Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Crisis of the Spirit

It's been too long since my last post. I know. Even then, posts were few and far between. The truth is that I've been depressed. Not full blown major depression that incapacitates, but frustrated, down in the mouth, pissed off with man and God and generally dejected and despised.
The start of it began with the frustrating working conditions of the hospital. There is too much work, and not enough staff, especially the non-medical but equally essential type that includes orderlies, technicians and secretaries. The result is that everyone, but everyone, is forced to do other peoples' jobs. Since no one can do it all, a significant portion of the day is wasted trying to get someone else to do it, and there is a lot of conflict and belly aching all around.
Then there was the trigger: During our morning meeting, I was making a point that supported the Boss's opinion. However, being hard-of-hearing, he misunderstood and thought I was criticizing his opinion. He silenced me in a most brutal and Stalinistic fashion (something not uncommon for him).
It pushed me over the edge. For several months, I hated waking up in the morning to go to work in place that caused me so much suffering. In turn, I became insufferable. I didn't talk to anyone. Known as somewhat of a joker, I stopped telling jokes. I didn't smile at anyone. I ate lunch alone. Basically, I was breathing fire and brimstone in all directions. Even while parking the car in the morning, I couldn't wait to leave to go back home. But even at home, I was insufferable towards my wife and the kids. I became the very thing that I hate most: I was feeling sorry for myself.
My epiphany arrived in the form of one of those "inspirational" television programs. It is the local version of "undercover" boss. The story that made it's impression was about a young woman, and immigrant, who was working to support her family while serving in the army. The father had abandoned the family and left them with debts. She probably could have been exempted from army service based on economic hardship. However, she chose to serve. I assume that she holds some clerical position that allows her to work in the evenings and weekends. So she works the night shift in a pizzeria and from there goes to her army day job. She has been living on 2 hours of sleep a night for the last 8 months! And she still manages to smile and give the customers excellent service.
As banal as it sounds, I sat up an took notice. And then I was embarrassed. What do I have to complain about? So I made a conscious decision to snap out of it and get back to work. To hell with the management of the hospital, that makes our work so difficult. To hell with my boss and his uncouth ways. I will not let them interfere with me being the pro that I am. Damn it! I will not let the bastards get me down anymore.

...And for the first time in my life, I flew a kite.

That beauty is the Ghost Delta from Gomberg Kites.

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