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March 30, 2002: Letting it slide

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I left work Friday feeling extremely frustrated. In retrospect, I suppose itís kind of amusing Ė after all, it took five months for the first spark of job stress to emerge, and when I compare the situation to the things I dealt with on a day-to-day basis with the Big Fish, itís quite minor. But still, when one is in the throes of extreme frustration, wanting to lock oneís self in an office with the perpetrator and yell really loudly while brandishing the assignment in the aforementioned perpetratorís face and demanding to know if they had actually bothered to find out what we were *told* to do before they decided to rip our work into shreds because we couldnít read this personís mind, itís kind of hard to do a calm and rational comparison.

But anyway, once out of the office, I got to rant to my invisible friends in the car all the way home, where I sat on the floor in the kitchen and alternated between petting cats and doing a speed-skim of Ladies Home Journal (which didnít have a single article that peaked my interest Ė sigh). So when I made it to the church for the warm-ups, I was much calmer. And once we began to play, it all melted away and I started having fun.

It was a Taizai service. Iím not sure if I actually spelled that right, but basically itís where the choir sings a fairly simple and short melody, over and over and over, but with variations, and one or more people taking a different harmony, or improvising. I didnít sing; instead I played oboe and my dad played recorder, and we had a blast. We would just randomly grab parts, harmonizing with each other. It was simultaneously exhausting and invigorating, playing like this, finding ways to mingle the sound of our instruments with the voices of the tiny choir. When one of us got tired the other would play solo for a bit, and then weíd link back up. We were sitting in front of the choir director so we couldnít see a darn thing that was happening behind us Ė the most important part of that being that we never quite knew when we were supposed to stop playing Ė but somehow it worked out.

By the time the service was over I was drained of energy, but in a good way, able to look at the work situation and shake it off. Itís no less frustrating, of course, but Iíve put it in perspective. When I worked for the Big Fish, I saw the dark side. If this is the worst I have to deal with at this job, I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

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