You’re Fired

It was a dark and stormy night.

Okay, it was the morning after. I arrived at my Day Job bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, with my lunchbag full of mason jars, my regular bag full of gummy bears and caramel corn, and my heart full of song. Tomorrow was my six month anniversary in my new position and I was, in the words of my supervisor, crushing it. Finally I was going to get a formal Review with a tidy row of boxes and maybe a gold sticker at the top that said so. I had waited over two years for the system to catch up to my presence on the payroll. It was about time I had something stuck to my refrigerator for it.

The first two months in my new cubicle were delightful, the second two were surprising, and although I was the right person for the job, the last two had been filled with a determination to prove that I was the right person for the office, as doubts had been raised. I had been invited to play a game or two and politely declined, knowing my own abilities as an actress would have cost me a daily forfeit. Meanwhile, I checked in regularly with my supervisor to make sure I was on track with my tasks and my letter of resignation was stuck in permanent limbo. I hoped a work Review would override it altogether.

Moral of the Story.

Wow, the whole building was empty. I congratulated myself on arriving a few minutes early as I flipped on my computer and walked my lunch to the break room. From a far corner, my supervisor’s voice asked whether we could have a quick meeting before the day started.

Hmm. I hadn’t seen her there. I also hadn’t seen the senior staff guy who materialized at the far end of the table. Intrigued, I sat down, thinking, “There must be some new procedure or activity to work on. How exciting.”

“Things aren’t going entirely the way we’d expected,” she began, “so I have here two different items.” She slid them across the table, upside down.

“One is your termination paperwork and the other is your letter of resignation. All I really need to know is which one you want to sign.”

In that very telescopic moment, as I stood in the road watching the monster truck about to hit, I thought:

  1. Hallelujah, I’m free! (joy)
  2. Oh cr*p, I have a lot of work on my desk, who’s going to get it done? (guilt)
  3. Wait, she told me right up to yesterday what a great job I was doing. (betrayal)
  4. Where are all my office friends and why can’t I say goodbye to them? (loss)
  5. Wait, do they all know what’s happening right now? (shame)
  6. How will I explain this one to Hubby? (anxiety)
  7. Why? (rejection)
  8. Oh yeah…(gobsmacked)

…because, until an employee passes the six month mark in a new cubicle, said employee has no rights. Legally, my supervisor didn’t have to tell me anything and could fire me without cause. Personally, she owed me an explanation – unless of course, it was personal. Expressionless, we waited to see who would flinch.

It was one last shell game, forcing me to publicly lie about the circumstances of my departure and keep her hands clean. I glanced at the masculine presence in the room, realizing that he was here to watch the show. When it stalled, he baited us with some mansplaining; he was the opening act for the Femme Hysterics. How cool is that?

I handled myself like the professional I am and I hope everyone took notes. Perhaps she’d forgotten that I was in her exact position, not six months earlier. Basic protocol involves placing your items into a box, turning in your keycard, and being escorted from the building by a burly man. It took me two trips to my car and a Costco sized cart to collect the stuff I had squirreled away at my desk. And the break room. And my gym locker. The orchid I received for Admin Professionals Day perched on top of the pile like a saucy hat.

Then I timed the monster truck, leaped onto the bumper, and took that free ride right out of town.

The pep in my step may have come from the sure knowledge that I had a blog-worthy story.

But it was probably from the fact that I was now free to write it.

And you, my friend, are free to write yours in the Comment box.

The Forgetful Files is a safe, supportive space exploring different life challenges and big questions with courage, kindness, humor, and practicality. Please join the conversation by offering your unique perspective!

Calling It Quits


(How I want my video to look vs how I really look…hahahaha)

Transcript:

I am about to celebrate the one year anniversary of the last day of my Day Job in a Cubicle. The Day Job taught me many things, both about myself and humanity in general, things I am still processing and folding into the pudding that is my life.

Things like how to decide whether people are looking you right in the face and lying. Things like how to keep your compassion for people who are screaming in your face. Things like accountability within systems designed to serve a greater good and what happens when you involve egos that serve only the personal and immediate good. Things like people who would rather play games than create a vibrant successful team.

Moms, help me out here…it sounds like working with toddlers. Am I right?

Now, how many times a day do the words “I QUIT!” come out of our mom mouths?

It’s like a frustrated fantasy that never comes true, a four letter cuss word that feels so good when we say it even though we know it solved nothing. Because, of course, we don’t quit. We just grab a cookie and keep slogging away. There’s work to do.

