In the office [NOT 23/3/21]

Hi friends! I’m back on the office rotation for a few weeks, womp womp.

It’s still mostly empty and boring. And of course I’m grumpy because I’d rather be home in pajama pants.

How’s your week going so far? I need to go cook something so I have leftovers to eat for lunch for the rest of the week because since I’m in the stupid office I can’t throw something on the stove between a meeting.

Also, tomorrow night I’m booked up. If someone else wants to do a NOT tomorrow, go for it!



  1. Going about as well as can be expected.  Basically, the stupid hasn’t gotten more stupid and the decent is still pretty decent.  I am working on a little project at work that is a good way out of my current skill level, which is both interesting and terrifying, especially because I need to get it done in just over a week.

    Conversations have just begun about what coming back to the office is going to look like in June, but at least my bosses aren’t particularly interested in having everyone back full time in the office.  They’re talking openly about people spending probably more time at home than in the office, which doesn’t break my heart at all.

      • Fuck that shit.  The big wigs at my employer had always had this 1980’s style of management, thinking that nobody could be trusted to work from home and actually do their jobs.  Well, we’ve now completed an entire year of a forced experiment and the Wigs have been forced to admit that their management philosophy has to change.  The funny thing is that the company constantly cries poor-mouth to justify the paltry (or in the case of this year, zero) raises.  If they eliminated 70% of their exorbitantly expensive office space, then they’d have money coming out their ears.

        • Agreed. All it says is that the bigwigs couldn’t be trusted to work from home and are projecting that onto us underlings.

          And maybe if we had yachts and shit we too wouldn’t be trustworthy to actually work. 

          I’d love to say it would be enough to make me change jobs, but I have a good job right now and I won’t be vested in my stock options for 2 years and 9 months (not that I have a countdown or anything). 

    • Our company has actually downsized physical office space because they project only about 50% of people will want to return to in person work. Leases are up so it saves them rent I guess. 

  2. My wife always stresses me out before travel but this has been on another level!  You have to have a Covid test less than 72 hrs before travel to Hawaii or quarantine there for 10 days.  So she books it 74 hours before.  Then scrambled to change it & they don’t guarantee you’ll get results that quick unless you pay another $100!  Not all tests sites are approved too.  We get tested tomorrow then stress until we hear back even though we are all several weeks after 2nd vaccination.  On top of that, yesterday she comes home pissed because the MA she wants to fire brought her a Covid positive patient  instead of screening them & keeping them out of clinic.  Next 3 days will be stressful until I am off that plane smelling flowers & drinking a beer on a beach.

  3. I’ve been going to my office most days. Today I had a zoom scheduled but the client showed up instead. (ugh.) Hope he enjoyed my flannel shirt and flower printed leggings. 

    We sat far apart masked in our conference room, but of course my boss comes in with no mask. (eye roll emoji.)

  4. Well, today I was slated to interpret for a juvenile justice hearing over in St. Chuck, but I got there only to find out that the parents who needed me as an interpreter didn’t show. So, I left, came back home to change clothes and got my Taco Tuesday on early before my shift started. (And my last call took me about 20 minutes over quitting time, so it was really just as well. . . .)
    Tomorrow I have to go over on the Illinois side for a workers’ compensation hearing at 8:30 in the goddamn morning, and as long as I get there on time and stay awake, then all I have to worry about is making it back here in time.
    Then on Thursday . . . well, I guess I’m getting vaccinated.

  5. No talk of us going back to the office, and if there was, I would be way down the list. I started working from home full-time probably 2-1/2 years ago. I feel for folks who are being pressured to go back in, because obviously the work got done while we were all out.
    I’m slated to go to the Big Island in June, @loveshaq, but only if I’m vaccinated by then. So I’ll be experiencing at least a small part of your pre-trip stress. I hope you guys can get over there OK.

