day 15.

It’s been many months since I had such a Mondayish Monday as today. I got to work at Mavora on time this morning, but had to go right back out the door to UPS to overnight a wholesale order to one of my customers. Fortunately, my boss in this instance is my sister in law, and she not only lets me do these things, she loans me her car. That errand done, just in time to catch the right pickup schedule, I went back to the office, where there was a heavy duty list of printing to be done for shipping later today. And that’s when Monday kicked in. My printer was jamming. I tried several fixes, but it wasn’t having any, so I switched to Abby’s printer. 30 bags in, her printer started jamming. At this point, there wasn’t time to mess with it and still get the orders done, so we went out to the garage and hauled in the third printer (freshly serviced). Perfect. Two bags print. Then it’s out of red ink. I replace the red ink. Then it’s out of yellow ink. I replace the yellow ink. Abby says, “We have tons of ink, but I don’t think there’s an extra magenta.” I have visions of having to unpack the first printer again, switch power cords, open it up, and steal the magenta cartridge out of it, and pack it up again, and I feel tired. Fortunately, that crisis never materialized. The next two bag orders printed without a hitch, and I started to feel like we were going to make the deadline.

So I sat down to eat lunch and check my email, where I found the news that, for reasons related to my job hunt, I would need to spend several hours tonight filling out paperwork and completing an online training session. I started to flail a bit, counting the actual minutes left to me between finishing my lunch and going to sleep tonight. Aha, and then I remembered that I have a commitment to write here every day, as well. Ok, back to the printer.

While I was eating my kale and chicken salad, the third printer, the light of my life, the glory of my Monday, had decided this job was not for it. It was now leaving inky marks on about every 5th bag I printed. And I will tell you a secret. At this point, I started to enjoy myself. I felt the endorphin rush that comes with being overwhelmed, and the gritty stubbornness that this trifling inky printer roller was not going to get me. Not today. It started jamming, and I started hand-feeding bags. I finished the order, and moved onto the next project. And then we realized that there was supposed to be a line of print on the back of all the bags from that last order. I lined them up again and started printing that. And several of those came out inky, and had to be reprinted, front and back. I am, by now, thoroughly jazzed and working like a machine, stopping on occasion to squeeze my niece. She’s being chased by her mom in a tickle game, and she’s running up to me shrieking and laughing and begging to be saved. Put down the bags, pick up the niece, cuddle her and hide her from mom, swing her way up towards the ceiling and blow raspberries on her belly. Put her back down, keep printing. The order is finally done.

I start printing out the paperwork that I’ll need to work on tonight. The first document prints fine. The second through fifth all read “printer offline,” even though same printer is at that moment actively printing. I try several more times, and finally give up. Abby, in the meantime, has printed the shipping labels for all the orders that need to go out this afternoon. I package them up and put on my coat and grab my niece, and head for the post office. On the way to the post office: “It’s too hot, I need my sunglasses!” “I poked my mouth with a prentzel [sic].” “I’m wearing my rainboot on my head!” “I dropped my prentzels [sic] on the floor!”

Back at the offices again, and unloading Calli from the car (retrieving prentzels and putting boot back on Hello Kitty socked foot). Greet my nephew, home from school, finish the first stage of the next project, put my coat on and whisk out towards home, a couple of minutes early. I’ll owe Abby some extra time on Wednesday, and maybe a bottle of her favorite creamer for the use of the car this morning. But we got the stuff done, and by the time I left I was thoroughly keyed up and secretly delighted.

Apparently, I’ve missed managing things under pressure.

And that’s all I have time to write, because I’ve further paperwork fires to put out tonight. With a smile on my face.

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