Theft!

I was supposed to go to Ohio for work yesterday, and return today. Well, that didn’t happen.

 

At 3:00, my spouse came to pick me up from work so we could have some dinner together and then he could take me to the airport. When I got to the airport and into the security line, however, I realized that I didn’t have my wallet. No wallet = no ID = not getting on a plane. I realized i must have left the wallet at work, so I called my husband, who turned around and came back to the airport, and then drove me back to work. I had gotten to the airport early enough in the first place that I could have (just!) made my flight after going back to work to get it… except that when I got to work, it was not there.

 

I knew I had it at work that day because I’d bought lunch, and I was pretty sure I’d left it on my desk, but I dug through my bags again to make sure I hadn’t just overlooked it. I hadn’t. So there was nothing to do but go back home. I felt bad that I’d not be making it to Ohio, especially because it was my mistake in forgetting the wallet/leaving it on my desk that allowed it to get stolen, but there wasn’t much I could do. I could have gone home and gotten my passport and a backup credit card, but by the time I did that I’d have missed my flight, and I was already on the last flight into Columbus.

 

When I got home I looked up my bank and credit card accounts online and confirmed that yes, the wallet had definitely been stolen. The perpetrators had, in MAXIMUM 3 hours, racked up over $1000 in fraudulent purchases between my check card and the 2 credits cards I had in my wallet. They even tried to use my medical flexible spending card at Redbox and Target! Luckily, that card can only be used for eligible medical/prescription expenses, so they didn’t get away with that one. My bank and credit card company were able to close my accounts and mark the fraudulent charges– and hopefully stop them from being approved as they were still pending– so I don’t think I’ll have to pay any of the bills, but still, what a hassle! Not to mention I have to get a new driver’s license, insurance cards and library card.

 

Today I reported the crime to campus police. It’s doubtful they’ll catch the people, but they did ask me to find out from my bank what stores the thieves had visited, and especially with the FSA card being denied, I’m thinking the cashier might remember that. I was able to get a credit from the airline for my flight. I’m still waiting to hear back from the hotel in Columbus, but at least I should only have to ask for $250 max (hotel plus flight change fee) reimbursement from work, for a business trip that didn’t happen. 😛

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A Day in the Life of an Introvert

This is an account of a fictional but pretty typical day.

7:40 am: 

I stop for coffee on my way to work. Since I stop there frequently, I know the baristas.  At least, I know them by sight, and they know me (and my drink order!)– as far as I know they don’t know my name. I walk in and see that it’s the dark-haired girl making drinks. I only know her name because randomly they wore name tags for a couple of days. The dark-haired girl’s name tag read “emily.” I like her–she’s nice.

But do I rejoice that I will get to talk to her? Nope! Instead, all kinds of thoughts are running through my mind: When should I say hello– right when I see her? She looks busy. Should I say my drink order at the register, or do I assume that they remember it when I hand them my reusable mug?

I overhear another patron asking emily about her vacation. Do they know each other outside of the patron-barista relationship? How, in interactions that last a few minutes a day, did they get to the point where they know about each other’s lives? I don’t know how to do that– I can make conversation, but it’s restricted to the niceties and talk about the weather. Which, granted, in Minnesota is actually an interesting topic, but still.

At any rate, I have cordial but superficial interactions with the dude and the dark-haired girl as I go about getting my coffee. They make excellent coffee, which is an introvert’s best friend.

8:15 am:

I get to work and get settled in, and open up my email. There it is: a message from Auto Forward, with the subject line “Fwd: (612.XXX.XXXX) 01:18 Voice Message.” It’s a voicemail. Oh, crap on a cracker, I think as I put in my headphones to listen to it. As I listen, I evaluate whether I can justifiably respond by email instead of calling the person back. Maybe the caller will leave an email address in their message, thereby giving me permission to respond by email. No such luck. Or, maybe it’s one of my students, who has questions that require web links or attachments?  Nope, it’s a parent–strike two. Even worse, they don’t specify their questions in their message– it’s just “I have some questions about the Montpellier program.” So there’s no chance I can just call and hopefully leave the answers on their voicemail. No, there is simply no way around it– I am going to have to have a phone conversation.

