Things have gotten...worse at work. I won't go into much detail, partially because it's so petty and boring and stupid and awful. But also partially because I have no small amount of guilt for the way I blogged about the people at my last terrible job (truthfully, but ruthlessly). Suffice it to say, things are at an all time bad.
So while I was sitting through a staff meeting that was about 75% subtextually about me and the problems I have caused by asking my pesky questions about truth and transparency and accountability, I needed a coping mechanism to keep a benign smile on my face so that Boss would know she wasn't getting to me. There are whole layers of issues in that sentence, but there it is.
When you're in a stressful situation, people often (in movies and on TV, my only real points of reference in life) suggest going to your "happy place." I don't really have one of those. Usually, I find such exercises silly and uncomfortable. I'm, uh, on a beach? And there's sand? And waves? And Matthew Fox is there asking about The Others. Except now he's Michael J. Fox and he's asking for money and this just turned into a weird dream where none of the doors lead to the rooms they are supposed to and now we're in my-high-school-that-isn't-actually-my-high-school and I haven't gone to any classes all year and today is every final exam and THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE RELAXING?
But I thought I'd give it another try. Just arrange my face into something resembling attentive dispassion and go somewhere else for a while. I chose to imagine myself on horseback, moving languidly down a tree-lined path on a sunny, breezy day in late summer. Every time someone said something stupid, I chose instead to hear the clip-clop of hooves on gravel and the gentle snorts of the horse beneath me. Every time I felt Boss's assessing gaze on me, I instead felt the gentle breeze and warm sun on my back. Every time we were randomly and non-contextually reminded of a policy that Boss thinks I broke but that I did not actually break, I imagined picking up the reins and coaxing the horse into a gallop to a faraway place. When Boss asked if anyone wanted to institute a trial period of having lunch breaks and the staff was inexplicably and unpardonably uninterested, I was having a solo picnic on the banks of a lazy creek while my horse, Mr. Nickers, grazed in a nearby meadow.
Rereading that paragraph, I kind of sound insane. Possibly, I am a little insane. But Mr. Nickers and I had a fabulous staff meeting and have decided the budget should include more sugar cubes and paid time off for naps in the hayloft. There was no one there to take meeting minutes, but I find that doesn't make it any less official.