Dealing with work-related technical issues the other day made me very grumpy. As some of you know, I wear several different writing hats. I’ve written and edited an assortment of history books and articles, and I’m currently working on two books. I also work as a free-lance test writer throughout the year. In addition to those jobs, every summer for many years, I have written test items full-time for 6-8 weeks. It really is a great job, and most of the people I’m in contact with are wonderful. I know I am extremely fortunate to be able to work from home on my own schedule. . .
BUT–there are those annual technical problems, which usually results in a late paycheck. And there are the calls to the Help Desk–which is neither helpful, nor, I suspect, an actual desk. So on Friday, after my second call to the not-really-helpful Help Desk man, I was issued a ticket number. (This is another term I wonder about. Is there a real, physical ticket somewhere with this number stamped on it? Does someone tear off the top like the usher in a theater does, and will it gain me admission to a special Help Desk performance?) I was told someone would call me.
But of course, no one did. And there was no solution to this week’s problem. I do have that ticket number though. Perhaps I can use it to claim a prize. At a special Help Desk performance.
So there I was wearing my test-writing hat with my grumpy pants. Let me tell you, this is not a fashion combination you want to see.
And the pants were getting tighter—especially after I decided to pick on leftover brownies. (“Leftover brownies,” you ask? Why would brownies EVER be leftover? I’m mystified, too, but my husband doesn’t usually eat them. I know, how weird is that? However, there are only so many I can eat, especially since I often decide I also need to bake other goodies. It’s a compulsion.)
But back to “grumpy pants.” Because I’m a nerd, I was curious about the derivation of the term, “grumpy pants.” I did a quick search, but I didn’t find an answer. I did discover that “grumpy” was first used in the eighteenth-century, and English author Fanny Burney popularized it in 1778 in her novel, Evelina, or The History of Young Lady’s Entrance into the World. (You can read about it on the Wordnik blog .)
Coincidentally, I recently edited an article on Fanny Burney for a book project I’m working on, although unfortunately it did not mention her use of the word grumpy. . .because I suspect she was. (She had good reason to be, since she underwent a mastectomy without anesthesia.)
So I was grumpy– and feeling a little sick after the brownies–but I continued to work. What I really wanted to do though was curl up and take a nap
Or relax and read a good book.
Hmmm. . .this looks interesting.
But I didn’t.
A cycle class after I finished working helped me shed my grumpy pants. Then I changed into some comfy pj’s and made homemade pizza for dinner. Sometimes that’s all it takes. But an unexpected phone call from both my daughters (one was visiting the other) was a bonus that topped off my night.
I love this recipe from the My Baking Addiction site. I’ve been making batches of this dough every week or two and storing them in my refrigerator. I use it to make both pizza and artisan-style bread. The dough is super-easy to make. You can make it in five minutes. Seriously. I mix it with a wooden spoon; the dough hook is not necessary. Let it sit at room temperature for a couple of hours, then put it in the refrigerator. Just remove chunks (I like to use technical terms), and bake as needed. Eat, and enjoy!
I hope this helps when you’re grumpy.