Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

Yesterday was CRA-ZY. My first post-Kryptonite job turned out to be a day of Workers’ Compensation hearings.

Comp hearings can be a blessing or a curse depending upon your view of things. Sometimes the day is a full docket of hearings with statements on the record and testimony, and that means transcript pages out the wazoo. Sometimes it’s a short docket and you’re done by noon. It really varies from day to day.

Normally I prefer the “full docket” days, because there’s some decent money to be made for my labors.

This day, however, is not normal. All I want is to get back to the sitter and pick up Kryptonite. I missed her terribly (and pride myself on making only ONE phone call to check up on her with the sitter).

As an added not-the-norm bonus, the in-laws are enjoying a years-overdue, two-week-long visit with House Fairy’s sister. Not only does this mean that we’re caring for their kitties, but they’re clearly unavailable to meet the school bus this afternoon. A short-docket day is definitely the way to go. The last time I worked for this particular judge, it was a short-docket day. I count my blessings because this judge is also a very nice, easygoing man to work with.

In order to be on time, though, my morning has to run damned-near perfectly. My window is small. I only have an hour and fifteen minutes between the kids boarding the bus and the first hearing.

I awoke at 6:00-ish and follow The Oracle into the shower as he exits. Afterward, I make everyone’s lunches. So far, so good. Kryptonite slumbers as I crash around in the bedroom.

Precious Daughter and Mighty B. are positively wonderful for me in the morning. They get up without too much prodding, dress for school, eat, and brush their teeth in plenty of time. I make sure their lunches contain nice desserts. Kryptonite awakens a few minutes before they go outside to meet the bus. I normally go outside to wait with them, but Kryptonite wants breakfast. I have a major-league aversion to breastfeeding in public, something for which my neighbors are probably quite thankful. Knucklehead gets to go out and bark at the squirrels while the kids wait for the bus. Finally, they're on their way.


This weekend, I rented a hospital-grade pump in hopes of avoiding Kryptonite’s eventual switch to formula at a mere three months of age. (Three months yesterday, in fact!) I think only two or three males read this blog, but that’s enough to keep me from getting graphic. I’ll only go as far as saying I was too stressed for the blasted pump to bring forth much of anything worthwhile, and I ended up packing the “in case of emergency” can of Enfamil powder into the diaper bag. Damn.

I wasted too much time fighting my losing emotional battle with the pump and didn’t leave the house until 8:10. I’m due at the hearings in a half hour. Thankfully, I don’t have to go far to reach the sitter. The hearing location is fairly close, too, but the route is heavy with traffic. I realize mid-route that I forgot to feed the dog.

Maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t have time to linger at the sitter’s, because it meant not having the time to get last-minute clingy with Kryptonite. Pissing off a judge is never a good thing. He may be a nice guy, but that doesn’t mean I want to be the one wrecking his schedule. I kiss Kryptonite’s smooshy, fat cheeks and hit the road.

I walk into the judicial center with only ten minutes to spare. I am fervently praying for a short docket.

It is not a short docket. It is a full docket running from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Drat. The Oracle and I discussed this possibility the night before, so I call to let him know he needs to leave work early to meet the kids’ bus. I console myself with the knowledge that I’ll have lots of work to turn in.

Our first hearing begins fifteen minutes late. I’m bracing myself for a long, six- or seven-hour day.

Lo! By 10:15, the judge has cleared up five cases. I have an hour’s wait for the next hearing, so I piddle around with a scoping job from another reporter until the 11:15 hearing starts.

Five minutes later the 11:15 hearing is finished, and the next two on the docket begin at 1:00. I’ve got over an hour to kill, but I’m sad that it isn’t quite enough to visit Kryptonite. I drive around for a place I like and eat lunch in the car. It’s a smidge too chilly to take a nice walk because I forgot to grab a jacket when I left the house. (I knew I forgot something! I always do!) I’m not wearing walk-friendly shoes anyway.

I return, restart my equipment and I wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.

The judge steps out into the hall to talk with one of the claimants. It turns out her hearing was canceled, but somehow she didn’t get the message.

Two of the five parties scheduled for the next hearing enter the room. It turns out that their hearing has been canceled and rescheduled for July. They and the judge enjoyed a lengthy discussion, none of which was on the record.

My next two hearings are due to start at 2:30. They're both cleared within ten minutes. I haven’t written twenty pages’ worth of work all day. If we'd finished five minutes earlier, The Oracle could have returned to work, but he has already boarded his train.

This is the worst kind of job, an all-day docket with little on record; in other words, it’s a big (insert expletive)-ing waste of my time.

The Oracle tells me his train is running late. I call the school so they don't let the kids board the bus and ride to an empty house. The Oracle gets the older kids from the school and I run to the sitter. We pull into the driveway within two minutes of each other. It's 3:25.

At 3:35, Precious Daughter must be at the dance studio with her recital costumes for picture day. The Oracle knows nothing of what to do with her hair. I take her and her paraphernalia to the studio. I forgot her makeup. Kryptonite comes with me because she's hungry. She doesn't like Enfamil and didn't eat much. Bless her sweet self, she napped at the studio the whole time.

We finish at the studio by 4:45, but the kids have their "gym show" at school that evening and must arrive by 6:15. It's take-out from Arby's for dinner. I feed Kryptonite and we rush off to school.

The show ran from 7:00 to 9:00. We arrive home only to discover that one of the cats yarked all over our bed.


Off I go to the in-laws to feed their cats. I hadn't had a chance to go all day. The Oracle showers the kids and gets them ready for bed. Mighty B. is asleep in The Oracle's lap when I get home, and Precious Daughter is in bed but still awake.

Getting them to school this morning sucked.


Cort said...

Yikes, girl. That's a sucktastic day.

You guys do comp hearing totally different than we do. Ours don't get transcribed unless the decision appeals, and they always take at least an hour, and you usually only do one at a time because the lawyers for each case hire you, so there's a different reporter for each case. Also, ours aren't heard in front of judges, but in front of deputies of some type (I'm digging in my brain for terminology I haven't used since October, so forgive me).

Just Me said...


What you describe is usually how arbitrations are handled around here. Usually I'm hired for only one case, paid for my time on the machine. Sometimes I may be asked to write the testimony of one witness out of two or three.

The case is heard and decided upon by a panel of three experienced attorneys. There's no transcript ordered unless it's appealed.

Anonymous said...

To me it just sounds like a lousy hurry up and wait just to waste some time kinda day.

If I forget to feed the dogs it's a bad omen and it's gonna go downhill from there.

Glad Kryptonite made it through her first day okay, well a little hungry but okay. That girl's a trooper. She chilled even when I tripped holding her. E

Coffee Bean said...

I am now totally exhausted and need a nap. You are amazing! I wish I could watch your little kryptonite for you. I love fat baby cheeks!!!

Just a little fun fact for ya about me... I had so much extra breast milk that I could have feed a small village of babies. I'm not joking. I have a zillion embarrassing stories involving breast milk. If I knew for a fact that a man would not read about it on my blog, I would write about it.