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So I’m finally on the other side of a five-day late night work schedule. Let me tell you… getting home at midnight for five days really smashes your internal clock. I’ve been getting to bed around 3 am, waking up at 10 only to hop in the shower, throw on a suit, and head back into work. It’s been completely worth it though, and I closed a great one lat night. I know I’m about to get twenty times busier at work.

Last Friday one of my coworkers was fired. It was kind of upsetting because he was a good friend and he’d come into the center on my recommendation. The firing wasn’t because of the economy- in fact we’re starting two new people next week- but rather because he wasn’t able to pick up the work. So right now, where we should have six people in my position we have three. And on top of the piled up work, I’ll be training a new person for the next month.

I haven’t wanted to sit in front of a computer on my day off mostly because I stare at four screens for most of the day. But tonight I was checking Facebook (of which the lovely Molly wrote a hysterical piece on today) and saw that a friend had filled out one of those “25 things you never wanted to know about me” lists. This one was a Bucket List, where you mark an X alongside the things you’ve done. This isn’t about writing one of those, because I’m still not sure about bucket lists. One of the items on that list was “Watched the sunrise with someone else”.

My freshman year of college, my best friends were a group of guys who eventually ended up in the same fraternity. They lived in the same dorm across campus and I spent the majority of my spare time in one of their rooms. It wasn’t strange for me to come back from crew practice and, still in spandex, sprawl across one of their futons.

Most of my favorite memories from college were with these boys, one of which popped back into my head when I read that. I remember one night that started out as ordinary. Two of my guys, Boo and Boston, and I sat on one of their futons watching a movie. It was the same old ritual, and we probably had beer cans or whiskey in front of us on the table. I still can’t remember who made the suggestion to leave, to go out. A few moments later, with a backpack full of beer, we were on the pavement in late summer air. We were new to the town, and quickly got lost in the graveyard of the town. In most senses this would probably seem grotesque, but it was calm. The three of us sat on an empty hill in that graveyard away from the graves.

I’ll never remember what we talked about all night, but we stayed there for hours. Boston made the suggestion to go home, but Boo and I liked the novelty of staying out all night. It was college,after all, we were still in the early phase of testing the boundaries.

We were quiet, probably from exhaustion, when the sky did start to lighten. The three of us were laid out on the grass watching, still passing the nearly empty bottle between us. By the time the sky was pink we were dusting the grass off of our legs, back onto the pavement and heading back to the dorms.

I don’t think I’ll ever have another night like that, and that’s something I’ve missed greatly in the years after college. The most I had to do the next morning was get to an eleven o’clock class, and I’m sure I slept right through that. I never thought that I’d miss something to inane as a watching the sun rise but I do.  And I think I’ve been needing something like this again.

sunrise-on-the-river

What about you guys- have you ever seen watched the sun rise with someone else?

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Whoa, emotional. I really did not mean for that post to come off that way at all. I went back and read it the next day and realized just how batshit crazy I sounded.

That post was the consequence of an accumulated 30 hours of surveillance in one weekend, a total of six hours of sleep, and no chance to really relax at all. To say that work has been stressing me out is a far understatement, even though I love being stressed out. I’ve found myself skipping lunches to finish work and then lying to my boss about having already taken them. And Friday-Sunday was literally straight surveillances- no leaving to use the restroom, no time to take a break and stretch out.

But in a weird way, this is where I thrive. I love the stress, I love the intensity. I can say with all honesty that I’ve never been more happy in my entire life. Of course I’m stressed- who isn’t right now? And sometimes that comes out in oddly emotional lashes, which just happen to end up on here. What I talked about was one thing that upset me. And to counter that, I have thousands of things that I’m loving right now.

For instance, I’m in bed (day off!) watching the first real “spring” rainstorm. I’m going to get my hair cut and glossed after this. Taking the puppy to the park. I cooked an amazing dinner last night of italian bread with tomato slices and melted gorgonzola, with a side of asparagus last night. I’m being trained in apprehensions tomorrow. I have reviews at work this week. I helped to build  a case that we’ll be working with another agency. I’ve been asked by a local college to continue my education with them and get my Ph.D in Intelligence. I received a great email from FaveDave yesterday that just about made my day. I went shopping for guns. I have poker night lined up for later this week. I spent last Sunday morning at the park with Rebecca and the pup on a light trail run. Duke beat UConn.

