Thursday, June 13, 2013

Okay, Maybe Two Updates a Week.

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.


k said...

So, maybe you should write the guide?

Joan said...

I would look at an Ikea catalogue for inspiration. You can't beat the staying power of clean and simple lines, especially in a smaller space.

Not everyone has a huge kitchen... Where do New Yorkers living in apartments go for their remodels?

Anonymous said...

Does the person you are working with at Home Depot have any suggestions? I would imagine they work with people in your price bracket and housing situation all the time---I know that around here, their are special Kitchen & Bath design places that cater to the McMansion crowd, and the rest of us either head to Lowe's, HD or another chain we have here called Menard's. If you don't care for her advice, you can always ignore it. I can imagine how hard it is to look at a small flooring or countertop sample and visualize what it will look like over a large area of the actual room---I have a hard time committing to a paint color, and that's allot cheaper and easier to fix than a floor or countertop.

Catherine said...

Oh yeah, the designer is a lot of help and has good ideas, but still, it's my decision in the end. I just haven't had time to really focus on it. And Ikea's kitchen displays gave me the idea that I had to have a pantry cabinet with pull-out shelving. I'll probably end up with an Ikea-like design, but made by Kraftmaid, because Ikea cabinets have to be assembled on site, which adds a layer of expense and time to the process.

Anonymous said...

I found a few ideas at this site:

Catherine said...

Oh, I know what I want to do for functionality, I'm just agonizing over the color selection. :-) I think I'll bag the backsplash I'd considered; it's all too much of a brownness. I want the wood-like tile flooring and wood cabinets, but I want life in it, not all the same tonal brown. THAT is my agony du jour. :-)

Anonymous said...

Did you see the story on the net about the real estate broker in New York that got in big trouble for using Photoshop to "fix" the pictures of the homes he listed? He would do things like erase the gross carpets and replace them in the pictures with hardwood. I thought of you---could you do something like that to make pictures of the finished project so you can get an idea of what things will look like? (I *think* that if I were to re-do my kitchen, I would want it to look like a WWI-era Craftsman style bungalow---lots of natural oak and tiles that look like pottery.)