Something's Bugging Me?

bed bugs lifecycleLast week, I had a complete breakdown at work. I snapped. I walked into my supervisor’s office and immediately burst into tears. I then proceeded to sob, gasp for air and make dramatic declarations like, “This job is sucking the life out of me!” “I can’t take it anymore!” “We cannot continue to work at this pace!” while my face grew alarmingly red and splotchy with each passing moment. I even put my head in my hands at one point and just sobbed loudly while my supervisor sat there quietly, looking stricken. The whole thing was a bit unnerving for her because a) She has never seen me cry in the 13 years that she has known me and b) I was not the first person to break down in her office that day. When I left her office, I went to the bathroom to finish crying and thought I’d pee while I was in there because I am awesome at multi-tasking. It was in that bathroom stall that I had an epiphany – I was just going to have to suck it up and do the work. It seems simple, doesn’t it? Yeah, I know but somewhere along the line I began to believe that the work would just go away. Actually, I imagined that I would either set my cube on fire and walk away or that lightening would strike the building and it would burn to the ground. Now, I didn’t really believe that but I was acting like there was going to be divine intervention that would get me out of doing what I needed to do. There is nothing like a good bathroom epiphany to set you on the path to redemption. So, I went to New Hampshire and relaxed a bit and also got a little perspective (with the help of a couple amazing Tarot readings by Dr. Ding). I won’t say that I came back with renewed energy – it’s more that I came back resigned. Before you get all loving and soothing and encouraging in the comments, I want to say that I don’t think resignation is always a bad thing. I do have to do my job – for now. The hand of God is not going to reach down and put all of my cases in the shredder, destroy the computer systems and erase the memories of all parties involved. I have to do the work. So, I will. I will do the work and I will wish that I didn’t have to and I will also continue to find humor in the absurdity of what I do. In this spirit, I want to tell you that I got my Bed Bug Containment Kit this week. As crazy as it is that my job requires such a thing, the contents are even crazier. The kit comes with the following list and corresponding contents:

  1. Plastic tote box
  2. Protective booties
  3. Disposable coveralls
  4. Roll of duct tape
  5. Roll of clear plastic drum liners
  6. Plastic grocery bags
  7. Flashlight
  8. Narrow bladed spatula
  9. Disposable gloves
  10. Wet wipes
  11. Plastic clipboard
  12. Bed Bug Guidelines for Reducing Risk
  13. Bed Bug Fact Sheet
  14. Ohio Task Force bed bug article and bed bug identification guide

That’s right – the county wants me to show up at the homes of mentally ill people dressed in a haz mat suit carrying a spatula, a roll of duct tape and a plastic grocery bag and say, “I’m here to help you.”