Sunday, May 03, 2015

So she's nuts

Here it is, Sunday night, and I'm watching Mad Men. I cannot begin to explain how much this show has come to mean to me. It's got the advertising business down so cold it gives me chills. And the fact that it's on Sunday, when I have to get up tomorrow morning and go through the lookingglass from Madison Avenue 1970 to New Millennium Michigan Avenue is oh-so fitting.

Tomorrow is going to be very weird. For The New Girl will be back in the office after a long, 4-day weekend. After a massive meltdown.

I won't go into detail. What brought her to the brink is too inside baseball for this blog and going over it again will just upset me. But just about everything I was so worried about occurring has. On Wednesday, when it all came to a head, she snapped at me twice and really tore into her staff, loudly complaining that their performance is "unacceptable" and that now the client is "way up her ass." The New Girl really shouldn't talk to people the way she did Wednesday, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The bigger problem is that nothing of consequence had been done on The Big Project (and all its ancillaries) since before I went on vacation on April 17th. I think the New Girl is overwhelmed and embarrassed by her inability to proceed, so she's lashing out.

She missed a big meeting on Thursday morning, a kick-off so that the creative team could finally start working, because a pipe at her mother's house burst.* She's only been in this job for a month. It made more sense for her mother -- who is healthy and has her wits about her (she works for a custom closet designer) -- to stay home and work with the contractor. Michelle knew we were all waiting for her, depending on her.

Then she took Friday off, a personal, "get out of town" day. She left word through her staff that she wouldn't be available, not by email/voicemail. After barely a month as a director for a major ad agency, with a client that's not only in the Fortune 500 but the Fortune 50, and she takes a personal day? She must be nuts.

Now with my boss' permission I got the team working on The Big Project on Thursday morning. But The New Girl doesn't know that. As far as she knows, we lost two days that we couldn't afford to. This work has to be completed and in customer's homes in September. September isn't going to begin two weeks late because The New Girl fucked up.

What was she thinking?

She's not thinking. She's nuts.

I have to get my mind right for tomorrow. I have to act as though nothing is wrong, no matter how deeply I resent the way she first melted down and then bailed on us when she has responsibility to the client and project. I have to try to recapture the enthusiasm I had for working for her ... you know, before I knew she was crazy.

And, just to put it in perspective, she's still better than The Chocolate Covered Spider.

*She's living with her mother in a rather remote suburb. 40, broke and living again in her old bedroom in her widowed mother's house.

Sunday Stealing

Anyday Meme
1. What is your dream career, and what path do you plan to take to get there? I think perhaps the next step in my career is to be a catsitter. To do that, I'll have to make enough money at my advertising job to retire and then I'll supplement my 401(k)s and IRAs by playing with neighborhood critters. There's a group called NAPPS that can help me do this ... one of these days.

2. Who do you aspire most to be like? Oh, golly, so many women! In fiction, there's Miss Melly
Strong, graceful, inscrutable Jackie
Wilkes from Gone with the Wind. She's smart and strong but also kind, and she works to believe the best in people. In recent history, there's my all-time idol, JBKO. She lived through so much, endured so much, and ultimately triumphed by being true to herself. In real life, I admire my friend Barb for the way she's managed to maintain a work/life balance, concentrating on her career while building a happy home with her husband.

 3. What do you like in a best friend? Availability. The older I get, the more I appreciate friends who are willing to be present, to put the time in. There are so many demands on our time, so many distractions. Seldom does a week go by that I don't hear from my dear old friend John or my oldest friend in California, and I'm grateful that they believe our relationships are worth the effort.

4. Do you currently have any squishes (people you really want to be best friends with)?  Maybe I'd like to be closer to Joanna and Martha from my classic movie group, or maybe I prefer seeing them monthly and keeping it light ...

5. What is your ideal platonic relationship? I suppose it would be John (question #3) because I've learned so much by knowing him. At first glance, we're complete opposites. He's black, I'm white. He's gay, I'm straight. He's tall, I'm short. He's a little bit country, I'm a little bit rock and roll. (Just wanted to see if you were still reading.) And yet we're so comfortable with one another. So we can exchange our views about sensitive topics without offending. Or, if we don't feel like being heavy, we can just blab about the Cubs or what JLo wore on American Idol. I really treasure this.

6. Best late night IM/phone conversation story. I fell asleep one night while listening to my friend Ed. I'm not proud of this. I'd had dental work that day and was more than a little woozy from the anesthesia. I blamed it on the phone lines, saying the extension in my bedroom came loose from the wall and cut us off. If he knew I was lying, he was too polite and kind to bust me.

7. List one person you’d like to wear the sweater of, one person you’d like to bake cookies with, and one person you’d like to drive around and get lost with. Sweater: Mika Brzezinski from MSNBC's Morning Joe. She layers a lot using cardigans and seems to have an unending supply. Baking: my niece. She's just about done with culinary school and I want to see her in action. Car ride: Kevin Spacey, because he's so neat.

8. Describe your current best friend(s). See #5

9. What is a strange, little-known fact about you? I once won $500 in a movie trivia contest run by The Chicago Tribune and the late Gene Siskel

10. What is a career you wanted to have when you were younger, and still kind of want to have now? I got nothing for this one.

11. If you could have tea and pleasant conversation with one person, who would it be? The Queen. I mean, who wouldn't love to have with HRH? We could talk about her new great granddaughter.

12. If you had a time machine, what era would you go to? Either the 1860s or the 1960s.

13. What celebrity or historical figure would you love to have as your best friend and why? I always wanted the late Nora Ephron as my older sister.

14. What fictional character would you love to have as your best friend and why? Miss Melly from Gone with the Wind. See #2. Oh, and she'd be especially handy to know if I time travel to the 1860s.

15. If you could have one wish, what would it be (cannot be related to romance or sex)? More wishes

16. If you were trapped on a deserted island and could only take one item, what would it be? iPod (and a power source)

17. If you could pick one career other than the one you are pursuing/plan to pursue, what would it be? See #1

18. What is your best memory you have with a friend? So many! One that comes to mind is New Year's Eve in Key West. At the stroke of midnight I hiked up my skirt and ran into the warm waters of the Gulf while my dear friend stood on the shore, laughing affectionately. It seemed like a good way to ring in the New Year.

19. Do you have any peculiar interests that most people don’t know about? If you read this blog regularly, I think you know it all.

20. What were your favorite childhood toys? Do you still have them? My Lassie dog went with me everywhere. She's still with me, up in my closet somewhere.

21. Favorite baked good? I'll be happier if it involves chocolate.

22. If your best friend were here right now, what would you do with them? Hug

23. Who would you love to play video games with? Coop and Rolling Thunder. Sheldon Cooper and Stephen Hawking. (I'm referring to a memorable episode of Big Bang Theory.)

24. If you could visit any country, which one would it be? Canada. Because I wouldn't have to fly over water.

25. Are there any friends you miss having around? Yes