Saturday, September 25, 2010

Not for nothing

I did a six-day stretch of work earlier this month, but because of the way it was spread out across two calendar weeks only eight hours out of the sixty seventy-two actually counted as overtime, and were subsequently paid as time-and-a-half.

This week was scheduled to be a four-day week, Sunday through Wednesday, which would have been fifty-two hours of pay for forty-eight hours of work.  I put in for two days of overtime but only got one - Friday night.  I could have put in for more, but didn't:  I had things I wanted to do on Saturday, and I had (I thought) a party to go to on Sunday.

I had a meeting that I wanted to get taken care of as soon as possible, so when it was clear I wouldn't be working on Thursday night I set it up for Thursday morning directly after work.  I won't say what it was about, but let me just say it left me feeling somewhat more secure.  I then decided to sleep the rest of the day, maybe do some things Thursday night, and then get ready to work on Friday night.

Something came up.

Homer, the most recent addition to our pride of cats, has been chronically ill since before we got him.  We rescued him as he was starving to death with his sinuses completely blocked.  He recovered most of the way, but continued to have sinus problems, ranging from a recurring snort to nasal discharge from one nostril.  Antibiotics would clear the problem up temporarily, but after a brief period it would flare back up.  Finally my mom had her vet x-ray Homer's sinuses, which revealed an obstruction on one side.  He referred us to a surgical clinic in Allentown, about an hour and a half away, where they have the specialized tools for looking into a cat's nostrils.  We figured that they would take a quick peek, spot a pine needle he inhaled back when he was an "outdoor cat," extract it, and everything would be fine.

We were wrong.

My mom scheduled an appointment for October 4, a day I was scheduled to be off.  But after a little while she decided she couldn't wait that long and rescheduled the appointment for Friday.  Yesterday.  The day I was scheduled to work overtime.

Oh, no problem.  Work started at 6:00 PM, and the appointment was for 11:30 AM.  I figured we could be there until 3:00 and I could still have plenty of time to get ready for work.  Sleep would be a problem, so I tried to pre-load my sleep on Thursday:  I slept from about 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, then again until 6:00 PM.  I was up after that until about 1:00 AM, but forced myself back to sleep until 6:00 Friday morning.  This gave me a total of thirteen hours of sleep, enough to cover me for two days.

Homer needed surgery.

We didn't find this out right away.  It took a very long time to get there, in interminable chunks of waiting.  All this while I wasn't able to squeeze in any naps.  Homer's surgery would cost a ton of money and he would have to be held overnight.

I got home at 3:30 in the afternoon, enough time to do pretty much nothing before it was time to go to work.  I went online for a while, got my lunch and snacks together, changed my clothes, and headed out for a twelve-hour continuation to a day that began at 6:00 in the morning.

Work was remarkably uneventful.  Oh, lots of stuff happened, but none of it involved me collapsing or falling asleep.  The night actually went better than most.

I got home in time to jump into my mom's car and head with her back down to Allentown to pick up Homer.  It's the first time in a while that I've ridden in a car as a passenger, and it was an unsettling experience.  But I was able to sleep for about forty-five minutes on the way down.

Homer is back, minus one ear canal and the infection that was chewing up his sinuses and skull from the inside out.  He has a long recovery period ahead of him.

I go back to work on Monday night.  I will need to grab as much overtime as I can get.  Insurance deductible, home security system, and now this.  Expenses keep mounting.

The kicker:  the party is tonight, not Sunday.  So I could have scheduled another day of overtime on Sunday and been on my way to making eighty-eight hours of pay for seventy-two hours of work in a single calendar week.  Oh, well.  Maybe next week.

1 comment:

The Landlady said...

Yowsa. Wishing you the best and hoping things take a turn for the better for you (and Homer).