  6. ive had to fence off my workspace
    not because of rona…tho thats been a useful additional excuse.. but because co workers and office wonks cannot seem to grasp the concept of it being a not great idea to shortcut through the racks im hooning a forklift round in
    i figures now ive got red and white do not fucking enter you fucking dipshits chains up im legally covered if i pancake a pencil pusher
    im continuously amazed at how stupid smart people are…

    • i recently got trained to use a forklift…
      And some people are way too comfortable being way too close to them…
      like, this little thing can pick up a car.  It can pick up a car without tipping over – that means it’s way heavier than a car, and it will fucking ruin whatever part of you it rolls over.
      Please people, have some respect for the tools and equipment around you…

  7. Pancreatitis here for the week.🙃
    Short answer:
    I’m feeling tired, crabby, sore (related to sleeping funny, not the pancreatitis!), and just frazzled & uncomfortable, tbh.
    And Essay ahead & feel free to TL/DR, but I need to vent, and don’t have anyone i feel comfortable venting to right now…
    I’m scared, too, if I’m honest, because bouts of  pancreatitis were supposed to stop after my lump came out, and they did my surgery… and this is the second bout, since October of 2019.🙃
    It’s been long enough, that I’ve lost track of all but the most carb-centric things on the “bland food diet” I’m supposed to do for the next while (or worst tasting, like flavorless baked chicken & turkey!🙃😕)… and those are technically things I shouldn’t  eat too much of, as a diabetic…
    I used to have this diet DOWN, because I had to do it at least once or twice a year, back when I had my whole pancreas… but after my distal, it was all supposedly “over.”
    Between everything today and this damn uncomfortableness (imagine someone shoving a softball inside your guts, juuuust to the left of your midline, riiiiiggt up against your diaphragm to the top, and your stomach, to your left, and you’d have an accurate picture of how that feels… with the ability to feel every “heartbeat” in your portal vein, because it’s pressing on that just a squidge, too…. not painful, really, just gross, bloated, and uncomfortable!) It’s just one of those days where one is left feeling LOTS of feelings (both physical AND emotional!) right now, and it sucks quite a bit.
    It started by waiting for literally hours to hear back from my CNP& MD’s nurses, because both folks  are typically off on Tues… i contacted both by 8 am, I finally reached out to my endocrinologist at 2 pm, because I’d heard nothing other than “someone will reach out to you,” at 9am, and he reached out vis his nurse in lightning time comparatively (she called at about 3:50). She & i went over my symptoms, I mentioned my concerns/frustration about going to an ER** and we decided my best bet was to head to Urgent Care for the labs, then just come back home & wait for the results.
    Then, of COURSE, *magically* I get a call from someone associated with the surgeon’s office, and hear them say, “____ said they tried to call you at 1:30 and left a message!” 😒😡🤬
    they DIDN’T.  I CHECKED–both the messages*and* my call log… no calls anywhere near that time, except for my call to the endocrinologist 
    So YEAH, frustration, and feeling lousy, combined🙃
    **in allllllll the years I’ve had pancreatitis–from the later-realized bout I had at 16, to the countless incidences in my 20’s & 30’s***, I’ve only ever had ONE time, where there was *anything* outside of “normal test results”
    that one time was the one that got me diagnosed at 28–an amylase level of 1200 (normal is 25-125), the doctors had me come back in for blood draws *two different times* because they assumed the lab techs screwed it up… then were speechless when I said I didn’t have any more pain, I just felt “bloated”… (also, this is a really great example of exactly how “good” my body IS at blocking most pain!🙃).
    Every other time I go in to an ER or Urgent Care, because I suspect it’s Pancreatitis? Blood draws all show normal ranges, on every test they run.
    Many of those times, the MD on duty decided/decides that I ought to have a CT scan…. just to make HIM feel better (YES, they were all men!), which meant that I’ve ended up having… at LEAST 11 (it might be 13 now?) abdominal CT’s, because of those well meaning, but CYA-prone dopes, and i’m now at risk/close to risk of cancer FROM *that,* because of the fact that I *also* had multiple yearly/more than yearly (sometimes closer to monthly) whole-torso X-rays as a kid, because of my scoliosis… (I’m close to, possibly well over the 100mSv lifetime recommendation, at this point🙃)
    And the thing is…After they run the labs, run the CT’s, and can’t “see” if it’s pancreatitis (because it’s REALLY fucking hard for even a *pancreatic EXPERT* to see inflammation on a CT!🙄🙄😷), the dudes poke & prod some more, tell me “It’s Probably just gas!” And tell me to go home & take some pepcid🙃
    I’ve been through that drill often enough to walk the endocrinologist’s nurse through EVERY step of it this afternoon, when we talked.🙄
    So she agreed, my best step would be to go to Urgent care–since I’m the lucky weirdo with just the “uncomfortableness” rather than hospital-drug needing pain, and then go home & wait for results…
    Tonight, they were basically the same as always, so I’m glad to have saved the ER time, possible Covid risk, annnnnd the likely radiation.
    Nothing really “popped,” it’s just that my Amylase & Lipase were both a bit lower than normal (23 on the Amyl., 6.7 on a range of 8-78 on the Lipase)… but those might also just be because I only have about 1/3 of a normal-sized pancreas left?
    And now I wait for the swelling to go down, and try to stop sleeping in ways that make me hurt *other* parts of my body.
    (***enough times to basically eat away so much of the inside of it, that there wasn’t enough good tissue to bother trying to reattach–which is why I had a distal, not a Whipple)

