Today at work, our task was to reset (rearrange and add new product to) the meat cooler. I ended up with the first four sections–the fresh meats and the deli dinner options (take-and-bake pizza, prepared entrees, potato salad, cole slaw, etc).

First, I missed the alarm. Thankfully, I work with my husband, so he was able to wake me. I did not feel well. The trees are pollinating, and I have allergies to some of them–cottonwoods, pines, oaks. I live in a very well-treed neighborhood and near a park, so there\'s no avoiding it. There are some scientific links between allergies and anxiety/depression, so I know that I\'m fragile when I am in this kind of a physical state. I\'m achy, tired, and my allergies manifest themselves in several ways: sinus-related, mild asthma/reactive airway, skin irritation, a combination of any of the three, and–the one I dread most–bronchitis. Right now it\'s sinuses and airway issues. I am fully cognizant of my emotional vulnerability when I\'m sick, and I\'ve learned to control my emotional responses to things that happen while I\'m ill.


The first two sections were a breeze. The shelving was already in the right places, and the food already out on the shelves was more than adequate to fill the spots. I was zipping. The second two sections weren\'t quite so easy, and this is where I started to struggle. First, I had to clean the shelves. They had once contained fresh pork and chicken. The chicken packages tend to leak. I started pulling out the plastic fronts to the shelf, and got a horrible whiff of rotten meat juices. I let out a very large gag noise. Everyone looked at me, wondering if I was nuts or something.


The shelves needed to be moved. They were heavy (in my weakened physical condition) and I didn\'t know they had brackets in the back to hold them in place. One of my teammates had to help me. Then, as I was putting one of the brackets on, *after* I\'d put the product on the shelf (not realizing it was still in my pile of parts), the shelf collapsed on one side, and two tubs of prepackaged soup came tumbling down and broke in the bottom shelf. One was chicken broccoli cheese; the other was chicken tortilla. The latter looked like barf. It took me an hour to clean the liner, the grates, and reach into the interior of the cooler to clean up the spilled soup. By then, everything else had been set (thankfully), so the store patrons who were looking for those products could find them. It was just the prepackaged, prepared fancy meat entrees (chicken parmesan, bacon-cheddar-stuffed pork chops, bacon-wrapped petite sirloins, etc) that were not out because of the shelf spillage. I felt my emotions collapsing on me, but instead of running off and becoming a crying ball of mess, I bucked up and cleaned up the mess and took my break as a self reset.


I took my lunch break after rinsing the liner down,and felt better after eating. I finished cleaning and replaced everything, and finished up my set. After my final break of the day, my supervisor asked me to start straightening up our storage area, which I did. It looked a lot better after I finished, though I still had some stuff left when I clocked out for the day.

He then asked me if I wanted to come in tomorrow. I took that as an opportunity to get myself back on a good work track, and said yes. I\'ll be going to bed as soon as I see Donald Driver do his trio dance, or Tristan McManus, or whatever.


My husband was awesome through it all. He even made dinner tonight. We don\'t work in the same group in the store, but I see him occasionally and he was very sympathetic. I have also made fast friends with the building supervisor, and she was not having a great day, either. We commisserated for a few moments, and it was nice to have a listening ear that I could return.



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