpful. So far two people have sent me faxes and I see them nowhere, not on the end of a printer, not in my inbox, not flying through the window folded into paper airplanes. Who faxes anymore?
In addition to being faxless, I think another office is punking me and transferring the crazies for no apparent reason. Of course the crazies don’t care who they are talking to so long as another human voice begins the conversation (unwittingly) with “Hello, this is____.” So far today I have heard about God’s judgement on this country from someone in one of the Carolinas, received a verbal list of suggested reading from the same woman, listened sympathetically as someone from New Jersey told me his friend’s tale of woe and foreclosure, and explained twice to the same person that no, this is not Paul Ryan’s office. He left his lengthy list of concerns with me anyway. Not only does my office not represent these people, we aren’t even in the same time zone. While I am suspicious that someone is playing tricks on me, I’m even more nervous that these people are all for real, which is actually more likely.
But it’s all in a day’s work and there are three more left in this solo flight. Dietrich may or may not ride copilot again this week, depending on what I bring for lunch. He’s adorable and soft and all that but I have to be able to leave my chicken salad sandwich unattended while I dash to the other room to answer the phone.