Friday, February 20, 2015

At least there were no earthquakes

Ours is a family that thrives on routines and rituals, as this blog has demonstrated time and time again. This past week, though, was a dog’s breakfast.

Monday: the federal government was closed due to the Presidents’ Day Holiday. Said holiday is not one which my employer recognizes with automatic paid leave. In the past, many of my co-workers and I would therefore suck it up and work on Presidents’ Day, in the absence of our government colleagues. But last year the rules changed and we lowly contractor scum are no longer allowed to be in the office unless there is at least one government rep present. (Obviously no government employees are going to come in on a holiday.) I was forced to burn 8 hours of my annual leave time, but the upside was, hey, I got to stay home. The little guy, on the other hand, had to go to school, but only for a half day, as parent-teacher conferences were scheduled for the afternoons and evenings Monday and Tuesday.

And then, late in the day, it snowed.

Tuesday: everybody was home, because the schools and the federal government were closed due to inclement weather. Fortunately, when those kind of things happen I don’t have to use my annual leave, I get paid as if it were a normal day and I went to work, based on some business logic about how it’s not our fault if the weather causes regional closures and we’re not expected to be able to plan for such things.

Also, it was one my wife’s usual days off, and not that we needed it that day but even the daycare was closed, sadly due to some burst water pipes and the need for some emergency remediation.

The only slight downside was that I had scheduled an interview for a potential new job. The last time I went down this road I had two long phone interviews and two multi-headed in-person interviews, and that all came to naught, so at this point, having merely been through a single quick pre-screen on the phone, my expectations are still tempered. At any rate, the interview was supposed to be Tuesday afternoon, late enough in the day that I could slip out of work only slightly early, hopefully with no one even noticing I was gone. But the snow cancelled that plan.

Wednesday: Back to work for me, and back to work for my wife, but the public schools were still closed. Luckily, the daycare re-opened, and they were able to take the little guy for a full day along with the little ones. The industrial dryers were still running in one hallway, where the floor moulding was yet to be replaced, but overall they seemed to have done a good job setting things right after the plumbing mishaps.

My wife ended up working later than usual, but made it home eventually. (And we started watching Game of Thrones Season 4, woohoo!)

Thursday: The schools re-opened and we had just about the closest thing to a normal day, with the morning routine going more or less the way it’s supposed to, though the little guy had a little trouble getting himself in gear. In the afternoon, though, the little guy got on the wrong bus; the big yellow school bus took him to our neighborhood, despite the fact that he should have gotten on the white van to take him to daycare where I would pick him up after work. At the risk of wearing out the notion of “fortunately” in this post, we were gratified to learn that the parents of the little guy’s friend who lives two doors down noticed that neither my wife nor I were there to pick up the little guy, and they shuttled the little guy to their house and let the boys play together until I was able to commute home, pick up the little ones, and then get back to our street. No harm, no foul, just some unpleasant stress and worry for a little while there.

Friday: Today is the day that my interview was ultimately rescheduled for. But now instead of 4 pm it’s at 1 pm, which means I have to leave the office around noon and can’t really get away with just ghosting out. Also, I am of course going to show up for my interview in a suit, but it’s casual Friday here at my current gig. A complete change of outfit would be impractical, so I am wearing somewhat dressy trousers and a sweater over my shirt. A tie is hidden in my work bag and the suit jacket is under my overcoat in the micro-closet of my cubicle. I should be able to leave, stop at a restroom between my office building and the Metro, swap the sweater for the tie, and make it into D.C. by the appointed time. Exciting cloak-and-dagger stuff, I know.

Oh, and the schools are closed again today, based solely on the alarmingly low levels of molecular motion in the atmosphere. It’s also another of my wife’s days off, so everyone in my nuclear fam is keeping warm at home. I’m hoping to be back with them at my regularly scheduled home arrival time, but there were delays on the VRE this morning (signal problems, with no indication if that meant “weather-related” or not) and who knows what the evening will bring.

Other stuff happened this week, too, but in the interest of getting some things done before I have to leave, and saving some things to post about next week (so that the blog doesn’t lapse into a weeks-long torpor again) I will sign off for now.

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