I hate Mondays. I do. I feel like a hamster on one of those wheels that go ’round and ’round while the hamster tries madly to get somewhere. Never getting anywhere of course but trying just the same. Maybe that hamster is running toward freedom. On Monday I remember that I have had a reprieve for a few days (weekend) but now back to the same hamster wheel known commonly as work.
I walk into my cave never knowing what I will find. Unopened mail, faxes, messages and all kinds of documents sit scattered on my chair, my keyboard, in the in-box, on top of the in-box, next to the in-box and so forth.
The red blinking light on the phone indicating a voice mail message greets me with a WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN!!! attitude. “I’ve been holding these messages now for days!” it screams at me. I ignore that blinking light though. Always. Approximately once a month or less I call into the voice mail system and hit delete delete delete until that red light is silenced. Leaving a voice mail message for me at work is something I know makes the clients feel better but is in reality a waste of their time. It’s a waste of my time to listen to these messages since the client has already called back once, twice or more until they hear my voice.
I resent Monday. I resent having them come each week. I resent having to end my pretend weekly vacations, also known as weekends because Monday rolled around again on the calendar.
Of course if a holiday lands on a Monday then I like that Monday!
Monday is the day that I shuffle through everything that was thrown on my desk or the surrounding area since I left on Thursday. I try to organize all the paper. Reams and reams of paper, numerous trees die each year so people can place the paper on my desk. Monday’s too are also the day the boss wants to recap all the wonderful things he and his family did over the weekend. He wants to discuss sports. He wants to discuss a book he read. He wants to discuss all sorts of mundane and to me utterly boring things, events, or conversations he had since I last saw him. Now don’t get me wrong here, I LOVE books. I read them constantly….I devoure them in fact. However I have learned that Boss and I read different types of books. On occasion if we have read the same book we have varying opinions of it. He of course believes he is right and I of course know he is wrong.
In fairness though I will tell you that he asks one of two questions before he launches on his “about me” recap. He will either ask “how was your weekend?” or “did you have a good weekend?” I learned many years ago that he doesn’t really care, never did listen to my response and used his question as a way to appear as if he cares but really so he could talk about himself. Therefore I do not respond to him. I don’t see the point really. He does not hear my answer nor does he care what it is. Furthermore, not responding does not deter him. He has asked out of politeness but instead of noticing the lack of an answer he launches into his weekend review. I do not care what he has done, what he saw on TV nor what his family has done or said. I do not care that his family got a new puppy. I do not care what he called the dog. Nor what the breed is. I am a dog lover mind you but I couldn’t care less about his dog nor those details but he provides them for me anyway.
After that morning ritual of his I announce to him that I have work to do and turn around walking away before he can say anything more. Now I am aware that many people would not mind sitting there chatting with their boss…they are getting paid for that, getting paid to sit there–right? Chatting with the boss or sitting there listening to his one sided chatter is better than actual work–right? Not for me. The boss is boring. I have worked for him for 12 years. With one year off in that time. Boss wanted me back in 2 weeks after surgery I said 6 weeks according to the doctor. Before I had been released to go back to work from the doctors Boss called me to ask when I was coming back. I had been out of work for four months due to some extreme bodily injuries from a motorcycle accident. I could still barely walk, relying on a cane, I could not hear out of my right ear and could not use my left arm as it was in a flex splint. Also my short term memory was severly limited. I was most definitely not ready to return to work. But he insisted just the same. Perhaps he was getting nervous, restless, worried. About his business though not me. I went into work one day though unexpectedly. I noted that Boss had his wife working in my spot. I asked him about that and Boss looked down at his desk and muttered something. I responded to his muttering “I see I’m not needed here anymore.” That was ok given that I was busy planning the sale of our home and flight from California.
Alas things did not work out according to those grand schemes of escape. My husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died three months later. So in California I was stuck. He died without life insurance so I had no financial windfall there to use for flight.
Some months later Boss man’s wife called me to announce she had quit. She can’t do it anymore and instructed me to come back to work on Monday. When I hesitated she almost yelled in my ear, “don’t you WANT the job?!!” “Uh, sure. I guess so.” I said. But thought NO!! I do not want to work. I do not want to work there! I do not want to work for Boss anymore! But a job is a job so I agreed to return to work. On Monday.
Boss forgets his treatment of me during that year. He likes to tell all that will listen what a good friend he was to my husband. He loves to tell how he has helped my family since my husband’s death. All lies though. My husband did not like Boss. My husband refused to even speak to Boss after a Dick Cheney type of shooting accident some years before. So when Boss claims to have been close and helpful its a lie. I often want to ask Boss about his absence in our lives. If he was such a good friend how come he had not seen nor heard from my husband in almost 5 years? Just curious about that. Also, if you were such a good friend to my husband how come when I called you about the cancer diagnosis it took you days to come to see him in the hospital? Then we did not see nor hear from you until my husband’s funeral. Is that your definition of a good friend? Not mine.
In the interest of paying my mortgage though coupled with the knowledge that if I were to ask Boss those questions I would simply get some annoying answer back; so I say nothing. I do not harbor those questions nor do I think about them unless Boss goes to falsely brag to another about how good he is and/or was to my family.
So on Monday I have to climb onto the hamster wheel I have to look at this bossman who is arrogant and recalls history differently than I do and a boss who sits and reads novels at his desk while I read documents and phone messages and answer phone calls. The minute I am in my cave the world knows it. The evidence of this knowledge is the phone ringing. There are 10 phone lines on our phone system. Each Monday more than half those lines are lite up with clients wanting to talk to me. They do not ask for the boss since they learned long ago he isn’t available to take their call.
I take one call after another. Pushing buttons on the phone with the lingering resentment I feel about Monday and looking at the clock wondering when I can leave.
I talk to one client after another while looking at the piles of stuff, piles of papers stacked on my desk in my neat piles and I consider the unfairness of this work arrangement. My boss sits with his feet up, reading a novel, his door closed to all while I stare at piles of work, answer the phone, talk to clients and its not even 10:00a.m on Monday morning.
I am aware that life is not fair. But must it smack me in the face each Monday morning?
While I work during the day on Monday I am constantly pestered with the thought of when can I leave? when can I leave? when can I leave?
Leaving work, regardless of when I do causes me to stop resenting Monday. At 5:00pm each Monday I do not mind Monday’s at all. It is fair to correct my first statement by saying I only hate Mondays 9:00 to 5:00!