    • I cannot sympathize with you more. I will not unleash my own treatise on but my frustration level rose to a height I’d never experienced before. I will make one very personal observation: a big and often observed aspect of American healthcare is that women aren’t listened to, non-whites receive substandard care, etc. Well, I’m a white man in my 50s (with excellent health insurance, which might be part of my problem, since our “non-profit” medical system is very much a for-profit enterprise) and I was constantly ignored, the problem I wanted addressed glossed over and the focus shifted over Old Man problems that I could very well manage and were not impacting my quality of life in any way, I was led down so many blind alleys and given so much quack advice…

      • It’s frustrating, isn’t it, Cousin Matthew?
        Especially when you KNOW what you need help with, and so few folks will bother to hear what you’re saying🙃
        Drives me batty.

    • Oh, Em, I feel ya! I have similar experiences, except, for me, it’s my gall bladder/what’s left after having had my gall bladder removed*. Same general feeling, though… some pain, but mostly feeling bloated and “full” and just being uncomfortable all the time. I have to avoid any fatty foods because anything remotely greasy WILL set off pain in the curl-in-a-ball-and-sob range, and I can’t eat too much at once for the same reason. So… basically, I’ve been living on protein shakes, beef jerky, pretzels, and gummy candy, along with the occasional Lean Cuisine, because with my OTHER health problems, cooking has been too damn difficult lately.
      *It’s the “Sphincter of Oddi”, which is supposed to open up to release bile into the digestive tract when food hits the stomach. Since my gall bladder is gone,  this Sphincter isn’t working properly, so bile builds up behind it until the pressure FORCES it to open, hence the pain. The more fat you eat, the more bile is required to digest it, so I can only manage small amounts of fats, even “good” fats, before it gets painful.
      The only thing that can really be done about it is to put a stent in it to hold it open, but a steady stream of bile in your  system has it’s own issues, i.e., constant diarrhea. So… no thanks, I’ll stick with just never eating a cheeseburger again *sobs*

      • Oh Smacks, that suuuuucks!!!
        Did they already try cutting the muscle on you? (That sounds like a pretty scary procedure in & of itself, and a PROCESS!)
        That stuff in general just SUUUUUUCKS so much! I’m sorry!😕💖💗💞💓

        • Cutting the muscle? The only things that were suggested was medication (dicyclomine) which kind of helps but doesn’t always help, or the stent, which I would prefer to avoid!