So now, off to throw on the wellies and get the hair done.

I spent my Valentine’s Day exactly how I wanted to be spending it this year- at work. My boss hesitantly asked me to do a few surveillances this weekend and I jumped at the opportunity. As much as I love being single and not having to worry about the psychology of a relationship, there’s no denying the impact that the holiday has on people. There’s really no way to not feel as though you’re missing a large chunk of your life on this day. And it’s really so much easier not to think about that when you’re nose-deep in an investigation.

The investigator I was working with was actually in another location for the same surveillance, so we had our speakerphones on for the last few hours. This investigator is my age and is engaged- one of those engagements where you fall in love with hearing stories about the two of them. He’s one of those rare genuine people, and the way he speaks about her is with utter respect and admiration.

In one of the slower parts of the night, I asked him how she felt about them spending the day apart. It launched first the story of what he did for her as a gift (which was one of the most caring things I’ve ever heard). Then he said, “You know, I’ll never forget the day I asked her out…” and he told me- down to the day, the hour, what he was wearing, how her voice sounded- about that night. He knew every minute detail with such delicacy that you knew the importance that day had on him. I pointed out how envious I was of that, and he said, “Don’t you have anything like that?”

I remember that my first real boyfriend was actually accidental and that I regretted dating him and losing a best friend in the process. I remember sneaking out of my house to meet the second, but could never tell dates or exact details. The third boyfriend, I remember our first kiss outside of my house, but the date is lost on me. So on, and so on.

And then I remembered a date. Driving to the movies. Wearing my favorite J.Crew jeans (which are absolutely tattered and I still haven’t thrown them out) and a black v-neck. I remember every detail of those first nights.

“I guess one,” I told the investigator. I told him that I even remembered my clothes from that night, the speeding ticket.

He laughed, said, “then that’s your one.”

It’s not.

Just a quick update before I get to bed (got home from work at 10:30 pm? Have to be back in by 7:30 am? Check)

I got into work today and was dying to figure out what had happened between Boss and Nasty Coworker. I had been out on Wednesday, as had Amazing Coworker, so I was trying to figure out some covert way of hearing about it.

She was there when I walked in the door, crossing off “She got into a huge argument with boss and was subsequently fired” and “She decided to take a stand and quit” off my list of possible outcomes.

Amazing Coworker knew, and the first chance I got I followed him to the break room. Apparently when Boss questioned her about it she’d deflected the blame back onto me.

He told me that over lunch she’d stuck to the story, claiming that I’d refused to learn to program and that she’d tried to convince me that it was important. Right- except for that glaring email she’d sent to the boss saying that she’d taught me everything I needed for the meeting. She also stated that she’d sent me the agenda in an attempt to persuade me to learn the program. Again- why would I purposely sabotage myself going into a meeting like that?

Anyway, I’m sure all of this will sort itself out. I’m leaning towards the option of having a sidebar chat with her and setting everything straight. Maybe if I determine the root of all of this it will stop- before something happens that messes with my reputation here.

For now, I’m just grateful that my job isn’t like this.

Finally, something that I actually really want to write about!

And while I did love Starting Over’s fantastic idea of sloshing a few back, I think -and this is VERY out of character for me- that I am too angry to drink. What was the deepest level of aggression again? Fury?

I’m furious.

I know that we all have “that coworker”, the one where there is just no chance that you will ever get along with them. The one where, in the first week of the office, you already cringe at their ticks. I almost felt bad for this girl when I first started because something always seemed off with her. And then my favorite professor, a professor we happened to share when I was still at graduate school, pulled me aside after class one day last fall and said, “so Nasty Coworker mentioned that you’re struggling at your new job. Are you ok?”

I wasn’t struggling. I was FAR from struggling. And this is after I had lent her all of my books and old notes from his class that she was taking at the time, meticulous notes that had gotten me the only A in his class that semester and pages already marked for the take-home finals and projects.

