I parked the car and stood for several moments in the dimly lit parking lot. I took a deep breath relishing the quiet breeze and the sparkling stars that illuminated the sky. I turned my gaze from the dark pond to the low, utilitarian building behind me. My shoulders slumping, I trudged toward the entrance of the building as I tried to prepare myself for another grueling 12 to 14 hours of hell.
The moment I stepped inside, the assault began. Voices yelled across the vast warehouse-like space as people tried to be heard above the beeping and whirring of the 100’s of fax machines, jangling phones, and buzzing intercoms. The cacophony reverberated inside the giant metal box and set my teeth on edge.
I wove through the maze of long, folding tables (the type usually used for banquets and conferences) trying desperately to close myself off to the other “noise” that bombarded my senses—the “noise” of unwanted emotions and thoughts.
Unable to escape this prison, this mass of emotional energy clung to everything and attacked me the moment I stepped inside. The one-two punch nearly made my legs buckle, and I was glad that I hadn’t eaten anything before returning to work. Of course, there hadn’t really been time; I had left work at midnight and after a two-hour drive had arrived at home. A brief two-hour nap and here I was, back again.
They called it a “war room” because we were fighting to get our AIDs drug to the FDA first. My job was to help compile the paperwork and write the reports that would go to the FDA showing why our drug was great and should be approved.
Personally, I didn’t understand why I couldn’t do my job at my real desk—a desk filled with quiet—but they wanted everyone even remotely connected with the project here in the warroom, ostensibly so we could all feel the camaraderie. Rah!
All I felt was nausea as I swung my briefcase onto the table tucked into a corner as far from the melee as I could get. I had claimed this corner from day one, and most people were happy enough to leave me alone with it.
Four hours later and badly needing a break, I nearly ran from the building to escape into the brilliant spring sunshine. I stood amazed for a moment, just enjoying the quiet that fell on me like a cape once I stepped outside.
I walked over to the pond and sprawled on the grass. Just as I began to feel some of the tension trickle out of my shoulders, I heard a voice sail across the parking lot to me, “Hey, we need you back here. They’re crashing the program again.”
I sighed audibly, reluctant to leave my quiet sunshine, but I dragged myself to my feet and headed back much like a condemned man heading to his death. As I looked at the building, I could see just how ugly the aura around it was—all red and spiky. Emotions were high, everyone was tense, on edge, and the energies now pulsed around the building like an angry boil. I shuddered and closed my eyes not wanting to see what I was walking into.
I pushed my few reserves of energy forward as a barrier against the energy of the warroom and stepped inside. When I had first been temporarily moved to the warroom, my shields had been strong, secure, but as the days extended into weeks, my shields had thinned, and my energies had dwindled. I no longer had much left, and every day was a struggle to keep my sanity in this morass of negativity.
As I reached my corner, I saw Tim, the Irisher, had arrived and was now situated at the table nearest mine. I enjoyed his company for several reasons, not the least of which was his strong aura. When he was around, his aura, which was rather expansive to begin with, usually covered mine, lending me an additional block against the “noise” of the warroom. Of course, I also enjoyed his Irish wit and charm, along with that wonderful accent. So, seeing him, always improved the day.
I was just getting back into the swing of my own work, when SHE came over. SHE was one of the most abrasive, opinionated, I’m-always-right people I had ever met, and for some unknown reason SHE had decided that we were best buddies.
SHE toddled over to my table, pulled out a chair and began yammering at me. SHE told me of her latest infatuation, asked my advice on how to snare this new possible beau—I said I’d think on it, having no intentions of helping her in this regard—and then SHE told me of her dogs’ (she had five) latest escapades.
All of sudden, I heard, “WILL YOU SHUT UP AND GO AWAY!!!!”
SHE and I both whipped around to stare at Tim, who was still working away counting forms and setting up stacks of forms for faxing. I started to turn around to look at the others in the room, when I caught a small quirk at the corner of Tim’s mouth. I looked at him more closely, but he again seemed busy with his forms.
No one else in the room was paying the least bit of attention to us. I couldn’t figure out who had yelled, and evidently neither could SHE. SHE shrugged her round, fleshy shoulders, and picked up right where she had left off. I could feel my impatience rising, as I wished her gone, and a moment later that same voice yelled, “GO AWAY!!!!”
This time, SHE huffed and glared first at me, and then at Tim. A moment later she waddled away from us with a pouty, angry expression.
Yes, it had worked. Without uttering a sound, he had voiced what we were both feeling, and with enough force to make her leave. For the remainder of my stint in that horrible warroom, he became my shield from both the “noise” and from unwanted guests.