Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Not a great deal to tell or explain or mention, so this will be just what the title says: bits and pieces.

Loss at work: My place of employment was in a somber mood yesterday morning. A co-worker -- although not in my dept. -- was murdered on Friday. She was only 34, a smiling young woman who did her job well, greeted everyone and had a winning personality. Her life was taken by her husband, who stabbed her and left her to bleed to death. According to the news, they had "marital difficulties". Most of her co-workers were unaware that she had any problems at home, as she displayed that upbeat look. I didn't know her very well, but knew who she was. I was in that department yesterday morning, and there were many tears, and many hugs being given and being welcomed. My employer is offering grief counseling (yes, professional counseling) for those who are requesting it. A very nice gesture, and one that I have not seen being offered before.

I am coming to the conclusion that I will definitely miss (most of) my co-workers, once I retire. They have been an extended family to me over the years, and definitely were there for me when Greg died. I was so shocked, so amazed at the number of them who drove out for the services last May. When I expressed this feeling to one of them, her explanation was, "Well, we're your family, too." And I am talking about co-workers from my own department and many from other depts. that I have met and worked with over the years. Of various ethnic backgrounds and colors. It made no difference that my speech has a different accent than theirs (although I have been here nearly 25 years, I still carry that "oot" and "aboot", I am told, when others pronounce it "out" and "about"). We are there for each other, we celebrate the joys, we cry over the sad times. Just like your own families do.

What brought me to the above frame of mind, was receiving the e-mail notification of Lucinda's services on Thursday. I think that her co-workers will rally FOR her, even though she is the one who is deceased. And I hope that maybe her 15-year-old daughter (oldest child) will remember that her mother's co-workers thought enough of her to go to the funeral and maybe tell that daughter or another family member how much she was liked, was loved. It would be nice for her children to have that legacy, not only the circumstances surrounding their mother's death and their father's arrest. Because they will need every strength available to them, to carry on without either parent in their lives.

Fajitas: We had a birthday party at work on Thursday. For several years now, we have limited a birthday party for an employee to only mark a decade: 40, 50, etc. In the years before this, we would do a party for every employee's birthday, collecting money for (at a minimum) a cake and a few decorations. It always fell to the women in the dept. to get the ball rolling, and the fair gender (does anyone use THAT phrase anymore?) did most if not ALL of the work: ordering, buying, set up and clean up. Ugh. That's when we shifted to the decade-only birthday policy.

So... I digress. But we (under new management - howdya like THAT phrase?) are trying to build up morale in this dept. It has been sadly lacking for many years, as any attempt we made at planning or having fun, has been repeatedly shut down. But our new manager, R, had made it plain that he will attempt to get morale going, plan fun things, etc. Unfortunately, too late for me, but I applaud his efforts and the direction that he is trying to take this dept. in.

Thus - the party. We have 3 decade birthdays this year, and in an effort to spread the work around, a co-worker, D, organized us into 3 groups. So each group will be responsible for 1 of these birthdays. My group was the first one, and (unfortunately) through a series of unplanned events, the work mostly fell to me. One of the co-workers in the group had originally been tasked with tracking down prices for the caterers. And she had to miss a lot of work recently, thus - tah-dah - yours truly had to run with the ball (any of you who has seen me try ANYTHING athletic will surely laugh at this!). But we got it done, even though our original group of 7 had now shrunk to 3: 2 were on vacation, 1 was ill, and another was working off-site. So our committee ended up being: me, G - who took on the task of designing and ordering/delivering the cake, and the new manager, R. Several of the other co-workers were a big help and assisted with setting up (and more importantly, clearing up!). We had a fajita lunch, excellent food, lots of it, and there was enough to use for lunch again the next day. Yum! The only thing missing was beer and margaritas.

The cake: The birthday "boy" is in the networking group, and thus the cake has a relevant design. The wording reads, "2009-03-26 12:00:01:ERROR=BBUCKLEY-50.00-HAPPY_BIRTHDAY". Guess you have to be a techie, a geek, a nerd to "get it".

Progress at the house: more stuff is GONE. Can I hear an AMEN? The late Mister had stashed leftover bricks (from the building of our house) in one portion of the garage. Quite a few bricks, of course, and they were piled in an area where lots of stuff had to be moved, to even get to them. So... good neighbors again: my next-door neighbor, B, has 3 grown kids. Her son AJ was interested in the bricks. He has a very muddy portion of his yard where grass just will not grow. So his short-term (free) solution is to put the bricks down and (hopefully) prevent their dogs from getting into the mud and tracking it all over the place. B's brother T (who got my tree removed from the front yard) helped AJ load the bricks up - and they are OUT of there!

I put the old chandelier (ugly one that the builder had installed in the dining room) out with the garbage on Saturday. And before the trash was picked up, someone helped themself to it. Great! I don't care - it's gone, and hopefully it will grace someone else's house for years.

New TV installed: again, neighbor B's family to the rescue. Her son-in-law, A, had once worked at a place that installed entertainment systems, surround-sounds, etc. And she asked if he could hook all of my audio, new tv, and surround-sound together. God bless him - he put in quite a bit of time on Saturday, then gave me a shopping list. I purchased some various cables plus speaker wire, he returned on Sunday, and labored some more. I offered to pay him but he refused $$. So I gave him a bottle of red wine (his wife's favorite) and he did take that. So, now my new 37" tv is operating!

Free dinner: neighbor B insisted that I take leftovers from their Sunday dinner, so I had chicken and dumplings, mixed veggies, and peach cobbler. Such a good neighbor, and what a nice treat!

That's all of the bits and pieces that I could round up, folks. Why does this week seem so long, and it is only Tuesday?!

1 comment:

The Retired One said...

That was fun to read about the bits and pieces that is happening in your life.

The murder story is awful. Her poor kids too!

I miss my coworkers very much, but we are trying to have a lunch together every few months and email back and forth, too...which helps alot.