          • Cutting the muscle, sphincterotomy, they talk about it here;
            Annnnnd then there’s really in the weeds about it**
            Your mention of “Sphincter of Oddi” made me go all medical-geek down the rabbithole–especially since it’s so close to my own stuff (literally in the physical sense AND the MD’s & Specialists who are treating us for this stuff sense!😉)
            I’m going to ask the nosy & annoying questions, and you can TOTALLY feel free to NOT answer if you want… but I’m gonna ask😉💞💖
            1. Do you have insurance that would cover a second opinion?
            2. Where did you have your surgery done/who did it–was it a smaller-town/smaller city doctor?(not REAL city, but hospital size is why I’m asking!) 
            3And if small-ish/regional hospital is the only place you’ve been seen, have you ever been referred on to a bigger hospital/hepatobiliary surgeon? 
            if *not* you NEED to move on up, if at all possible💖
            because you are TOO YOUNG to be having THESE sorts of problems, and this level of pain & inability to live your daily life is NOT ok, from a medical standpoint!!!💞💗💓
            it shouldn’t be THIS painful, especially not all the time, and also especially, when there ARE ways that they can fix it…
            tbh, I didn’t look for articles that mentioned stenting, but I also didn’t see any mention of stenting, in any of the stuff I saw… 
            And FFS (personal opinion here!!), why would they stent open a sphincter?!?!??? I’m NOT a DR (obviously!!), but I’ve known LOTS of folks in the medical field, AND someone who worked in Med Tech making stents (we used to talk about his work ALL the time, ‘cuz that shiz is fascinating!😉😁🤗)…
            Stents are typically used to hold open “tubes” in one’s body that collapse or are constricting, where you can’t cut through a muscle…
            The only way I’ve ever heard of treating an overly-tight sphincter is to cut through *at least some* of the stricture, so that the sphincter has a gap or is “weaker”… I’ve never heard of them stenting near an opening, because of the risk of slipping/moving–especially if you have a band of muscle constantly squeezing that stent smaller/closed again…
            Honestly, that sounds SERIOUSLY screwy, and like something a small-town Dr would think was ok to do, because he didn’t know any better…
            It sounds similar to the way that my cousin’s eyes were opened, when we were comparing EUS’s a few years back–i mentioned “the terrible, banana/latex-flavored spray,”  being the worst part, and she was like, “Whaaaaaaaaat?!? Being awake and trying to stay ‘relaxed through all of that wasn’t the worst part for you?” 
            Smacks I about jumped out of my chair  in horror, screeching “WAIT, WHAT?!?!???😳😳😳”
            The EUS I’ve gone through… God, what 10 times or so now… always under light sedation (just like a colonoscopy!), they did to her FULLY AWAKE!!!
            Because it was a goddamn small-town hospital (big for the area, but 13,000 people or so in the town)… and the folks getting treated there don’t KNOW that you’re supposed to be sedated(!!!!!😠😡🤬🤬🤬🤬), because they think that the Dr’s are always trustable….
            And sometimes, it’s also a matter of the medical staff at those smaller places trusting that their co-workers who can do those bigger “fancier” procedures know what they’re doing…
            because they have zero experience with the procedures, outside what that *one* Dr shows them to do.😒🤨🤬
            I hope this doesn’t worry you too much, or stress you out unnecessarily!!💖
            It’s just that, coming from a rural area, where I had to come to the cities all the time as a kid for my back stuff (Shriners, ‘cuz my Dr was smart enough to KNOW what he didn’t know how to do, AND good enough at his job that he admitted it!💖), and knowing how one of the hospitals “up home” grew, and expanded their offerings, when tbqh, they perhaps shouldn’t have (the one my cousin got that TERRIBLE EUS at!) I know how egos, and trying to keep patients from having to drive hours, *and* in some cases, frankly greed/capitalism, can all end up giving folks the idea that “nothing except ____ can be done to help on this” when there just MIGHT be a better option, if you know the right terms to start googling😉💖
            I FREELY ADMIT, that I may be ENTIRELY WRONG, too!!!💖💞💓💗💞
            But, if you HAVEN’T been sent to a second specialist who deals with liver enzymes, gallbladder stuff, and practices at an *actually high* high-volume medical center dealing with hepatobiliary stuff, I’d ask for a recommendation💖
            Because you have a condition that honestly requires someone who specializes in hepatobiliary issues, and does it full time, and researches on it regularly. 
            Having been through the system on the pancreatic side of that specialty myself, I will 100% vouch for you being someone who is there💖.
            Just reading the stats on the numbers of folks who get SOI strictures, you’re in “rare bird” category, like this oddball… you NEED to ask to be seen further up the specialist & experience ladder….
            Because it sounds like you may need the advice I was so luckily given, by the (woman!) Hospitalist who released me after my first bout of pancreatitis, “You are interesting, and your case is unusual, rare, and strange. That’s excellent from a medical standpoint, for every doctor you’ll cross paths with, but terrible, from a patient aspect, because you’re going to have to deal with a whole lot of people who really want to help you, but don’t know how/don’t have the skill/tools/ability to. You’re going to have to push for answers,  and stay on top of things yourself, too.”
            That Hospitalist gave me an incredible gift, by telling me that!
            And she was 100% right.
            Thank GOD, back when I had my own first EUS referral, there were only 2 MD’s doing them in MN–and the one I was sent to was near my age, and she knew the guy she sent me to (her exact words, “*I* don’t know what this is. If there is anyone in this state who will, it’s him.”)
            He didn’t either–but I ADORED him, because–like my Dr. back home, he was honest with me from the jump, checked his ego, and TOLD me “I don’t know what this is. I’m sorry. I can refer you on to Mayo if you’d like.” (that honesty made me KNOW I could trust him, because the EUS doc had also told me he was the best in the whole state in pancreatic stuff😉)
            You are in that “Unique & Interesting” group, my friend, KNOW THAT, and use that knowledge to YOUR OWN advantage💖💗💓💞
            **And thank you!!! Because when I found this one just now, it mentions tightness in the pancreas sphincter portion of the dictionary causing pancreatitis–and the Type III version of THAT fits my symptoms exactly–so you also gave me something to talk to my Dr’s about😉💖

