This has been quite the week, and it's only Tuesday morning... Yesterday, I received a call from my coworker Jim's wife- he is in the hospital, and will most likely be there for at least a week. Right now, the department is down to two able-bodied members. I had to juggle the schedule, which was complicated by the fact that today is an election day, I called my coworker Tim and asked him if he could come in at 5PM and work until 5AM, rather than working the previously scheduled 9PM to 9AM shift. Needless to say, I arrived at 5AM. By 5:30, the poll workers had arrived and already had complaints (no, the central air conditioning in the building won't kick in for a couple of hours, the system is set to accommodate 9AM to 5PM occupants).
I've already sent an email to the vice president in my chain of command (my immediate boss is on vacation), alerting him to the current situation in the department, which will necessitate overtime shifts for Tim and myself. We have already been approved for some overtime, but the sheer number of hours necessary (Jim is a 20 hour part timer) necessary might come as a surprise.
Obviously, my prime concern is Jim's health. I've known the man for years, and consider him a friend as well as a coworker. Our values align pretty closely, and we aren't far apart in age, so shift changes are typically a bull-session about music, books, and movies. I also value his professionalism, he's the perfect foil to bounce ideas off of... when he was hired, my then-boss told me, "I hired another you." It's stiff upper lip time, but that's what we do.
To compound matters, Ginger is also on sick leave, the swelling in her ear not having gone down. We were instructed to massage her ear pinna and, if possible, squeeze out any fluid. Tim attempted to do so on Sunday afternoon, but no fluid came out... needless to say, it's a good thing the vet trimmed Ginger's claws. When I arrived for the midnight shift, I got her in a bear hug and Tim squeezed her pinna, with no results. We made sure to give her treats as a peace offering, and she forgave us, spending the bulk of the night sleeping on my desk. Right now, she is with one of the daytime managers, who brought her to the vet, and received oral antibiotics for her.
It's going to be a long week, and two of my beloved coworkers are out of commission. As the cliché goes, this is a time which tries a man's soul.