Halfway through the first of what will be many "Bring Catherine up to speed" meetings it hit me. I work in Briga-F-ing-doon! Just like last summer, after my father died and I was out over a week, I came back to the same work problems I'd left, including all of the ones that were so critical they had to be fixed in 24 hours OR ELSE. Not so critical, actually ,they sat there simmering and waited for me. This time I was out much longer, there is a different (and far less stressful) cast of characters, thank God, but the same issues I'd been wrestling were still there waiting for me. Including one I'd sworn I'd beaten. How to tell this without using any Google-able search terms...hmmm.
Sometimes in making the things we make, we are required to make things above and beyond, things that benefit the kingdom as a whole, and the rulers of the kingdom reward us with magic "jellybeans", which we can later trade back to them to save gold. These are very, very special and expensive jellybeans, worth hundreds of thousands of bags of gold. One small part of my job is to make sure we get the jellybeans. Another department in my company has to redeem them. I do my end of it, and let the other department know that they have jellybeans, and I tell them what flavor and color they are, and how many. We have had a hell of a time getting them to keep track of their jellybeans, or remember to trade them. I cannot keep track of the jellybeans for them. So there was an issue about unused jellybeans that I swear I have been wrestling for a year, and I thought it had finally ended, but I came back to find that it is alive and well. And other jellybeans we were waiting for have apparently has been sitting around for two months, jellybeans getting stale, waiting for me to make ONE phone call and send ONE email to get the new bag of jellybeans. And the other department is still swearing nobody lets them trade the jellybeans, but that is a problem I will throw into the lap of the Big Boss of Money Things, because it's beyond my job description to make these people smarter. I don't think God could do that and I'm sure not going to try.
So I got out of the first of many meetings, looked at my long to-do list to see something I could knock out fast, and called the keeper of the beans for the kingdom and asked "What's up with our beans girl?" and she was very nice and we sorted it out. And while it is very nice to feel needed and welcomed back (and I did feel very welcomed back) it struck me as insane that nobody else could have dialed the phone and taken care of this while I was out. R is right, we are really down to a department of three people who know how to do anything. It's not that the others (plus a temp) are dumb, they aren't, or at least the temp isn't, the jury is out on the others, but they don't know anything about what we do and don't understand how to shake the magic jellybean tree, or many other things.
Oh, and speaking of Brigadoon and other things that disappear into the mist, it turns out R is now running the department and my raise/promotion is not dead after all. Of course, now I don't care anymore. But I just thought it was hilarious - the mostly mythical promotion is still lurking in the mist. Yep, welcome back to me.