I might make three updates this week yet, because the crazy has left the building at work, and I didn't come home today in need of soothing knitting, meditation, and a couple-three beers.
The end of last week and the first three days of this one were...interesting. I'm torn between sharing details of the petty, inane, truly middle-school girl behavior on the part of the woman who really wants to retire, and just letting it go because to talk about it gives it a power it definitely does not deserve. And also realizing that if I shared it, it would sound so impossibly stupid, you'd swear I was making it up. (Being berated about the paper she was using not being white enough, because the bright white paper was not really brightly white enough, because it was a brand she didn't buy, was perhaps the final Kiss My Ass Kodak Moment. I could just stand there gawking at her in disbelief. Hint: I'm quite sure she didn't notice until she saw the label.)
It was a week of an undertone of petty criticism, martyrdom, some flat-out rudeness, and entirely either self-created or manufactured from nothing drama. I didn't rise to the baiting, I smiled, nodded, said "Noted," and let it go, but came home drained. I didn't spend 25 years in real estate, real estate law, construction and development to get berated about the brightness of the brand of copy paper. (Because the brightness of the whiteness will make all the difference in how the governmental agency will judge the technical and detailed substance of the submission, you know. It'll all come down to whether the paper is really, really brightly white, or just really brightly white.) And actually, she admitted that there was PLENTY of the brand she preferred on hand for her project and she didn't have to sully her hands with the Obviously Inferior Brand I chose. Nonetheless, I was Called Out publicly for not buying the same brand of paper SHE bought.
Seriously, this level of inane horseshit ruled my week. That was just ONE thing, but it does sort of sum up where we are right now. I'm guessing she's also pissed that we have nicer soap and even luxury hand lotion in the ladies room now. Though that was contributed by another colleague, I'm sure it was seen as more evidence of my diabolical scheme. I wish I had a diabolical scheme; it would make this easier. As it is, I figure it out day by day.
Giving up control is hard. I really do get that. I came into this job with a ton of empathy, and wanted to work with her and take over the reins so she could retire and relax, and for a few weeks, I thought it would work out well. Apparently that was premature. Apparently we are in the petty bullshit/denial/bargaining/grief stage of the transition. And I still feel for her, but of course the irony is that if I could retire tomorrow, I'd be done with work so fast I'd leave smoking skidmarks on the ground.
I realize that I am now the intruder in her personal drama, and I try very hard to keep a low profile and not step on her toes. So I nodded, I smiled, I shrugged off a lot of crap, I made small talk and sweet talked when she would speak to me at all. I did a lot of pointless things and I put up with a lot of nonsense, and I didn't rise to the bait and call out the bullshit, because I knew that was what she wanted - a fight. I'm far too old and tired to rise to that kind of bait.
I didn't bother the boss with it. I'll wait until we have a general sit-down about general issues, and then I'll calmly raise issues that stand in the way of work getting done, without mentioning the unfortunate not quite whiteness enough of the paper. I know he gets it, and I know that he knows he's gotta deal with it, and I am sure as shit staying out of it. And if he so much as hints that he wants me to deal with her, then, and only then, I will fight. With him, not her. Because fuck that: you made this staffing mess; you get to fix it.
Fortunately, after her cameo appearances this week, she has vanished again. I will figure out an way to deal with this bullshit before her next guest appearance.
I have cabinet chips. I have flooring sample. I have a guy coming to measure the entire place on Saturday. This will be an all summer project, assuming there are no major storm disruptions. I swear I will post before pictures this weekend, along with pictures of the chips of the cabinet, against the floor I have pretty much chosen. Do I go with light cabinets, dark countertop, mid-tone floor? Light countertop? I do know that most kitchen magazines don't help. It's all these McMansion things with giant islands with bookcases and four barstools, and another kitchen entirely with its own acre of granite behind. I want to see a magazine with a 10x10 kitchen, and NOT in a million dollar NY loft. Maybe that's my next path - "Low Budget Decor!" Not "No Budget" I think that's been done. But where millions of homeowners are right now: "Okay, your house isn't worth what you wish it was, and it still needs stuff." I want THAT guide. Is tile that looks like hardwood a trend with staying power? What the hell do you do with an old 80s built-in wet bar in the 21st century? These are the questions I ponder, when I'm not lying awake at night, agonizing about the bright whiteness of the paper. /snark.