            • Adding another abstract, because I just rabbit-holed *again* (on “do Doctors stent sphincters?”–tge answer was basically *sometimes, but RARELY*😉)…
              This abstract is about stomach stuff, so not *quite* over to our areas of the abdomen… but please note the part where the Dr talks about “Stents migrate” which was why he tried cutting the sphincter muscle instead, to loosen the stricture😉💖;
              Weeds, for sure!  But when you’re the nerd &  medical oddball with a condition so rare that no one publishes any stories on it, you learn to read & understand abstracts & research articles in your late 20’s😉😂🤣

            • @emmerdoesNOTrepresentme  ask away!  I read the links you provided (well, 2 of them… my eyes started crossing on the 3rd one!) and, yeah… sounds like I am a rare bird (as usual) because there was no indication of trouble with my liver or any other abnormal results despite loads of bloodwork. Just stunning pain if I eat too much at once or anything greasy. I’m grateful it’s not (usually) constant/steady pain, I just have to be aware of it all the time and think carefully about what I eat. The medication the last doctor gave me does help, although it’s not magic. It’s an anti-spasmodic, and I have to take it just before I eat for it to help. 
              My original surgery (cholecystectomy) was done by the best doctor around… in our small-town hospital that’s the only one in the rural part of the county. That surgery did not go well. It was supposed to be outpatient, possibly a single night in hospital. I was in for a week. The pain was so bad they had me on morphine for 5 days, and I couldn’t hold down food for the first 3. The surgeon admitted at the time that he didn’t know why I was responding so poorly, and that my gall bladder was “in pretty good shape” when he removed it. I only had a couple of tiny bits of gravel that, in his opinion, couldn’t account for the excessive pain I had been in for months. Now, of course, I’m wondering if it was my gall bladder that was the original problem at all!
              After I recovered (very slowly… it was weeks before my body settled down and the pain finally went away), I was fine for a long time. The occasional twinge in my side if I overdid the greasy food, and alchohol did not *ahem* “process well”, aka don’t get too far from the bathroom the next day, but other than that, it was fine. This bout started around mid-summer 2020, and it just hasn’t let up since. 
              I’m on state insurance and they’re pretty good, but they’re picky about what they will and won’t cover sometimes. I was supposed to have an MRI months ago and I’m still waiting for that. 

      • I’m surprised there isn’t a medication you can take to break down the fat if you’re going to eat a cheeseburger. Kinda of like how people can take a lactose pill if they’re lactose-intolerant and avoid a lot of the problems. 

  8. Oh my @emmerdoesnotrepresentme, please vent…you deserve to vent.. you get all the vents, rants, and ire! Also internet hugs by the dozens. You are doing such a good job if managing your health and becoming an expert on your illness, all within a broken system. I hope that you feel better soon. 

  9. Yesterday I was a panelist at a rate hearing. 2 hours in and none of the questions so far were for me, they ask a question, dead silence, finally our attorney clears his throat and says, ‘that’s an sedevilc question’, in the meantime I’m scrambling around trying to find the file, can’t, punt to taking it as a data request. Of course my boss was logged  onto the meeting. arrgh is right!

  10. I am in the middle of a MASSIVE contract and IT broke my Outlook trying to fix something else. So now they claim they can’t fix Outlook, they have to reinstall it from scratch, and it’ll probably take me an entire morning to put all my settings back. They wasted an hour of my time yesterday and today. They can be incredibly incompetent when they put their mind to it.

    • …years ago someone pointed this out to me & it doesn’t seem to have gotten any less true

      “to err is human…but to really fuck things up requires a computer”

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