|Don’t mind if I do.|
One of the ironic things about studying organizational tension, stress, and burn out is not recognizing the signs in yourself. Case in point: My no good, awful, very bad week.
After having a wonderful weekend with Mr. T complete with roasted chicken, re-runs of American Idol (I know, I know), and dinner at Grange with dear friends, I flew into self-made disasterville. I forgot an appointment with the assistant vice provost and I can count on one hand the number of times in my life that I’ve simply “forgotten” a meeting. I neglected to read directions for a reimbursement program that may (although my fingers are crossed) cost me $400. I irritated an important professor with my anti-union views. And then I decided to systematically injure the important electronics in my life.
My main desktop computer went on the fritz early in the week which apparently had nothing to do with me and more to do with a dying hard drive. Although T made heroic efforts to diagnose and repair, the magic box kicked off yesterday, and yours truly will be carrying it on to my Southwest flight on Friday. Any guesses on who will be getting strip searched by the TSA this week? Stay tuned.
A few hours after grumpily bidding my computer adieu and praising the Lord that my files are completely (and redundantly) backed up thanks to the genius of Mr. T and his NAS, I decided to douse my laptop with a cup of water. Why not, right? It could be thirsty.
There were tears and expletives and more tears. I got the thing shut off and drained quickly, and it is currently upside down on nylon socks full of rice. Let’s hope the rice trick that works for cell phones also works for laptops that don’t belong to you. Yes, I maimed my work laptop, which is oh-so special. If the gods are smiling down upon me, the machine won’t be too worse for the wear but again, fingers and toes are crossed.
In discussing my deficiencies with T, he recalled that I get “this way” just about every semester and it’s true. About mid-way through and definitely toward the end of semesters, the stress mounts in ways I don’t recognize until I am lost while driving to familiar places, making silly mistakes like putting the mayo in the cupboard and keys in the fridge, or accidentally hurting myself due to lost dexterity. The interim solution? A re-focus on mindfulness and some regard to stress management. I revisited a post on battling stress and another about why I’m pretty sure PhD school causes brain damage. I’m trying actively to take care, stay centered, be aware of my surroundings and for heavens’ sake, not kill the remaining electronics in my house. Please, please, please wish me luck!