"[Power That Be] is combining departments all over the place. He's got the [Afternoon Job] department all in one room downstairs, he's done that with [that other department]. I don't know what his plan is for my department."
Pause for listening to the other end of the conversation.
"I know one who's gonna be goin'.....they don't want to be here....they're like a different person! It's nothin' I did....so why do I feel so awful?"
From the description of the "they" (and oh! how I wanted to call across to correct her grammar, "one" not being a "they"), I recognized that I was her subject.
The governing board will meet tomorrow evening, during which, if my interpretation of what I heard is correct, there will be an executive session to discuss personnel matters, with one of two outcomes:
- My employment will be full-time in Afternoon Job;
- My employment will be reduced to part-time only, but in Afternoon Job (the "why do I feel so awful?" part indicates that's Jane's expectation).
During this "overhearing" (it could hardly be called eavesdropping since we were separated by ten feet of mere air) I pretended to concentrate on the self-assigned task of the manual that I'm writing and organizing, but my right ear stretched and grew toward Jane until it drooped onto the adding machine keys. The relief that washed over me made it difficult not to smile and sigh happily. For the rest of the week's mornings, I had no work to do aside from answering the telephone. I handled no cash, no checks. Indeed, Jane pushed me aside as I began to sort the incoming mail. All the week's evenings, Husband and I discussed the effects of a sharply reduced household income and the loss of health insurance . . . and the necessity and immeasurably beneficial psychic effect of my release from Morning Job.
The foregoing is merely to explain my happily changed focus since Thursday when Husband and I concluded separately, together, and finally, that no matter what happens, we will be all right.
I went to the supermarket and shopped as if my income had already been more than halved. I spent less than half what I would have spent a month ago and came home with more.
I rejoiced in the prospect of having daily daylight hours to walk, with the dogs, without the dogs...even at dawn, since I wouldn't need to be on the road to work until late morning.
I thought about having to give up my biweekly cleaning person. A sadness, that, since I find no joy in sweeping floors and Husband is a little persnickety in that area. Years ago I read an article about a woman and her adult daughter who were enthusiastic cleaners. The mother was quoted: "Ammonia is the only cleaner you'll ever need." The daughter, whose bent seemed to me near a break, couldn't bear to use balsamic vinegar on her salad because it made her lettuce look dirty. At the time I thought Husband would have enjoyed being married to either one.
On Saturday I happily cleaned baseboards. On Sunday I dragged out the step-stool and climbed up and cleaned and polished the upper kitchen cabinets and their crown molding. Very satisfying.
I moved my Swiffer to the front of the broom closet and dug through the kitchen towel drawer for my microfiber cleaning cloths.
I swept up firewood debris, and whisked up stove ashes as soon as it could be done without setting the broom afire.
Ammonia be damned: Scrubbing bubbles are my new best friends. I shall be searching for cans of the stuff in bulk.
When vegetable gardening time comes, I will be able to weed at will.
I might be about to get my Donna Reed wish!
At least part-time.