It’s possible that I’m becoming cross. I hope not. I’ve always been a very placid person, not given to crossness, but there is a tendency among the women in my family to get cross as they get older. My great-great-grandmother, pictured here, looks pretty cross, doesn’t she?
And I have noticed that this is my third cross complaining sort of rant this week. Oh, no, you didn’t miss it. I just haven’t started it yet. I plan to. It is possible, though, that it is just sleep deprivation. I’ve been getting up at 4:19 all week, including today, and not going to bed any earlier. Sighkey has warned me that lack of sleep can lead to psychosis, so it might well lead to crossness.
Anyway, the first thing that made me cross yesterday was when I sent an email to the board of this organization for which I’m helping to make a website — entirely for free — asking how they wanted to take donations. Specifically, what I needed was the address to which they wanted to have checks sent or whatever.
Emails flew hither and yon, and after a while I got a response asking me to call someone else to discuss this.
I was working, as it happens. And that was the second thing that made me cross. I was expecting to write 250 short paragraphs. I hadn’t foreseen that each would involve numbers, long unmemorable domain names, and hard-to-spell cities. It was, in short, a complex form of data entry. It is going to take me three times as long as I expected. Not to mention the guitar practice and talking going on while I did this.
So after three and a half hours of that, I stopped and called the woman. She started off in a prissy voice, saying that she wasn’t usually there so late. Like I give a flip. She asked me to call, I called, it’s not really my concern if she answered the phone at an inconvenient time. I didn’t say that. In fact, I didn’t say anything. I waited for her to state her reason for asking me to call.
She wanted to have a discussion. She wanted to talk about the process of accepting donations, and the relationship between the organization and the sponsoring entity.
I didn’t want to have any such discussion. I pointed out that I was working with people from the sponsoring entity. It seems to me that it’s their problem if they don’t follow the rules of their entity, and I can just assume that said rules are being followed.
I reiterated that what I needed was an address. She continued to express concerns and a desire to have a discussion. I assured her that I had no intention of handling the donations, and suggested that she decide what address she wanted on the page and let me know. I tried to be kind but firm in making it clear that she was welcome to have all the discussions on the subject that she wanted, but not with me.
At this point she began expressing concerns about the writing process. She felt that the development office of the sponsoring entity might have input. I assured her that the development office was welcome to do the writing, and I’d be happy to stay out of it. I smiled pleasantly, hoping she could hear it, repeated that I was just doing technical stuff, and assured her that she could simply call me when they wanted the work done, and that otherwise, I would be happy to do nothing.
She was nonplussed. However, I am a volunteer here. I’m willing to do work, as a volunteer, but I was quite clear from the beginning about my unwillingness to attend meetings or sit on committees.
The thing is, there are people who enjoy committees. They like having discussions. They enjoy focusing on the process. Often, they don’t care to do any actual work. I say they should have the meetings, and let those who want to do the work get on with the work.
I didn’t say that. I wasn’t quite that cross.
Actually, the combination of the two irritants — the project that turned out to be much longer and duller than I had anticipated and the attempt to force me into boring and largely pointless discussions — sort of canceled each other out. By the time I had joined my boys for dinner (pizza in front of Seinfeld — oh, well), I felt fine again.
Good thing I called that woman while I was still cross. Who knows what I might have agreed to do otherwise. This way, perhaps I’ll get a reputation as an uncommunicative computer guy, and they’ll never ask me to serve on a committee again.
Yesterday’s song of the day was “The Christmas Waltz.” Based on how hard it was to find sheet music for it the year #2 daughter and I took up singing it, I thought it would be a rare and wonderful song for you. Since I
was subjected to had the opportunity to hear Christmas radio yesterday, I now know that it’s a common song. I’m sorry. let me make it up to you by giving you, for the song of the day, “See, Amid the Winter Snow,” a song which you probably only hear at this blog. It’s a fine Victorian carol with words by Edward Caswell and music by John Goss, and it ought to be sung more often than it is.
The problem is in the words. Of course, it has the common Victorian problem of placing the infant Jesus in the snow, but we overlook that in several other carols. It also has the line, “See the tender Lamb appears,” which I’m told makes English people think of Sunday dinner. It has a verse addressed to the Virgin Mary, which is Not Done in Protestant churches, and it ends with a prayer for humility, which is not considered a desirable thing in Hamburger-a-go-go-land. Great tune, though. It’s also sometimes sung to another great tune: “Evening Prayer” by Engelbert Humperdinck (the first one). #2 daughter and I sang that duet last year for Christmas, and it was a pleasure to do so.
Anyway, here’s the sheet music for a cool arrangement by Andrew Young, in case you have a quartet on hand. if not, you can enjoy singing it yourself, or playing it on your violin. There’s a sweet tune for the verse, and then a grand chorus, where the cello and trumpet can join in.
Today I am trying to catch up on the assignment which I underestimated so severely, getting housework and grocery shopping done, and attending a luncheon. It’s also the day for the annual church cookie sale, for which I should have baked six dozen cookies, but there it is. I did my twenty billable hours this week, and I’m happy about that, but something had to go. Exercise, cooking, and baking were the casualties. There is also a ladies’ fellowship this morning, but that too I will have to forego. It’s going to be hard enough to get to the luncheon, what with #1 son having a final and #2 son having gymnastics and my husband being at work. Transportation will be a challenge.
5 thoughts on “Saturday December 13, 2008”
Mercy, I don’t blame you for being cross. You can’t go on without enough sleep like that indefinitely, you know; you’re going to have to find a way to go to bed earlier. I wish you luck with your transportation problems today, and with your ghastly tasks.
aw. Don’t be cross! It’s Holiday times!
I’ve just read back over the last week or so of entries and I can’t find what you define as crossness. Don’t you anti-antipodeans believe in winding down to Christmas? Over here we sort of gently slide out of work into the Christmas/New Year period. Any outstanding projects can simply wait until the second or third week of the new year. And getting up at 4.19 every morning in winter is daft. Sounds to me that you are spending too much time thinking about all the stuff you are supposed to do so your brain is not turning off enough to allow you to sleep properly. Everything I’ve read suggests that we should stop working/playing an hour or so before going to bed so that the brain has some time to slow down and get ready for sleep. (admittedly I don’t always follow this advise but I never get up before 5am unless I am planning to go back to bed for a couple more hours rest.)
Winding down to Christmas sounds like a good idea, actually but no, we don’t do that. I noticed that my Aussie clients were getting very relaxed and saying things like, “We’re not really looking for leads before Christmas.” Seemed odd, since we expect to do most of our business between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Maybe that’s because it’s summer there. I’m getting up at 4:19 because my husband has been having to go to work early. Back when we were first married, before I knew any better, I began getting up with him and making his breakfast before he leaves for work. It’s too late to give it up now. Sigh.
@dextr – Aussies know how to relax even more than Kiwis do. Years ago a friend of mine who was both a kiwi and naturally lazy went to Australia to work for a bit and he was shocked at how laid back his co-workers were. He said that if the surf was good his mates would finish work early and head off to the beach. Compared to Americans we are fairly laid back, compared to Aussies however we are workaholics (and I mean no disrespect to Aussies with that remark, I think they have the right idea.)
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