Thursday, January 31, 2008

Melanie opens up

Melanie and I hiked all over two boroughs, visiting far-flung clients in their homes. I'm exhausted and a mass of aches, but it was a good day. We spent a lot of time on trains and in the car, too, and we talked about a lot of things at a more personal level than ever before. She described her recent vacation, which was intense and moving but apparently not too restful -- Cambodia is a pretty heavy trip. She even started a blog to describe what she saw and post photos. I was tempted to ask for the URL, but feared that might be a boundary violation.

We also talked about her illness and recovery. She actually mentioned her family and friends, which was unprecedented -- she never discusses her personal life with me.

"My mother almost insisted on coming here when she heard I was in the hospital," she said. "Yikes. But I texted my two best friends, and neither of them visited me!"

"I would have visited," I said, "but I wasn't sure if it was appropriate."

Before we started our concrete hike, we had a nice supervision session at a Starbucks -- their coffee is terrible, but their ambiance is pleasant until 11 a.m., when they start blasting the smooth jazz. We hypothesized that I might work full-time with the team after I graduate.

"Although if I did that, I know it would be different from being a student," I said. "I've been given so much latitude. I don't have to do all of the grunt work the full-time workers have to do. I get to do whatever I want!"

"It's true," said Melanie. "I don't know why I give you assignments!" Truth in jest, but she said it kindly. She acknowledged that I've tried to work on several of the assignments she's meted out, and some didn't work out for reasons that weren't my fault. But I had to promise to write more process recordings. For my own good, of course.

Melanie also condoled with me about Dean Evillene and her villainous plans to force me to work 200 extra hours without pay or benefits.

"Has Dean Evillene even contacted the agency about this?" asked Melanie. "She's expecting me to continue supervising you for free."

"She expects everyone to work for free," I snarked.

"That's quite an assumption," noted Melanie.

"She puts the 'ass' in assumption," I said.

Then we came back to the office for team meeting and enjoyed our favorite sugar cookies with frosting. Melanie had hoped the cookies would be served at her first team meeting back at work, and I've been eying them as they sat in the program director's office, but as always, they were worth the wait.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

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