Monday, January 12, 2009

Santa Anas and Hormones

Things get a little hectic when the Santa Anas come around. Nerves become frayed, tempers flare quick as fires devour the hillsides, and everyone is on edge. Before our move to Southern California I loved windy days. A good wind meant trees dancing gracefully high above me, beautiful clouds racing through the sky, and sometimes a beautiful day of sailing in the San Francisco Bay. But this is something else, something almost sinister. The Santa Anas are like the hot, fierce breath of a dragon, bringing flames and a smell of sulfur and sucking all the moisture from the air. I wonder if I'll ever get used to this.

I wish I could blame the stress at work on these hot winds or the full moon. But no, the true culprit is hormonal. I work with quite a few people that I really admire and am lucky to be able to say I get along with just about everyone in the company. As a Customer Service Rep I spend most of my day fielding status requests and customer complaints. I love helping people, and no matter where I work or what position I may be in, I end up helping clients. Must just be my calling. It's not easy and definitely not for everyone - I do have days when it may be better to go home than to try to be pleasant while someone yells at me about late parts. But it kills me when customers are ignored, put off or lied to. And I happen to work with two people who do exactly that.

Laverne and Shirley, as I affectionately call them, have been friends for almost two decades. Laverne has been working at our company for almost ten years. She is sweet, funny and knows her stuff. She has always been kind to me and has taught me quite a bit. Shirley came to work with us about six months ago. She is caring, neurotic and very social. The two of them are inseparable and out of the office they are so much fun to be with. In the office they tend to get in each other's way. Laverne looks out for her friend by covering for Shirley's mistakes. Laverne is also very upset about being pulled into a Customer Service rep position against her will. Because of this, she tends to provide poor service to her assigned clients and through her attitude she influences Shirley to do the same. This has been an issue but as a temp I am not in a position to do much about it. As an added bonus, both women have entered menopause. Because we all know that menopause is a normal, natural phase of a woman's life cycle and are aware of the uncomfortable symptoms that come along with we do our best to deal. But like women who work or live in a close group will find their cycles start to synchronize, these two seem to be on the same mood swing schedule. When one of them goes on a rampage the other will follow right along. And today, after their twin ranting, raving and maniacal laughter, I have christened them The Menopause Twins. It's terrible, I know. One day I will walk in their shoes. When that day comes I hope I remember these two and that I either use them as an example to avoid, or to embrace. In the meantime I will employ headphones, listen to happy music and spike their coffee with a little Xanax. Nah, I'll spike my own!