I had to attend a training at work today from 9-5. I was told that it would include the obligatory important speakers, and that would be a few hours' worth of information stretched over 8 hours to be painfully boring. Let me tell you, I couldn't wait (Hey, look- autistic girl using sarcasm. Who knew?).
I was terrified of two things. The first was being in a room with my boss for 8 hours. Nothing to worry about there, though... she just, you know, sat right next to me in this room of 75 people. The other issue was that I wouldn't be able to stay awake. It's a rare day that I'm up for 8 hours all at once. Leigh said drink Diet Mt. Dew, which is a good idea, but that brings us back to being in a room with my boss and having to leave mid-speeches to uh, use the facilities. She wouldn't like that... just a feeling.
So between my mom and I, we made the executive decision that I should skip my Geodon today in a last ditch effort to stay awake. Well, mission accomplished (and it only took 5 Diet Mt. Dews, all day), but... I'm uncomfortable with the side effects. Namely, all the talking.
I was so social today. I have gotten so used to being completely withdrawn that I'd forgotten that I had once liked to meet and greet, albeit in my own way and rather awkwardly.
First, I introduced myself to the company's... not CEO, because it's a nonprofit... but the big important guy who's in charge of everybody. I said, "Hi, David. My name is Lydia, I'm in Animal Care. I've heard your name around and I just wanted to say hello and officially meet you." We should hands and he said, "I do hope you've heard only good things!" I laughed and said, "Of course! Nice to meet you." Very scripted, very rehearsed, but I did it.
Then I saw a volunteer in the playroom with one of my favorite cats that I've never gotten to pet out of the cage. I asked her if I could come in with her and pet Henry Lynn (a girl cat). She said of course, and I pet and we chatted. Wait, did you catch that? Let me say it again. Chatted.
And I met the new volunteer coordinator, Kevin. He's brand-spankin' new. I asked if he knew all the animals in the shelter yet, and he said, "No, but I look forward to meeting them." Being that we were then walking past the cat condos, I said, "Well, this is Chloe, and she loves to come out. And this is Katie and she has one eye so you have to approach her from her left side, or she spooks. And this is Sophie, and she's crazy because she's just a year old. And this is Gem, and she's just crazy because she's Gem... and..." And said, "Uh, that's great, but I think I'm going to go wash my hands." And he bolted. And I thought, shoot, he didn't mean he wanted to know them now.
After the training was over, we walked up to the new memorial garden in the woods. I saw the new vet, who had just given a presentation on the health benefits of spaying/neutering and introduced us via pictures to her peacock, ducks, chickens, cats, and pig, and I said, "Hi, Dr. Phillips. I just wanted to tell you that it's my dream to meet a duck, and that yours are gorgeous." She said, "Thank you. What do you do here?" And the conversation started. We talked for a half hour. Do you know the last time someone had a half-hour long conversation with me? Maybe Leigh on the phone sometimes, but other than that, not at all in the last year. Dr. Phillips and I talked ducks, and pigs, and the benefits of vegetarianism (she is, I'm not), and the ropes of work, and Temple Grandin, and I introduced her to my favorite cat in the shelter...
One down side of training is that no one cleans cages from 9-5, because... well, we're all in training. It leaves a heap of work to be done for the evening staff, the shift which I usually work. So I gladly stayed after the training for a couple of hours and cleaned, made Kongs, and fed cats.
Upon coming home, I told Mom about my day. I said, "I don't know how I feel about all this talking." She said, "I do. It's too intense. Can't we find a happy medium?"
Throughout the evening, the day has been catching up with me. Sure, I talked more, but I also kept getting laughed at by my peers over lunch (definitely laughed at, and not with, because I never got the jokes). I screwed up big time with the volunteer coordinator and put him in an awkward situation. And what if the new vet thought I was completely obnoxious? I'm not sure how I feel about the talking. Then again, maybe I do. I think I prefer being quiet. Quiet means you can't screw up as easily.
I kind of wish I could take the words back.