Daily Archives: March 3, 2009

One Less Bell To Answer

Back to work for me today. Very cold this morning. I lay in bed, kept hitting the snooze button. I would get out of bed eventually just waiting for the right time. My cellphone kept going off with a text message. I figured it was Bill wishing me a good morning. When I got out of bed I checked it.

Bad news.

While Bill slept last night, his mother (who has Alzheimers) wandered out of the apartment without her coat and shoes and went looking for something, perhaps a ride to Puerto Rico. Stuyvesant Town security found her and brought her back. She cannot be left alone and obviously needs an eye on her at all times.

When I responded to Bill’s text, with an ‘Oh jeez’ he immediately called and filled me in. She had frostbitten feet from being outside with the temperature in the teens and a knife like wind chill. Bill told me the story and said he had to get a locksmith and see how much it would cost to get an additional lock on the door, one that you lock with a key inside.

All this before a shower and coffee. I said all that I could to be supportive, then jumped in the shower. Got myself together, wore a nice suit, not too nice since the world was a frozen mess, and some work boots which did not go with the suit at all despite being a similar color. Rode the bus and read the New Yorker.

Walked across town with the iPod playing a range of songs from Pet Shop Boys to the Monkees ending up with the Neville Brothers. The office was quietly buzzing when I came in. Some people came in yesterday, most didn’t. Greg Stevens was in New Mexico on vacation for a few weeks.

Tom Chin made it in and while I was talking to Bill, he asked me to come in his office when I got off the phone. I walked in expecting the worst but it was just asking me to go to the bank when I had the chance. I had errands to run and decided to stagger them, do some now, do some later.

As the day went on I spoke with Bill a few times, just checking in. Medicare had sent a bureaucrat to size up the situation with Bill’s mother. They tried to do it last week but Bill was unavailable. Their visit was to see whether or not Bill’s mother needed 24 hour care. Perhaps after hearing of her unauthorized excursion they will see the need.

I made it to the bank and picked up my lunch. By the time I came back, Vivek was in the office. Not that it mattered. He and his partner sound like they’re arguing, but they are just really loud Indian guys. After an hour or so, Vivek comes up to me and says he needs to speak with me. I figured, this was it.

We go into an empty conference room, he sits on the couch I sit on a chair near the couch. It almost looked like a psychotherapy session. He tells me that things aren’t going so well and that he will have to cut my hours.

Effective this week, I will be working 4 days a week out of 5. I was ok with that. Not happy about it but I realized that I would rather work 4 days a week rather than 0 days a week. I told Vivek, if that was the case I would like to take Mondays off since Tom Chin is out on Fridays.

He told me that wasn’t going to happen since Tom Chin will not be around much longer. They asked Tom Chin for his resignation and he gave it to them. I don’t have the details on his last day but he will be more of a consultant and really not around much at all. So I’ll have Fridays off.

I told Bill about it a few minutes later and he was concerned, but I tried to ease his mind since he had enough on his plate, telling him that 4 days is better than none. And it’s true, it is. Things will be tighter around here, but I think it’s manageable.

Who knows? In a few days I could be totally panic stricken.