Saturday, May 22, 2010

California Dreamin'

Just a glimpse of what I hope to catch on my business-vacay.

See ya'll in a week!


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coincidentally, speaking

It was a 'suggested' training. Suicides are up in the military, and as a supervisor, I was told it was a good idea to go.

My MSgt gave the briefing this morning. We sat through a video of 'Charlie' having a rough time. He didn't like his deployment, his girlfriend and him were shaky, he is losing it at work. We went over the warning signs and what to do. We talked about civilian versus military actions. We talked about a lot of things.

This afternoon, I get a random phone call from a new Contractor who is trying to get things going on a project. We were playing phone tag--told him I would be around after 3 p.m., so he could try me then. At 4:05 (we usually leave around 4:30), he showed up at my office, unannounced. This was the first time I had ever met him.

He was an older man, soft spoken. He looked nervous. Kept mumbling that he was new and he wanted to get this 'perfect'. He asked me for help filling out some forms, but they were all financial in nature, and I had never seen them before. I suggested a few people who could guide him through the process.

He stacked his papers, and then I saw it. His face fell, and he started to cry.

Out of no where, this poor soul was having a meltdown in my conference room!

I patted his back, offered him water. I used my soothing voice. He told me in so many words that he is going through a bitter divorce. His wife basically spread poison that got him a horrible reputation, liquified all of his assets, including his retirement, and put his daughter against him.

"I haven't seen her in 3 years. This will be the third Christmas that I haven't seen her," he said and broke down again.

"It was all lies," he said. I never pressed on what were all lies, but he kept saying "I have to get this put right," over and over again.

I have seen many a man, woman and child shed tears. But it cuts something deep and awful in me when an older man is broken. It just seems.....wrong.

I said that I would help him to assure that this was perfect. For him not to worry about this. I will put him with the right people to train him, to assure that this was done right. I was upbeat, and he seemed to take refuge in my support. He pulled himself together. I told him I would call him tomorrow, and he thanked me again and again for my help.

I sat in my car for a few minutes and thought about what the hell had just happened. I called my boss, calmly told him that I was in Bizzarro World, and explained what happened. We calmly figured out what we would do in the morning. He did not seem suicidal to me, but it seemed like someone needed to watch out for him.

I don't know who that is, but I pray for a solution tomorrow....


Thursday, May 13, 2010

What Dreams May Come

It started out fuzzy, but it became clear that I was at the hospital helping my SIL during labor. She kept saying something didn't feel right. My BIL was off to the side, looking tired and worn out.

I looked down, and I saw the head crowning. I yelled at BIL to get the doctor. I told SIL to hang not push, but the baby was coming regardless.

I delivered him. A boy. He was so still at first, but I told myself that he was alive. And then he moved. He cried.

The nurses and doctors rushed in. After a few minutes of frenzy, they handed him to her. Her son.

A son that lived....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Near Misses and Counting Blessings....

Our new technical editor and I have a standing lunch date on Wednesdays. I like her a lot. She is a petite Jewish woman from Cali, who is pretty worldly---married to a Japanese man, speaks three different languages.

Sandy picked me up at 11:00. I was actually on time to meet her at the back entrance of the lab. We drove off, left the base via the back gate and traveled down a road we drive down all the time to try a new Mexican food restaurant---her neighbors owned the restaurant and she wanted to check it out.

We drove past a refinery that is located right by base at around 11:02 a.m.---they load tanker trucks with jet fuel that services a lot of the bases in town. At around 11:05, a tanker caught fire and exploded, sending flames and smoke that could be seen up to 40 miles.

At 11:32, one of my contractors called me and asked me about the smoke---he was still on base and they could see the black smoke and flames. I had no idea what he was talking about. He got off the phone with me, and come to find out, our base had to be evacuated because of the fire.

We all calmly left work (Sandy and I could never get back to base after lunch, so we hung out at her house until my boss graciously swung by to pick me up to drive me home as my car was still at work). Come to find out that had the firefighters not done their jobs perfectly today, the 100,000+ gallons of jet fuel could have ignited and blown a huge hole in the south side--my lab right in the path.

I feel luck was with all of us tonight---no one died from the explosion, and Sandy and I just barely missed driving by at the exact time the initial blast went off.

Now, please excuse me while I go have a heart attack....