I just don’t have enough experience in quitting. I love thinking I am made of tough stuff, and stamina, and thrive with interpersonal adaptations. You can’t raise five kids and be a fluff. I’m good. There is no such thing as throwing in the towel.

As a matter of fact I have a meme that says “You may see me Struggle but you will never see me Quit”. Yeah, whatever.

Today, we’re going to challenge that concept. Which means I am also challenging myself.

Let’s talk about it for a minute.

“Quitting” carries nasty and judgmental connotations, as the worst thing you can possibly do, as the mark of failure and shame, a sign of weakness, and as the last possible option in nearly every situation.

Well, Except for situations that society decides to approve. (And now we have to decide which society we live in because that is constantly shifting around.) It gets tricky.

Who decided what was worth quitting and what was not? Who gets the thumbs up or the thumbs down? For example:

You can quit smoking but not a marriage.

You can quit a job but not college.

You can quit drinking but you don’t quit your sports team.

You can quit Facebook friends but not your family.

You should quit making videos but not quit writing blogs….

Who decided which way my thumb goes?

If I make the decision to quit….anything….if one of my kids comes to me with a conversation about “Quitting”, how am I going to handle the idea of it? What do I advise them? What do I advise myself?

Because, one year ago today, I sat down with a friend and wrote a letter of resignation. I had spent three months with all the signs that I needed to move on from the Day Job, but were ignoring them because I am not a quitter. So, instead of working smarter, I was working harder. Instead of bowing out gracefully, I was stubbornly putting my head down and trying to prove to myself that I was not a failure or weak or unable to “grow up and play with the big boys”.

What a joke.

There are games no one should have to play, just to earn a paycheck.

I’m saving the end of that story for next week, but I’ll leave you with some signs that it’s time to Quit; because Quitting has a place in intelligent decision-making and sometimes staying is the wrong thing to do.

I’ll see you next week. Bye.

Reasons to consider Quitting:

  1. Negative energy from it consistently overflows into other areas of your life
  2. You say “It’s just a job”, can do it with your eyes closed, are apathetic or complacent
  3. You don’t ever want to go to work, your gut is telling you to stop, you make careless mistakes
  4. Your boss or coworkers make you miserable or create a toxic environment
  5. You feel mentally or physically unwell from the situation
  6. Physical, mental, sexual, or emotional abuse
  7. You tried talking to the boss/coworkers to no avail
  8. Your pay or benefits are not worth the personal price you are paying
  9. Other jobs look exciting, your talents aren’t being tapped, the career has no future
  10. You don’t share the company vision or values
  11. You’ve been there too long, you’re burning out, there may be downsizing ahead

All of which can be applied to any job, including raising kids, as I found out. There was absolutely going to be downsizing in my company, right?

Okay, just for balance, here are some reasons not to Quit:

  1. You’re angry or sad about someone or frustrated with yourself
  2. You’re burned out and need a vacation
  3. You’re broke and don’t have the next job lined up
  4. You need medical or other benefits and you don’t have a bridge in place
  5. You’re acquiring skills for your next job
  6. Someone else says you should
  7. You don’t have a departure plan prepared
  8. You didn’t take a hard look at the company culture to see whether improvements were incoming

Also, HERE is a fun LINK or TWO if this blog has you thinking…..

The Forgetful Files is a safe, supportive space exploring different life challenges and big questions with courage, kindness, humor, and practicality. Please join the conversation by offering your unique perspective!

How to Make Friends in a Shark Tank

In the world of full-time employment, out there in the weeds of xerox machines and customer service, there are these things called “coworkers” and – just like your neighbors and your children – you don’t get to choose them. Nope. You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.

Most of the time. Unless you want to step into the lavatory stall, close the door, and silent scream. That’s a thing.

Jobs can be fun. Right?

“You’re too happy,” commented my coworker early on, “You like people too much. I give it six months. You’ll be jaded and cranky like the rest of us.”

“Jolie, you are a fish in a little pond,” a senior director manager type human said to me once, when I was considering a move up the corporate ladder into a larger professional arena, “but in that circle….they are sharks. You will need to learn survival skills. Don’t trust anyone.”

Too late. I already considered every person in that shark tank my “friend”. We were all helpful, kind, courteous, even going out to lunch once in a while. I couldn’t think of a single reason why any one of them would turn around and have me for lunch instead.

But adult friendships are trickier than third grade ones. I thought I had a friendship that was outside of office politics, the lady being quite worthy on her own two feet, but her loyalty to her boss was stronger than mere courtesy to me, and even though she apologized after the fact, she had not prevented me being thrown under a passing bus.

She was sorry/not sorry.