A few weeks after that, she made an office-wide announcement that she wanted to organize an office dinner, one where we could all bring our significant others. Which is a great idea, considering that these people have become a sort of family to me and I’ve never met their, well, families. At the time, there were eleven of us in my particular office and I was the only one not in a relationship of some sort; everyone else was either married, engaged, or on the verge of engagement. After this announcement, she turns to me with over-exaggerated sad eyes and goes, “oh, I guess you can come too.” I have no problem being single. I love being single, I love having focus right now. But my singleness seems to mean one thing to her: I’ve been referred to as “the office tramp” on more than one occasion, following the simple equation that since I’m not in a relationship, I must be after every piece nearby me.

I refused to let this get in the way of my work, refused to even bring it up to my boss because it was petty. I was pulling great cases and my investigations were being widely recognized and there was no reason to acknowledge aside from a random venting.

So in preparation for a huge meeting I had today with my boss’ boss’ boss (yes, that’s confusing, but it should be noted that he’s very important) my boss asked her to prepare an agenda of things my Amazing Coworker and I needed to discuss. I got in to work Sunday at 1:30 pm to finish preparations for it. At that time, she told me the agenda wasn’t completed, that she was still working on it. I worked a couple of cases, prepped my notes, and did some minor video review. At 4:30 she made some comment in passing about GoogleEarth- my office uses to top version of that to plot information. Since she was doing the agenda, I asked if I would need to prepare anything to present on our work with GoogleEarth. I have little knowledge of how we plot the information; that’s mostly her job within the office. “No, no,” she said. “I explained everything to Amazing Coworker so that he can present that info.” I asked about seven times if she was sure; she said yes. Since she was getting ready to leave, I asked if she had the agenda ready. “No, I still haven’t finished it. I’m going to have to finish it at home and email it in later tonight since I won’t be here tomorrow.”

It doesn’t take an investigator to realize that something wasn’t right.

This morning I got to work and my boss asked if I was ready. I had my black button up tucked into a white pencil skirt, with black patent heels and a few strings of pearls. Hell yes I was ready.

“Ok, so you can you pull up the GoogleEarth information with all of the plotting on your LCD tv?”

My heart dropped a little and I stammered that I didn’t know how to do it, forty minutes before we were expected to present. My Amazing Coworker slid over a copy of  the email from Nasty Coworker, a steady string of emails back and forth from my boss and her.

Boss (Friday): Here’s the tentative agenda, can you type it up? Caitlyn and Amazing Coworker discuss cases, Caitlyn discuss Google Earth, etc…
Nasty (Friday): No problem
Nasty (Sunday, 10 am): Here’s a copy of the agenda [with attached agenda]
Nasty (Sunday, 4:50 pm): I taught Caitlyn how to do everything with GoogleEarth. She’s been prepped for the presentation.

Amazing Coworker understood what was going on immediately: Nasty Coworker had set me up. She’d lied about not having the agenda ready, knowing that I’d only have an hour Monday morning to look at it. She also lied to my Boss about having taught me everything, and she lied to me about not having to do anything with it. She set me up to bomb in the biggest meeting I’ve had with this company to date. On top of that, she was asked to update the majority of the information on our slide show and she didn’t.

Despite all of this, Amazing Coworker and I pulled the strings together perfectly. We performed nearly flawlessly, even answering perfectly when the big boss interrupted us to quiz us on random numbers.

Even still I wasn’t going to say anything; I don’t like to stress our boss out with drama that isn’t case related. But our boss came over after Amazing Coworker had left for the day and said, “So…did you just forget how to use the program this morning or were you just flustered before the meeting? Because Nasty Coworker said that she taught you everything yesterday.”

In a carefully-worded and polite response, I told him that she hadn’t, that I saw the email she sent him and that she had lied to him. That she had told me I wouldn’t be using it even after the agenda had been created. I saw the moment it clicked in his brain when the muscles alongside his jaw shifted.  When I asked if it would be best for me to sit down with her and talk about this, he responded that he would be the one talking to her.

So I guess it’s out of my hands for now. I’ve got a few days free before she returns to work and I fully plan on focusing on work until I have to deal with that. Other than that, I’m not so sure on how to proceed. Have you guys ever had a coworker like this? What’d you do?