On Tuesday I was raised by my alarm from a dream in which I was going to lose my job, or might have been going to lose my job, or was going to get reshuffled, or whatever, and the key point, other than man, what is it about getting woken up from a dream? I was groggy the whole darn day - was: I wasn't too upset. Yes, it was a dream, and also my eraser turned into a miniature kit fox and ran into the corner, but the prospect of losing my job, even on waking, was not terribly distressing. I had a momentary flash of panic about the mortgage and other expenses (as well I should), but my main reaction was, "Hmmm. I could do a lot with all that extra time."
Which is perhaps why two days later, after a work day that made me wonder to which cost code I should charge 30 minutes of seething and 45 minutes of wasting my damn time, I thought, hmmm. I could just not have to deal with any of this.
I could just be at home, and do home stuff, and be homey and homely and home. And then I had a little frisson of delight and relief - all of the irritating insoluble problems of the workplace could just vanish, just like that, and I would be free.
It sounded wonderful. For about five minutes. Then I remembered that:
a. I really do like my paycheck very much, and
b. I also am kind of involved in things at work right now, and walking out would leave me with an eternal sense of having left something unfinished, plus
c. Irritation is good for me.
It took me a while to realize this. Irritation - not crushing stress or daily misery, but the kind of condition where you have to sigh sharply and bustle in and do things right - is good for people. So is training yourself to suck it up and just deal with the fact that the air conditioning comes on when it's 46 degrees outside (WTH, Building People?), that the computer upgrades you need to do your job aren't likely to come before October even though other people in the office just got brand new iPads, and that meetings will always be dominated by the ones who do nothing but complain. It's like exercise: it's uncomfortable during the practice of it, but afterward you feel great, plus your muscles are better toned.
So: instead of getting all bent out of shape when I get yet another incomprehensible request to deal with something that I'm pretty sure we solved three months ago, I just breathe, smile, and think feel the burn. And also: nope. Not leaving. Not today.