The Daily Herald

Intermission: Left without my own devices in the waiting room

In this column, I discuss my break from a trusted work companion:

This week, I underwent a uniquely stressful and anxiety-producing experience: I delivered a beloved work colleague, friend and entertainment companion to a place where she could receive specialized treatment.

Standing in line, waiting to check her in at the facility, I imagined how I would get along during her operation. How would I manage without her assistance with my work? Without her recommendations for movies or podcasts?

I paused to consider how I had taken her for granted. I rely on her for so much of my life — it’s amazing how only in certain moments do we really stop and consider the others who mean so much to us. My ability to work — and entertain myself — would completely halt in her absence.

In so many ways, I realized in that moment, she is my lifeline. I wondered how long the operation would take, and so when it was our turn to be checked in, I asked a worker — a so-called “genius.” He had dealt with patients like us all morning, but he was trying to put on a friendly face. He said the procedure should take about two hours.

My colleague is smarter than me. She executes hundreds of tasks a day for me, and she barely even sleeps — in fact, when she does need to sleep, it’s usually because I have failed to give her the attention she needs. Now, it was my own endless demands on her — over years — that had finally caused her to need the treatment I was leaving her now to receive.

Two hours. Could I live that long?

When I arrived at the facility to pick her up, I was relieved that she was now OK. I was then met with the bill for the procedure: $29, plus tax. For the care my colleague received, it was worth every penny.

A new battery truly makes an iPhone feel brand new.

Moments before the worker had told me I would be without my phone for two hours, I panicked. I frantically opened my Messages app to text my wife, Katie, to alert her that my phone would be off for the longest stretch it ever had been — and to tell her I loved her, and possibly goodbye. Anything could have happened to me in those two hours.

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