I read whenever and wherever I have time. This means when I’m early for work, during breaks, and at lunch. Usually after a 12 hour day, I read two or three minutes before my eyes grow heavy and the words turn into gravy. I have not been able to read as much since I switched from night shift to day shift, but that is okay. Sometimes things change, and I have to figure out a different way to get things done. Stricter time management is one of those things.
When I was reading, “The Paper Wasp” at work on Sunday, I knew that it was a short book, only 240ish pages, and the pages were quickly sliding by. I spent longer reading on Sunday that I should have. I knew I did while I was doing it. I even commented to Lauren Acampora on Twitter.
The first big thing about this is how gracious Lauren Acampora is for not correcting me on the title of her novel. It is called, The Paper Wasp and not “Paper Wasps.” The idea of the title refers to one of the characters and the path that she is taking, not the path of multiple characters. This simple mistake of semantics does change the complexion of what the novel is about (at least in my mind) because with a plural meaning, there are different things to look for in the story to make the title make sense. By not correcting me, Acampora showed me that she is a much better person than I would be in that moment.
The second thing about this is that both of our tweets are pretty playful, as if it’s just a lazy Sunday and there is going to be no type of repercussion about spending a little bit more time reading on a Sunday afternoon at work than I would on any other day. No big deal. Most Sundays this would have been the conclusion, but for some reason, management decided to review the cameras on Monday. This was due to a matter completely unrelated to what I was doing. However, when they were reviewing the tapes, they saw me sitting for a few hours, being enthralled by finishing Acampora’s book. It is one of those things that I did not expect to happen, and only happened on a fluke. I did get written up, and all I could say in the employee comments was, “Sorry. It won’t happen again.”
And it won’t happen again. There are situations when you have to realize work and life are more important than reading or doing whatever you want to do. It does really sucks, but there is no solution. Even if you do something you love as a career, there are days when you just want to call it in, just do something else to occupy those work hours. Because I have always worked night shift, those days were easy to cover. Now this luxury is not available. This is acceptable, but I have to learn, apparently the hard way. Adjusting from night shift to day shift, where there is now always someone around to keep an eye on what I am doing, is taking awhile. I still do not have everything figured out, but I now know that I really need to conduct myself in a different manner. This is all learning. I will still be reading at work. I just will have to figure out when is a good time, only on breaks and at lunch instead of any time I desire.
I take full responsibility for my actions, even though I tweeted Lauren Acampora that it was her book that was to blame for getting me into trouble. I said that this whole thing was probably a good blurb for the front of her book. “Only read at work if you can afford the disciplinary action due to not moving for hours at a time. This book will go down on your permanent record.” She thought this was funny, and I think it is funny. The whole thing is funny in a cruel way. I will always remember this novel as the novel that was part of the plot to get me written up at work.