Thursday, June 07, 2007


I've been pretty stressed out lately. First, work has been stressful. We're in the process of switching to a new phone system, and it doesn't work as well as we'd like at this point. They've moved us from our modern, clean building with plenty of places to spread out and relax on our breaks to the old yucky cramped basement of police headquarters while they install the new system there. They already installed in the dungeo.... I mean, basement of HQ, so we're using it already, but it's got plenty of bugs. It was supposed to take 3 weeks to install it in our building and get us back there. It's been 4. They haven't even starting putting it in our building yet, and they won't until they work out all the bugs. Like duplicating 911 hang up calls from cell phones. You call once, we call you back not once, not twice, but 5 times! How's that for service?!

Normally the stuff I hear at work doesn't bother me. Occasionally it all gets to me and I really feel like I can't keep doing this. Then I remember who is in control and it gets better and I love my job again. Sometimes it's hard to lose sight of just who is in control when at least once a night you talk to someone who has been shot, who saw someone get shot, or who has shot someone else. It's been getting to me lately. Part of that is being at police headquarters. I don't feel safe walking in downtown at 11pm. Part of it is hearing reports of violent crimes right down the road from where I live. And I feel less safe at home. I feel like I've lost my innocence in a way. I grew up in a place that was very low in crime. Or at least I didn't have a lot of awareness of it if there was crime. When I was 5 my oldest sister's best friend was abducted and murdered in the woods behind the houses across the street. We moved shortly after. I wasn't aware of any crimes in my neighborhood growing up, none like I hear on a regular basis here. No shootings, no kidnappings, no rapes, no stolen cars, no vehicle burglaries, no graffiti even. We didn't hear gunshots like we do here. I know the area where I grew up is not as safe and idyllic as I believed it to be, and I know it's not as crime free as it once was. But I never once went outside to find the tires missing off the car there, and nobody ever wrote the words "West Side" on my garage door there. I knew crime happened when I was growing up, but it didn't happen near me. Now it's all around me. In a way I wish I could go back to being as ignorant as I once was. I wish my kids could grow up with the feeling of safety that I had. The world is just not the same.

To add to those stresses, I've been having major childcare issues. All 3 of my older kids are in Ohio visiting family. That leaves me with Sassy and Snugglebutt, age 10 and 7. So before she left, Allison assured me several times that her roommates had volunteered to take care of the kids while I worked and so that I could get some sleep. Only the truth is she pretty much volunteered her roommates, an engaged couple, to watch my kids. Only they really didn't want to. I kept telling Allison I could probably get one of Sam's teenage friends to stay here if I paid them, in fact, I've done that several times in the past and it has always worked out well (aside from them getting onto Sam's account on our computer and changing his myspace page background to pink and yellow fairies, but it's a small price to pay, I think... :> ) She kept telling me "No, no, my roommates will watch them, you have nothing to worry about!" But now that all my built in childcare is gone, the roommates are at her moms and don't know when they will be home, he needs to go look for a job (on Saturday night - who hires on Saturday night??) she has to work till 10:30 (and guess who did that scheduling - Allison!) So I've been completely stressed out with text messages back and forth, miscommunications and misunderstandings. Because my job is one of responsibility. They can't just get someone from a temp agency to fill in for me. When we don't have enough people, it puts the citizens in danger and creates added stress for everybody who works there. That, and after a certain number of unscheduled absences, we can be suspended or fired. I went to my supervisor and explained the situation, and some of my stress has been eased. I didn't know it, but I'm allowed to take up to 40 hours per year of family leave, which includes child care situations, and it doesn't count against me. Phew! And, Sam's friend is more than happy to help me out. The glee of the chaos he's planning to cause in Sam's life is a good incentive :P

So today, we had some fun. We went to Tempe Beach Park's splash playground. Several of these have been popping up around the Valley of the Sun, and I think they are a brilliant idea, especially on those 100+ degree days (today wasn't one.) The kids had a blast! I went with a friend who brought her kids also, and we had lunch at the park. Tonight? I've got 3 of my friend's kids here sleeping over. Can I plead temporary insanity?

As for being stressed out at work, I know the stuff with the new phone system will pass - either they'll get it straightened out or we'll go back to the old system (please please please) and the bad stuff getting to me will pass too, it always does. I know and trust that God has a plan that I may not understand right now, so I'll cling to that. It's enough.


Grafted Branch said...

Sorry about the sitter. Wish I could help.

The splash park sounds so great!

Janean said...

You are in my prayers. I know I kind of lived a sheltered life in a small town...never even saw a person with black skin in real life until I was 18. So when C.O.P.S. style stuff becomes part of your life, it feels like the world is going to H-E-double chopsticks in a handbasket.
My last night at work tonite! YIKES!
Childcare issues here, too. Betcha miss your big ones! I know mine was gone last summer and if felt like I was missing my right leg. or Arm.