Hello? Is there anyone out there?

Am I going under?

Before I get into bitch mode and tell you all about how unseen or unheard or whatever I’m feeling, I do need to point out that our weekends have been busy. Before Joe got back from his Arizona trip, I went to Aachen, Spangdhalem, and Mechelen. The weekend he got back we were off to Antwerp, and then my friend Ashley visited, so that included Brussels and Brugge and Dinant (without me on that one — a girl’s gotta work — but Joe and Ashley had fun).

Hey girl! Was soooo good to play with you.

Last weekend we were in Ramstein, shopping our little hearts out. Next weekend we’ll be in Dusseldorf, and then we’re off to Malta for five days. So, I am out and about seeing and doing all sorts of stuff again, and that is freaking wonderful.

But that’s not what this post is all about. It’s about the days in between all the fun stuff: the real-world work days we live in. Is it me? Or, has Covid made us all, well, more invisible? Nothing is easy or seems to happen right the first time around, and communication is not what Websters defines as communication. I mean there are plenty of emails and memos and forms and FML more forms. I just filled out a form to attach to my vaccine card to go with my stack of papers in whatever file cabinet the ‘me’ file goes in. That same vaccine card is in another file cabinet in the nurse’s office, and in the files of the clinic that keeps my medical stuff stashed away. I also have a QR code in my phone that I can show to anyone in the careers of bars to border patrol.

OMG and all the platforms that house these different to-do lists and forms. Whomever invented Teams; I hate you.

There are a lot of words telling me what I need to do, but when it comes to me reaching out for answers, it’s …

I’m going to be good and not tell you all the work to-dos that keep popping up, just know I’m assessed out, and now all I see when the verb assess comes up is my little mental noun the ass. But, I’m doing it. I’m pretty sure most results will show that, get this? Kids need to learn more.

I tried paying back a debt payroll said I owe. It’s a month later, and that money is still in my account. I emailed someone hoping to get an answer, and I almost fell out of the chair when she emailed me back an hour later (If we were in the same country, I would’ve hugged her), but she had to email someone else to see if she could find an answer, so we still don’t know why I’m still in debt because I still have my money. There are a few other things I’m trying to accomplish, but I’m in limbo mode waiting for my emails to be answered.

I wish I could say it was just work where this was happening, but no it’s everywhere. I tried several times to change my checkout date at the hotel we’re staying in Malta. Sadly, I couldn’t find a decent flight home Saturday, so we have to leave a day earlier. I even called the hotel and was told to email a certain address; email sent; no response. I’ll be really pissed if I get there and my entire stay was cancelled. Please oh please travel gods do not let that last sentence come back to haunt me.

It took four tries to get my cable/internet company to reschedule installing their new fiber optic cable, a request originally made by them. First time they came, they couldn’t do it because they needed landlord approval to drill holes in my wall. Next up I went to one of their offices with a French-speaking friend and was told I’d receive an appointment email; I didn’t. Then my husband was on the phone for 45 minutes to try to reschedule. LOL today I got an email that they received my request to reschedule fiber optic at a later date. I responded with a “No. I’m trying to schedule it. Give me a date please.” An hour later they did. Inshallah I’ll have this nifty new cable and the holes in the wall to go with it on Nov 8.

Oh and they too say I owe money for a bill I know I paid, but I was a little worried about it because I had to send it to a different account number. How much you want to bet they attached someone else’s transfer number to my bill? Another phone call I need to make, but when will I have the time? They’re closed by the time I am free.

I seriously could go on and on about the amount of requests/inquiries I have sent out the past few months to various people and businesses to no avail. What in the effity eff is going on? Is there no one on the other end?

I have literally sent emails to myself just to make sure my email receiver wasn’t broken.

I also feel like people are more rude or annoyed in public too. I saw a lady push a kid out of the way in a grocery aisle. The kid was talking to her sibling and didn’t see the obvious VIP barreling down the aisle. Drivers stress me out with their stupidly aggressive moves — do they not see I’m in that lane?

Or, maybe I’m the more rude one now. It could be. I’m always on edge because I must be invisible. That’s gotta be it, right? Or have I truly become so insignificant that no one has got time for me? It’s enough to drive a woman to

Translation: The 12th commandment: drink beer. (a really cool restaurant in Antwerp, where the waiters see, hear and, actually seem to, enjoy you. highly recommend!)

I feel like perhaps Covid is, afterall, turning us into some form of zombies. We’re just sucking up each other’s time and, with it, our brain power.

And that, my friends (if you’re out there), is my vent. I feel better now — if only I could also burn steps while running on this damned insufferable hamster wheel.

Hopefully, my next post will wax poetic over all the cool shit I saw and did in Dusseldorf and Malta, which, by the way, includes the whole hassle of online things called Passenger Locator Forms.

Posted on October 25, 2021, in Belgium Year three and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hey pal! I noticed that the quarantines and different restrictions for our safety kept us in our little bubbles. Then, as time went on, it seemed more and more overwhelming to contact friends — not that it isn’t a two-way deal— but also, there can be a depression developed by hunkering down. Yesterday, I took two long-time friends to lunch; one is 95 and one is 80. It was so good for me and both were grateful to get out and about! Now that I have broken “ice,” I am going to be a non-driver for 8-10 weeks post-surgery. 🤬😢😵‍💫 I have neighborhood friends who are going to provide diversions away from the house! So glad I had time with you – love that miles and months can’t diminish our banter! Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bettina, I hear you!!! I have been on the medical appointment hamster wheel. Explanations another time. I prescribe 3 deep breaths and 2 glasses of good red wine. Go outside and find a patch of sunlight for 20 minutes. I like to close my eyes and listen to the world around me and remember that this too shall come to pass. It is just stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Most definitely. Luckily there is so much for me to yet explore. Tis a good life. I’m sorry about the medical appointments. it’s an interesting time in our history because, on the one hand, it sucks, on the other, we still have so much to keep us entertained. Fingers crossed you get your appointments and answers soon.

      Liked by 1 person

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