Avoid Danger

Dear J-

So when I got to the meeting yesterday — phone conference — I had a huge argument with the client, which I’m sure no one advises you to have, but there you go, and so what, right? Or not. The customer is always right. Let’s remember that and provide the service that’s needed. Afterwards I closed my eyes because the room seemed to spin around me for a while — he listened to nothing I had to say, talking over me and refusing to consider what might have made him so upset could be explained — and I staggered out of the borrowed office, drunk on anger and righteousness. Did you want … I mean, if you already knew the answer, why were we hired, but that’s the complete, 180-degree wrong idea.

It turns out the room was spinning for another reason entirely; I ended up suffering over the next couple of hours with a headache and nausea, exacerbated by the tropical office temperature and what I think was the peak of a bug. I now believe I was sick and considered bagging it for the day — 1029 train running north from Sunnyvale! — but instead wandered over to the break room and helped myself to some Tylenol, put my head down for a minute and worked through it. Dizzy is the worst. The. Worst. Thankfully I had an excuse to get up and walk around, which helped to clear my head. And I had an incentive to get better: the Eat on Monday truck was across the street.

The rest of the day I avoided the project of grief, deliberately, as there was no joy there for me, only a sense of being wronged and robbed of my time. I’m not being deliberately obtuse, but I will dig my heels in if I get pushed; it’s something that I recognize in myself and which I probably need to change. I worked on our quality program instead. Because avoidance is clearly the answer in the end, right?

Mike

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