Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wrong Place, Wrong Time

So I'm sitting at my desk feeling illogically optimistic (especially for me) and knowing that by 12:00 I should hear back from the doctor about my awesomely high beta result. Also knowing that at 1:00 I have a meeting that's been on the books for weeks to discuss a rather awful employee situation with HR and both of my bosses. We have to have a serious discussion on next steps for said employee...not good. Well, 12:00 comes and goes, phone in hand, ready to attack at any vibration.  And then 1:00 magically appears.  I head into the room for our meeting, and BAM- vibration.  Right as my boss walks into the room I look up and tell her I need to take this call.  And then, of course, I miss the call...

So, in my stellar state of optimism I say that I'm going to step out for just 2 minutes to get the results and then come back in. Not a thought of the alternative result which could seriously impact my mental state during this meeting. Nope.  So I step out, make the call, wait on hold, wait some more, then the nurse comes on.  Just as I start to notice the pity sound in her voice my boss walks out and says "We're ready for you when you are..." (ie, please get your ass in here this is awkward).  I throw up the "Absolutely, I'm so on top of this, it'll be 12 more seconds" hand gesture and listen to the nurse as she's telling me to stop taking all of my medication, this is over, there's no hope for it any longer.

In my fog, I sort of hang up on the nurse when she's trying to say "I'm so sorry to give you this bad news..." and walk back into the meeting.  Luckily HR and one of my bosses is on tele-conference so the next 45 minutes that I'm about to explain are not seen by anyone else but one of my bosses, simply heard.

I start talking about the employee situation and actually sort of forget what just happened outside of that room.  I'm talking about how I think we should move forward, then disagreeing with my boss about one approach, agreeing with HR on another, etc etc. I'm rocking this. I'm jotting down a few notes. All is well. Then someone says something about how they're here for me if the conversation turns in an unexpected direction with said employee. And I pause.  At that moment I'm looking down at my notepad and somehow just remember the news I just got. Without even a couple of seconds to compose myself or any sort of warning, two tears stream down my face.  I say something along the lines of "I'm sure it will be ok, but I also think we need to consider the possibility of this turning into a legal matter..." and more tears stream.  The boss who's sitting right next to me notices and gives me this awkward face like "holy hell, are you ok? I mean, I can talk to this employee if you can't handle it..." and I turn my chair away from her and start sobbing silently. Those sobs that hurt your throat because they really need to be loud and uncontrollable but you're controlling them cuz you have shit to do...blah blah blah.  I shake my head at her and mouth an apology and continue with the meeting...constant tears rolling down my cheeks. 

About 25 minutes later, we all hang up.  I actually sat there for another 25 minutes answering questions, asking questions, chatting...crying the ENTIRE time.  It was unbelievable. I should get some sort of award for that kind of work. I was brilliant. Of course the boss that was in the room was horrified and utterly concerned. I proceeded to explain and then the loud sobs started coming and any faith I had in myself and my abilities to make it through this went out the door. I had to actually cover my face I was so uncontrollable. She said I was incredibly strong, and all that.  It was nice, but there wasn't a thing out there that was going to stop the waterworks at this point.

I called B from the little room I was sitting in but he didn't answer. I finally decided, after my boss had left and I'd been sitting there for way too long alone, crying, that I needed to move locations and find B.  Not a good idea. I should have stayed in that room for hours.

So I somehow get the tears to stop and wipe the mascara from my chin, and step outside. I sort of put my notebook over my face as I walked down the hall, down the stairs, to B's desk. Of course, he wasn't there...instead one of our senior managers was standing there handing out ICE CREAM for god's sake. I mean, wtf? My face is bright red and amazingly puffy at this point. He looks at me. I look back at him. He knows this is an awkward moment for me but probably more awkward for him. The moment took probably 14 times longer than it needed to. And then I scurried through a hallway to the other side of the floor so I could get back to my own desk...or a

Not in the cards.

I walk back upstairs and see my old boss standing there.  She knows what's going on with the IVF.  She knew today was a big day.  She saw the mascara still left on my cheeks and the blood shot everything all over my face.  She gave me a sort of "Oh no, no no no..." face and then I lost it again. Right in the middle of the hallway by the stair well. She starts walking toward me so we can go into a room somewhere and when I turn toward my desk three ladies on my team are staring right at me. All three of them see me make my first uncontrollable loud sob in the middle of a hallway.  I turn around and actually face a wall and sob several more times.  I'm standing there, facing a wall, old boss kind of directing me to walk somewhere.  We turn toward the stairwell again and two gentlemen are walking toward us. So I turn around again and sort of do a double two-step shuffle type move and she grabs my shoulders and says "bathroom, go". 