As I pick up the phone and dial the number, I can feel my heartbeat speed up and my body temperature rise. Why! I know I will have the answers, and more often than not, the parents I speak to on the phone are pleasant and thank me for answering their questions. This is the case today– the mother I speak to tells me I’ve been very helpful and thanks me for my time. There’s no rational reason to be nervous, but there’s just something about this method of communication that causes me stress. It’s infuriating.

Reflections on Infertility

My best friend called me last night to tell me that she is pregnant. She was very sensitive about it—she knows how we’re struggling to conceive, and I’m sure she was apprehensive about telling me her good news. She was very encouraging, pointing out that in our lives we’ve had a tendency to unintentionally do everything at the same time, and that since she’s pregnant, I’m bound to get pregnant any day. It was very sweet of her, and I am happy for her, but the news was still very hard for me to hear. It makes me feel terrible because I wish I could be totally happy for her without contaminating it with selfish sadness for myself. But I can’t.

When I told my husband the news, I could tell he didn’t know how to react. He said, “That’s good…for her… I’m sorry.” 😀 He did his best, truly—I know I’m a barrel of contradictions. I told him basically what I said above, that it sucks because I am happy for her, but it’s tainted by my sadness for myself. He reacted to that by saying he’s sorry that “he’s the problem” and that he didn’t get checked out earlier, etc.

I can understand that—- I’m sure he’s feeling a little bit upset that it seems that our fertility issue is on his side. But there are two problems with this reaction. The first is that I don’t blame him at all for our fertility challenges. Even though they haven’t found anything amiss with me, I could still have an issue as well, and even if the issue is only on his side, it’s not his fault! It’s not like he tried to grow a varicocele, and he had the surgery willingly and without hesitation, so he’s doing all he can. So I don’t want him to feel like I blame him, because I completely do not!

The other issue with his reaction to my lukewarm sharing of my BFF’s good news is a bit more his ‘fault,’ but again I can’t really blame him… I am a confusing mess. But that at that moment, I really just needed support, not for him to make the issue about him. I just needed him to hold me and say something supportive and encouraging, like “It’s okay to feel how you feel and it doesn’t make you a bad friend.”

Working From Home

Today I worked from home, and it was fantastic. Working from home/telecommuting was all the rage a few years ago, but it seems like more and more companies nowadays are cutting the option or limiting it more than they used to, apparently over concerns that employees aren’t actually working when they’re working at home. Okay, I understand that concern, but isn’t there something employers could try that would curtail people slacking off at home, rather than disallowing it for everyone? Maybe have people track what they do all day, and show some sort of proof? Copy a supervisor on all emails answered/sent during the day?

I got in trouble last summer for working from home too much. Partly it was my fault because I did post to Facebook a few times while working from home… I specifically only did so over my lunch breaks, but I guess that didn’t matter. So anyway, in order to avoid further trouble and also because I was kind of afraid to ask, I didn’t work from home at all during the Fall semester or up until now during Spring semester. I can honestly say that in terms of productivity and well-being, it has taken its toll.

I think most people would agree that working from home can be extremely productive, as the constant interruptions that go along with working in a busy office take up a lot of time in the average workday.  For introverts, I think this is even more pronounced. I have trouble concentrating in a noisy, busy environment with people stopping by to ask me questions, other people’s conversations making it hard to focus my attention on an email or project, etc. It’s so much easier for me to concentrate when I’m at home in the quiet. Yes, there are distractions at home too—the dog needs to go outside, the spouse says a few words to me, etc—but compared to the amount of interruptions and distractions in a busy office, at home they are quite minimal.