My workplace is undergoing changes right now: funding is being negotiated, organizational structure is being dramatically altered, historical alliances are shifting, and many people, for reasons of their own, in key positions, just happen to be leaving at the same time. As a result the stress levels are high, the workload shifting and a bit unpredictable, tempers flare, and the meetings are ongoing and exhausting (& if you listen really hard in one you might just figure out what's really going on).
Photo taken near Denali by a friend of mine in 2003
One of my colleagues in my "lab", i.e. on the same research grant & project as I am, is leaving at the end of this week. I hate to admit it but I must - I am looking forward to her going. This woman has not exactly been welcoming. I have approached her to ask her how to follow a certain protocol without her turning her head from her computer or even acknowledging my presence until I forced her to by repeatedly asking her if she has time. She is very capable of her job and this week everyone is singing her praises which I am sure she has earned. Meanwhile, I have been assigned to take over some of her tasks when she leaves and getting the required information from her feels like pulling teeth and leaves me feeling incompetent and frustrated. Working with her or around her makes me feel like I'm in high school again, complaints arrive to me through gossip, if I ask a question she stares at me as if I'm daft, and she is the leader of her own little clique.
To be honest, I don't mind that she doesn't like me, we are colleagues and one cannot be liked by, nor like everyone, and honestly, I don't need friends like that. All I'm hoping for is to make it through the week patiently and with some of my sanity intact. And I sincerely hope that the atmosphere warms a bit when she leaves. I have plenty of other crazy things going on that must be squeezed in between the transitioning chaos from prepping all the field collections we took on another oceanographic trip on Friday and cleaning the gear to taking over many of the shifts on the glacier cam counting seals now that our crew is down from 5 to 2 all the while continuing to do my other projects. (And having my computer go down!!)
And today, when the day was done I bicycled home against the wind, watching the wind whip up the waves into furls and the sea gulls wheeling in the air. I took my dog out for a walk through the forest where I snacked on blueberries, raspberries, and salmon berries, admired a purple mushroom I have never seen before, and stared at a waterfall until the sound drowned out the noises in my head. We came home and Cat crept onto my belly and pawed Dog's nose. The grind of the day fades away as I remember what is important in this life and how lucky I am.