Good lord.

So we walk into the bathroom and I completely break down.  I look in the mirror and I've never seen anything like it.  If you try to hold your sobs in, and it's actually unsuccessful, it makes a really horrific looking situation.  She stood in the bathroom with me for a good five minutes.  Hugged me.  Said some very nice things and asked if I wanted to go get some tea, leave the building, whatever.  My purse is held hostage at my desk, surrounded by all of my she offers to go grab it. 

We walk out after a woman walks into the bathroom and sees me cowering by the paper towel dispenser.  I'm starting to compose myself luckily and feel somewhat ok to be out of the bathroom where other people can see me.  I turn a corner and B is standing right there.  Seriously the millisecond that I saw him I broke down again.  When I was able to lift my head I could see the look on his face and it was heartbreaking. He asks me where we should go and I'm a complete mess again, can't answer anything other than "not by my team" and so we sort of scamper to the other side of the floor to find a room. Now my entire team is perched looking in our direction as we turn to walk away.  I caught a glimpse of this scene before we ran across the hallway to the other side. They looked like they'd never seen a sloppy loudly sobbing girl in a skirt suit in the middle of their office. What?

We found a room and sat there for a really long time, talking about the whole situation.  B recognized that I didn't want to hear anything about any form of silver lining.  He said exactly the right things.  He hugged me for a long, long time. I could see the sadness on his face, the disappointment.  He had hoped right along with me.  And now he was hurting with me, too.

Finally I was able to stop crying long enough to walk back to my desk, shut everything down, and get the hell out of there.

The next day I had multiple people come up to me to ask if I was ok.  It was not ok. I mean, I have a strict code of conduct for can cry at work if you're in the safety of a locked room where no one can see you and it's not written all over your face afterward.  It was quite the hot mess.  I never thought it would hit me that hard. I mean, I knew it would be awful, but I never thought I could have that much hope that it could crush me so dramatically. 

It doesn't help that they're pumping us full of hormones for all of this, no?

So alas, I'm "that girl" now.  No one knows what the hell was going down that afternoon...but I'm sure they've got theories. I'm only crying a couple of times a day now...and less every day.  I can laugh at some if it too now. That's the most important part.  One day I'll think more about the silver lining than the devastation I'm sure. could be worse. I know that.

Until that day I'll just try to let the tears get less and less and let the smiles get bigger and bigger. 

AF came last night. With a vengeance. It's truly over now.

I guess that just makes "moving forward" even closer...


  1. I am so sorry about the news, but also sorry about the timing. It always happens that way.
    I broke my rule and cried at work on Thursday, I do not do crying in front of people and ended up crying on two of my two of my team that day!
    I am sorry that AF is here, one last slap in the face whilst we are still down.
    Hang in there, we can get through this.

  2. Wow. I can imagine the whole scene. You, sitting there talking through the tears. Staying professional through it all. You are amazing.
    I hope today brings more smiles than tears.
    We love you.

  3. Oh God how awful. I am so very sorry - for the negative and for how crappy the circumstances when you heard them. Hang in there, lean on your hubby. *HUGS*

  4. Oh, I have been there and there is no stopping it when it comes. I wish people would just look away and ignore me when I am in that state. People trying to comfort me just makes it worse and then I feel like a sideshow.
    I do think what yourold boss did was helpful because sometimes we don't have our faculties to figure out which way to head.
    This sucks and although it can get worse, it is one of the worst things in the world that anyone has to go through. We need to recognize that and give ourselves a break. We just need to hang in and make it through, it doesn't matter how gracefully we do it as long as we get through it.
    I am so mad at the world and I am shutting down. This is too much and everyone has their breaking point. I know that you have the strength within yourself to move forward but allow yourself the time to grieve. We are only human!!!
    Take care of yourself and get a good bottle of wine.

  5. I am so sorry. I know how much it hurts. Actually, I think you are a Rock Star. I have to give you props that you were even AT work! I am such a wuss that I avoid everyone and everything during beta hell.

    I am so proud of you that you are able to smile. You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for! Please let me know if there is anything I can do... anytime!