She will not come inside the house. It is twenty eight degrees outside and all is crusty and stiff. I cajole, I bribe, I BEG her to come inside and sleep in my room with me. It is too damn cold for anything to sleep outside! If I attempt to force the issue and leash her up to drag her to the warmth then she dashes to one of her bloody hiding spots that require a machete to breach. Never mind that she has a new bed as thick and large as my own festooned with carefully selected blankets for maximum heat retention.
But look at her. If ever there was a dog equipped for the cold it is the Puff Butt. When it rains she appears soaked but not one drop of water makes it to her skin. She has enough fur between her toes to knit a baby cap! And doG knows she expects me to understand her wishes and accept it. Easier said than done and does not reflect my Virgo-driven need to make everything go my way, no matter whether it is wanted or not.
When I found myself free of responsibility to Mom and traveled to this island I was high with the possibilities. Never without a job for a week, max, I just knew that this was to be another coup for my abilities to shine. I would be hired, quickly, and settle into a comfortable routine with a great bunch of coworkers and my financial situation sound. I was hired within a month to work at a community clinic. I would start as an ‘on call’ employee. I would be one of the two receptionists to manage this extremely busy outpatient facility for the south island. Salary was a dream and I eagerly fell into the work. Wasn’t that challenging and I was the oldest on the front desk staff, but who cares? I gained the reputation as a very quick learner and began doing the job on my own within a week. Enter the manager who had been gone during my hire.
She was a problem. Her management style was intrusive, she was a hovering presence and I was in the cross hairs of her ‘leadership’ from day one. I always try to ignore what coworkers have to say about others in the office; I trust myself to form my own opinions. But this woman suffered with her own issues of control and communication. I was constantly called into her office for ‘chats.’ These consisted of petty items that she ‘observed’ or ‘heard’ were problems for me and therefore for the clinic. My attempts to streamline office procedures were delightful to my compadres but only fueled her need to remain the boss at any cost. I was a threat.
As the end of my three month probation approached I was hopeful but guarded. Physicians, nurses, social workers and lab techs loved me, as did the patients. At this point one of my coworkers decided to move to Texas and she recommended me for her position. A step up, more cash, more responsibility. Most importantly a full time-with-benefits gig. I was home after I had applied for the job online and received a call from the manager. She seemed in a good frame of mind and said that we needed to ‘get you in here for your interview.’ We set up the time for that Monday, first thing in the morning. I was elated and came early, shaking off the negative thoughts of my experiences with the manager thus far. Why would she call me and invite me in for an interview if she was not sincere?
I arrived early, feeling so high and grateful for my situation. No matter what happened I had come so far in a short amount of time. I was so proud. She opened her door with a smile, invited me in and fired my ass. I truly do not remember what was said, what her ammunition was and did not think to look at my paperwork until much later. I was gobsmacked. I spent the next week in disbelief, turmoil and finally white-hot anger. I foolishly believed that those in the office who supported me would now join me in my quest to bring this woman down. I wrote a five page letter to Human Resources outlining my experiences with the manager and received kind smiles and sad eyes from the HR officer. My allies disappeared, fearful of repercussions.
It is difficult to find words to express how lost I was. And the additional horror of knowing that this was now on my resume shook me badly. I pulled myself together, or so I thought, and began the process of scouring the ads and interviewing. I was interviewed every single time I applied for work. And each time I was denied. I could not figure it out, other than the blight of the last job and maybe, maybe something else. I finally began applying for things I never would have considered: sales, private legal offices, coffee kiosks (for God’s sake). Nothing. I slid down that dark trail of self-doubt, paralyzing depression descended, money almost gone, desperation. Selling jewelry desperation. Friends stopped calling and so did I. Who would want to hear my miserable tale of failure, over and over? I stopped applying. Made friends with Vodka and Tequila again, sought out the pot dude and found I could still go lower in my spiral of wretchedness. My walks with Boofie were my only activity. She remained steadfast and I looked to her as my only source of comfort. I have never shared with anyone that this was the only time in my life I wondered whether or not I should check out (can’t even say the word). Except for my responsibility to the Boof, I was that low, I was that angry and defeated. And I would love to be able to say that everything returned to ‘normal.’
But that is not what happened.