A Shaky Start
Who Are You?
Elaine knew of the “Stages of grief” Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced in her 1969 book, “On Death and Dying.” 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance.
But Elaine also knew that grief is a unique journey, and many people don’t experience these stages in a prescribed order. She knew some might never experience all five of the stages. She had heard that instead of a road-map, these “stages” might be more accurately described as “reactions” to grief, and should be used to help someone understand some of the more common emotions experienced on the journey of grief. She had also heard grief from losing a loved one shares very similar emotional responses to the grief of terminally ill people facing their impending deaths. The stages of grief became widely assigned to both those who were dying and those they left behind as time went on. Some had now changed the stages to 1. Devastation2. Anger3. What if…? 4. Overwhelmed5. Healing
But hers was a textbook case. Elaine’s grieving had gone through the first stage, that being denial. She was ANGRY! …with that other driver! … did the paramedics do all they could, or should have? Did the hospital staff?
Well, somehow life had to go on. She could see no benefit in staying away from work any longer. She dressed, and again put one foot in front of the other, but it was more of a stomp now.
She had missed a few days and expected everything to be ready for her to immerse herself in integration and testing. She so hoped the diversion would lessen the pain. What she actually found only added to her anger. Her company, “Motion Modular,” had faithfully sent out the module to Colossus, but had received nothing… no processor! More anger! The name “Val,” and a phone number, probably direct, as it included an extension at Colossus was all she had to go on. She was on the phone immediately. Despite the positive vibes the name invoked, anger prevailed. “Hello, this is Val, how may I help you?” She responded, “This is Elaine from Motion Modular, and you could start by getting the processor we need over here, so we are not sitting on our hands!” Taken aback, Val was silent for a moment, so she continued “I understood the chip would be here days ago!”
The voice sounded old, and scratchy, maybe a heavy smoker. It hit him like fingernails on a chalkboard. A picture came to mind, and it was not at all complimentary. He had been away, and the emergency changes to the processor deemed necessary had caused Colossus to produce another run of updated processors. He was trying to finish testing a sample from the new run. This was not his fault! But professionalism must prevail. “We have had a setback, but I believe the chip should be ready for delivery later today. If it is not able to be shipped today, I will phone you with an update later today.” He heard the “click” and knew she had hung up. Now he was angry! He had no way of knowing she was just finishing up step 2 and moving into step 3 where she stayed only for a few moments; there was not much anyone could have done differently, except maybe the other driver. On to step 4. Its intensity WAS overwhelming! A sadness that caused her to dissolve in tears.
Perhaps it was partly due to Ken, her dad being born to her grandparents later in life. Was it also her forced, former acceptance of mortality? At any rate, after a good cry, life was slightly different. Still oh so sad. No longer so angry, she began to relive the phone conversation with that Val guy and thought maybe she owed him an apology. She had heard Tim talk of him, and from that would assume he was an okay guy. Oh well. A trip to the ladies room to check the little bit of makeup she used, and then she was back to verifying the module was ready for the arrival of the latest processor.
You’ll Get Your Chip!
Okay, Val, calm down. You can give Tim an earful about his employee later. Maybe just try to remember what was said; maybe write it down.
And if you could stop your hands from shaking, you would be able to put the sample in the test jig without bending the pins. Just relax, take a deep breath.
Good, some better. BUT THAT WOMAN! Back off, settle down, leave it alone. Let’s see if we can install the sample. Yes, after a couple of tries.
So automated now, the testing went quickly. The second, backup chip passed as well, and they were packaged for shipping. Val steadied himself and picked up the phone.
After a quick look at the project overview, he found what he needed. There it was, the first name only, Elaine. It took a few rings. “Yea, she’s probably lazy too!” he thought. Then “Hello, This is Elaine.” “This is Val. I just wanted to let you know the courier just left with your processors. I sent two, as agreed, thank you, bye… click”.
Well, she thought, not a lot of time for an apology there. Maybe this guy is more of a jerk than Tim lets on. Oh well, hopefully, our required time working together will be short. I don’t need any attitude!
A snippet of her former conversation played in her subconscious, and it tried to send up something about a pot and a kettle, but she tried to ignore it, and get back to the task at hand.