Customer Service, Identify Theft, and Scummy Dogs… Observations on Stress

Yesterday while I was at Mike’s house, his brother Matt was giving me a hard time and I said, “Be nice to me, I am having a bad day!” Matt’s response was “Every time I talk to you, you are having a bad day! When are you not having a bad day?” And then he proceeded to make fun of me for that instead, for the rest of the night (pretty sure it’s his way of showing brotherly affection :/)

But it made me stop and think. Do I really say I am having a bad day as much as he claims, or is he just a great big exaggerator? I decided it was probably a little bit of both.

Not going to lie, this summer hasn’t been easy. I seem to be in this constant, discontented funk when it comes to my job. It doesn’t help that I have at least one cancel almost everyday, and at the end of the month I am responsible for all that lost time, despite the fact that I have no control over whether people keep their appointments or not. It’s one of the most incredibly frustrating parts of social work, and lately I am finding I don’t really care so much anymore. You can only do what you can do, make up what you can, where you can and then you have to let it go. There is no point stressing over something you can’t control. I tell myself this, but it’s easier said than done.

So that alone generally puts me in a bad mood. But this last week has been rough for other reasons though. Last Thursday I was stupid enough to give all of my debit card information to a scammer, and didn’t realize it until they already had everything they needed to drain my account. Fortunately, as soon as I got off the phone I realized I had done something stupid and immediately called the identity theft line at my bank and had them shut down the card. Now I am just waiting for a new one. (Which is a pain in the butt by the way because my debit card was basically my only way of paying for things. I’ve had to be creative this week…)

Then yesterday I had a dentist appointment and so I had to get up early and wrestle with my insurance coverage to make sure the appointment would be covered. This was my first medical expense since I switched and my new insurance includes an HSA account. In theory they seem pretty cool, but it has been the biggest pain in the ass to put together. No one really ever gave me clear instructions on how to create one so I ended up messing it up royally. I spent 40 minutes on the phone with customer service before the whole fiasco was straightened out, all the while silently cursing the HR department for not giving me better guidance during setup in the first place.

I also had to pick the dogs up from my ex-husband yesterday, which meant a trip to my old house. I didn’t realize how much it was going to affect me, but being in the house I had once called my home was excruciatingly difficult. I won’t go into details, but it made me miss my old life in some ways and I cried a good majority of the way back home. I was glad to have the dogs back though, I missed them. Well, glad to have them back until Carwyn did one of the stupidest things he’s ever done in the 4 years I’ve had him.

I got back to Mike’s house and let the dogs loose in the yard while we were looking for their frisbee, which we thought might have blown away in a storm we had recently. Mike’s housing development abuts a golf course complete with a pond several houses down. We thought maybe the frisbee had gotten caught in the brush around the pond so we went looking for it, with the dogs along for company.

I am searching through the bushes when I hear Mike yell “Carwyn no!” I turn toward him to see what the problem was and hear a “Splash!” from behind me. Carwyn had decided to jump off the cement overhang into the pond. The dirty, algae infested pond that had been festering in the heat all last week. I look over to see Carwyn scrabbling to get out, but the embankment was too high. I had to haul him out by his harness. The dumb dog was completely covered in black mud and algae, and was gracious enough to share the stink water when he shook himself and covered me in it as well. I am standing there covered in foul smelling muck and Mike starts laughing so hard he’s bent over practically sitting on the ground. Angry as I was, I couldn’t help but laugh too. What else can you do in a situation like that? We ended up having to hose Carwyn down and give him a bath in the backyard.

A lot of frustrating moments culminated yesterday and reduced me to a crying, sniffling mess, until the world gave me yet another horrific wake up call.

While I was at the dentist having my gums stabbed by the little pick axes the dental hygienists use (torture devices if you ask me…) I saw a news blurb about a fatal hit and run that had happened sometime Sunday. They were looking for information on the person responsible. I didn’t think much about it until later that night when I was checking facebook and saw a friend post about an that acquaintance I used to play soccer with had been killed in a hit and run. Turns out the news story I saw earlier in the day was this same women. It was so sad, she was only in her early 30s and was a lovely person. She will be missed by many I am sure.

It was just another macabre reminder that life is too short to bitch over little stuff. Isn’t it amazing how so many of the things we bemoan and stress about in everyday life, really are insignificant in the grand scheme of things? It was annoying having to do the whole new debit card song and dance, but none of my money had been stolen. It was frustrating dealing with the insurance company, but at least I have insurance and can afford wellness visits as opposed to the millions who don’t have access to healthcare at all. It was disgusting that I had to hose nasty scum water off my dog, but he had never been swimming before and could have drowned, but he didn’t so things could have been a lot worse. It’s a lesson I am going to try and remember in the coming days and weeks. To not worry so much about the small things, and if I am really being honest, most of them are small things.

“It is not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”- Hans Selye


Carwyn before his bath… He was actually even grosser than this, this was after he shook himself on me about five times :/

Bath time for stinky puppies! He was a good boy through the whole thing, but he was NOT a happy camper ha ha.


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