The World’s Tiniest Violin

Yesterday, I cried at my job. I just typed, deleted and retyped that sentence four times. I feel starting this post any other way would be a brutal lie. This is a post I hope my sister will read and laugh at my self pity. I hope my friends will tell me how embarrassing I am. I know my mother will call me as soon as I get back on land and reassure me that all my shortcomings start and end in my own mind. I would also like to note that this rig smells like stale smoke and dry erase markers.

After doing everything I was told, the data acquisition software on my laptop experienced processing errors and failed to produce any data. With Ren witnessing and carefully documenting the series of events, I called my manager. I called my Software guru man in Beijing. I was forced to surrender to the older software and helplessly observe while other engineers ran the data acquisition.

On any other day, these events would have been met with mild frustration quickly turned to indifference and then amusement. However, this was supposed to be my breakout job. All my hand written notes and hints were carefully placed around the desk to facilitate my first independent logging experience. I felt ready, and I was excited. I wanted to do a great job and be awesome and make everyone proud of me. I was beyond excited. I set up my job in the computer and logged onto the viewer session, where other engineers and data quality champions can witness everything you do on the screen. DWShorty and Beverly had signed in to watch my log. I felt comfortable and among friends. Mr. Boxes (aka dad) sat directly behind me. When all that turned to shit, I had a hard time keeping it together. I stayed in the logging unit until the log was started, my cheeks certainly glowing red as my blood boiled. I felt the anger seeping through my face and filling up my itchy eyes. Soon, I could not take it anymore. I darted out of the logging unit, ran downstairs and into the living quarters. The women’s change room door slammed behind me as the tears started to uncontrollably burst from my face. I allowed myself 45 seconds of uninterrupted crying before washing my face off with cold water.

There, there,” I told myself in the mirror. “This happens to everyone, and this job can still turn around.” The angry girl looking back at me did not agree. Time for some tough love. “Get over yourself! This is your f*$%ing job!”

She still did not look convinced. “But, I’m so sad…”

 “If you show you can keep your cool and still manage your crew, then this little hiccup should not reflect on your worth as a human being. Now, dry off your face and march your happy ass outside like a boss!”

I convinced myself that this was not the end of the world. My hand waved in front of the paper towel dispenser. The machine made a noise to acknowledge my wave, but no paper towels came out. Looking up, I noticed the bathroom was out of paper towels, and my face was dripping wet with salty tears and sink water. I reached my fingers into the paper towel dispenser and desperately fished out the last tiny bit of crumpled paper towel to dry off my consoled face.

Looking in the mirror, I chuckled to myself. “I am so embarrassing.” I said out loud.

1 thought on “The World’s Tiniest Violin

  1. Pingback: Crying at Work | fuddled feminists

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