I Swear I Didn't Eat Anything Spicy or Drink!!!

I haven't even watched Pitch Black or The Chronicles of Riddick in over a week! And yet, for some reason, I dreamed last night that I was dating Vin Diesel.  Very strange  He seemed very shy and rather sheepish to stop by wherever it was I was working (not an office I recognized) to take me out to lunch. Somewhat surprisingly for something involving Vin Diesel, there were no car chases, no gunfire and no explosions. If there was any smooching going on, I have no recollection of it now.  I have vague memories of there being some sort of storyline associated with us dating (how we met, etc), but it faded rapidly upon waking.  As rarely as I recall having dreams at all, it was a pretty relaxing and pleasant dream as far as I can remember.  Sure beats dreaming my room has filled up with water and there are sharks circling.

The Deluge May Have Ended!
Well, maybe.  For the past two weeks or so, it has rained at least part of every day, including today.  No rain is predicted for tomorrow, but who knows if that will actually come to pass.  I had intended to mow my lawn after running errands this morning, but there was a heavy rain during my errands, which blew that plan.  I probably could have mowed by the end of the afternoon, but I can just as easily do it tomorrow afternoon and give the lawn an extra day to dry out a bit more.  There's a fog advisory for tomorrow morning.  I'll have to see if I can take some good photos just after the sun comes up.

Things at work have been piling up and piling up.  I like a challenge and I like to work hard, but there is only so long that I can struggle against insurmountable loads. My goal is no longer to get ahead with the tasks I need to do.  Lately my goal has been to not get any further behind.  I'm steadily losing that battle and told that things need to be done faster, which, if you ask me, isn't a good sign. Shortly after the decision was made that influenza test results would get put into the computer (despite the fact that we can't query them since they're classified as "not reportable"), I pointed out that I would need data entry help if I was going to just keep up with the weekly influx, nevermind clear the 250+ report backlog.  Well, the influx has picked up a bit.  And so have the other responsibilities I normally do.  I'm getting further and further behind, even though I spend 5-7 extra hours a week at the office (staying late, skipping lunch, etc).  Since I can't get paid overtime and there's no way for me to adjust my work week to compensate for that extra time (because taking time off would defeat the purpose of the extra time anyway and I'd be just as far behind as I was before), I'm starting to get cranky about it.  (Yes, I have asked if I can get paid for the extra time since there are federal dollars available to pay health department staff for influenza outbreak-related overtime work.  I got told no. Apparently that money is just for nurses and clerks. I'm not sure how my data entry work doesn't somehow qualify as clerk-like, but apparently it doesn't.)

I've asked for help for three weeks now and have stated that even putting in extra hours I am unable to keep up with the things that have to be done.  And I've asked if I can at least get compensated for the extra time since there are federal dollars available for the purpose of paying our staff extra money for extra time being put in on this influenza outbreak.  A potential person to help me has finally been identified, but then we have to come up with training time (another thing to put on my To Do list).  Yes, this person may be good with computers. I don't doubt that. What concerns me isn't navigating around the web interface, but rather entering in the data correctly.  If the data isn't going to be entered in correctly, there's no point in having someone else enter it for me since I'll just have to go back and correct it later.

So I'm fairly burned out at the moment.  I'll be out of the office for 2 1/2 days next week at a meeting, which means I'll be probably 4 days behind by the end of the week, assuming the current rate of work accumulation and assuming nothing big changes between now and then.  I am looking forward to the meeting and to talking with colleagues about how they're managing things.  Perhaps I'll get some ideas from them how to handle the 2-2.5 person workload.  I'm working hard to keep a good attitude, but lately the attitude has been sliding downhill as fast as my To Do pile is growing.  This weekend I have been focusing on regaining my center and balance.  Perhaps I will regain it by Monday and manage to retain it the whole week.  To that end, I spent part of today hanging out at the bookstore, browsing knitting magazines and books. I waved at the International Space Station when it flew right over the top of my house and right now I'm sitting in my comfy chair drinking Sleepytime tea, knitting a hat and watching Ben-Hur (uncut and letterboxed).  The only thing I lack is Vin Diesel rubbing my feet.

I am a leaf on the wind - watch how I soar....



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