Thursday, May 25, 2006

My Awesomely Bad First Day of Work

I'd been having sniffles and a sore throat for a few days, but on Sunday my allergies turned into some sort of full blown pathogen. I slept not at all and when I got to work (for my first day) I was in anti-histamine induced waking-coma. As I was trying to fill out the HR paperwork first thing in the morning I kept thinking "Is it really necessary for me to personally write my name, social security number, and address on 15 different forms?" and then kept having the HR man repeat things because I had completely lost my ability to focus on said forms and the parts that required more than just writing name, address, and social. Also I forgot to bring a voided check, which was printed boldly in my instruction letter. Points for me already.

Our little new employee orientation also featured a fun little "introduce yourself" talk, but thanks to my pathogen, I sound like Tara Reid after a weekend bender of booze and cigarettes. I croak out my name and school and then say I'm a second year student, forgetting that I'm in fact now a third year student which led to awkward retractions later in the day. Best part of the day was the get-to-know-you tour where my handler took me and the other new clerk around to meet everyone we'll be working with. As my nose is leaking like a faucet, I have a wad of kleenex bulging in my suit pocked and one constantly in my left hand. It's awkard to talk to people while having to dab at your nose and then shake their hand. I wanted to shout "See, I only use the left hand for the tissue, not the right hand -- that's just for shaking hands. I'm clean I promise." Except clearly, I'm not clean. By midafternoon I resemble a full-on coke addict complete with bleary eyes, rudolph-red-nose, and vacant facial expression. Best part is that this look has been captured for posterity in my shiny new ID badge that was made for me today and which I must wear at all times while in the building. There is no doubt my fellow emplyees think highly of me and will refer to me behind my back as "snot girl" or some other similar term of "endearment."

After work the sinus pressure in my head is so bad I think of calling a friend to ask where the hospital is, but that would be giving in. Before law school I enjoyed horse-like healthy state, and and resent now being on a first name basis with the staff of the Tulane health center. So instead of seeking medical help, I proceed directly to Walgreens because as EZ pointed out earlier (and before the pressure had reached critical mass) that my sudafed-claritin-benadryl cocktail I've been taking is not going to help because what I really need to get is a decongestant. You would think I would know this, but am not really functioning at full capacity by any means.

Also, since you are really supposed to take each of those items once in a 12 hour period it is quite possible I am od-ing and have already lost critical brain cells. At any rate, in walgreens there are totally out of Claritin D (D being for decongestant). This produces wild lumbering by myself up and down the aisle until I locate some sort of Claritin decongestant substitute. My eyes are nearly swollen shut when I go to pay and the check-out man is eyeing me suspisciously and asking weird questions. Not sure where this is going, I assure him I am not trying to take the stuff and turn it into speed like the kids do today and am instead very sick and
can't he scan the shit any faster because seriously my head is about to explode?!

I think maybe I scared him a little.

I come home and take meds, wrap self in quilt, and proceed to sleep until my mom wakes me up at 9:00 and then yells at me to go see a doctor. I argue that I have no doctor here, nor days off to go to a doctor, and I have other problems as someone backed into me at the post office on Friday and I have to get an estimate on my car from the insurance adjustor and I can't be both sick and have had a car accident in the week before starting my job. No one will believe that this can happen and that I am not crazy/a hypochondriac. I finally agree after much mom-like haranging that if I don't get better soon I will go to the doctor as otherwise, like a lame horse, I will otherwise have to be drug out back and be shot (in which case car estimate becomes a moot point).

In addition to my car accident, Austin has produced other excitement. On Saturday, I was carded at a bar --which I considered flatering except that once the guy looked at my license he whistled and goes "hey, you're oooold" which is just what one wants to hear two month's before one's 29th birthday. Bartender further noted how unhappy I looked in my picture, which I might add I had taken after I'd had my wallet stolen --so you too would look unhappy. Mark my words, bartender will be buying me a drink or five on my birthday.

Yes, all around the past three days have done wonders for the old ego.

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