Tuesday, August 02, 2005

What they don't know...

I work with a Career Counselor/Life Coach/Personal Cheerleader. I understand that a lot of people do face to face meetings for this sort of thing but my lady works differently. We work over the phone. Since it's a group of us it's a bit like Mork's reports to Orson but you get used to it.

The disadvantages are few, you wouldn't know some of these people if you tripped on them in the street despite the fact that you know them pretty well from the calls, you can't read people's facial expressions and gauge their interest in you, big phone bill if your designated time isn't during free night and weekend minutes.

The advantages are legion, really, cheifly no one can see your facial expression and gauge your interest in them. This is an enormous help if someone gets all actory and self important or if there's a particularly compelling episode of Two and a Half Men on. Seriously, though, you can do the meeting in your PJs, you can get up and get a drink whenever you want, there's a mute function so you can even take a pee break without disrupting the group.

There are times, though, when it's just odd. If you want to get all philosophical about it, it becomes a microcosm of real life where you're trying to carve out a specific time for something that's important to you but life has a way of intervening.

Case in point: last night. It was the final night of this particular session and we were focusing on our successes over the last 12 weeks and our goals for the next session. I went first (I pretty much always go first in this group) and managed to work out that I'd done a lot of stuff, in a period where I didn't feel as though I'd moved much closer to any of my goals and had felt some setbacks deeply (and from that sentence you're supposed to glean that, though I talk about this in a properly self deprecating fashion, I do take it to heart and feel it's worth every penny). After I finish my say the group can chime in and tell me how cool I am and what they remember about my work over the session and generally pat me on the back. I've been talking for about 7 minutes straight so I reach down next to the couch for my drink but it's not there. I whip around and it seems that somewhere at the beginning of my 7 minutes of fame I knocked over my go cup and it has been leaking slowly out over the floor the entire time. The cat is lying next to the seeping pool and watching it expectantly, deciding I assume, when to try and make the problem worse.

As a result I bolt off the couch and spend my designated ME time gathering a trash bag and a roll of paper towels and furiously mopping up my living and dining room all the while hmmming encouragingly, thanking everyone for making me feel like a Princess and sternly glaring at the cat. And no one on the call ever knew.

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