There were bigger fish fries than that, but are hardly worth recounting. I have since been told The Rules: under no circumstances do you consider a coworker a “friend”.

Even if you go to Happy Hour or yoga with these fish. Even if you “donate” an exorbitant amount of personal money towards an office baby shower gift for a fish from the next department over that you’ve never even exchanged paperclips with. Even if this fish swaps intimate mom stories with you and brings you Valentines Day treats and laughs with you over morning coffee.

If this fish has a personal family emergency, I am expected to act like my own mother was in a  car explosion and make sure “the office” is supportive with donations, flowers, and cards. We will cover his work load with concerned faces and ask how the recovery is coming along.

But.

If this fish senses that I am drifting into their territory, or if the boss needs bait for a bigger fish, or perhaps I am just not taking their teeth seriously enough, queue the Jaws theme song.

I am investing more time and money and love languages with these fish than my own family. In return, I am to expect…shark bites?

This concept is so far out of my box that I don’t know where to begin. So I asked a thirteen-year-old girlfriend for some help. We agreed that relationships in both school and office arenas are based upon being temporary and the “every man for himself” attitude. And we suppose everyone goes in with this expectation. Which is a huge waste of possibility, in our opinion.

Somewhere out there in the deep blue sea is a company getting this aquarium thing right. Employees are trained that there are enough krill and plenty of waves for everyone.

I still have a habit of petting sharks, treating them like shiny yellow tang.

Perhaps the only way you will know for sure whether you made an authentic friendship at school or work is if the person is still friendly after the building is gone. If you remove the competition and the politics and the teeth, and are left with a real person with no agenda, I’d say you can finally call that fish a friend.

Everyone else can go jump in the lake.

Sorry/not sorry.

Just keep swimming.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Rom 12:18
The Forgetful Files is a safe, supportive space exploring different life challenges and big questions with courage, kindness, humor, and practicality. Please join the conversation by offering your unique perspective!

I Can Make Your Hands Clap

I spent today questioning all of my life choices. Was I a good mom when the kids were little? Did I teach them the things that really matter? Could I have gotten a day job sooner and provided them with cars in high school instead of flip phones?

I stopped long enough to go get my last-born from high school at the actual time that school ended; my first small victory of the day.

I pulled to the curb, a quite-unemployed mom, and my very-broken son (ankle tendons hate to be snapped) put his “wheelie” into the backseat and wrestled his giant boot into the front. We took a moment to collect ourselves. There were kids and moms and cars everywhere.

As the school year winds down, mothers are trying to decide whether they will cry or rejoice or both or neither, and funneling that conflicted energy into a frenzy of summer planning. Depending on which way the wind blows, there will be bonding cross-country family road trips or individualized music or pony or surf day camps that entertain while mommy works the day job to pay for it.

Not many will do what we used to do: hunker down for our annual summer stay-cation and make plenty of koolaid.

One of my worries was: did we, in afterthought, drink too much koolaid?

We waited our turn to escape the parking lot while the kid commandeered my smart phone, said some magic words over it, and music played through my car speakers. I surreptitiously turned the volume down while he studied his choices. He skipped around, then landed on, of all things, the Barber of Seville.

I beamed at him as we turned onto the road, “Oh, I did do something right!”

The flashbacks to his third grade music lessons lasted only moments before he replied, “Yep, Bugs Bunny is a classic.”

Deflated, I reminded him, “Well, Rossini was real, and the fact that you can appreciate his music puts you ahead of a lot of other high school juniors.”

“I ask people once in a while whether they listen to opera, and I get the strangest looks…” he said.

He skips to Verdi’s Rigoletto, and we sway the car a little and try to hit the note that goes and goes and goes….

“I have no idea what he’s saying,” I say, “but it sounds like he’s having a good day. In Italian.”

I remember that our big plans to get our last driver permitted and practiced this summer have now been scrapped and replaced with physical therapy sessions. A car for him would be superfluous.

The music moves from Thomas Rhett to techno beats to Queen, then we’re HandClapping with Fitz and The Tantrums.

“I have no idea what he’s saying, either,” I admit, “but it sounds like he’s having a good day, too. In illiterate repetitive gibberish.”

I remember throwing all kinds of music at my kids, hoping their thoughts and horizons would keep opening and exploring and enjoying. I still wish most music came without lyrics. Much like a cross-country family road trip, there isn’t a need for running dialogue. Everyone gets to put their own spin on it.

“You don’t even know,” sings the kid.

We pull into the garage to the inspiration of the “Rocky” movie theme song. Even the car is motivated.

No, I don’t even know. The summer will bring what it will and the music says to look forward, not backward.

Rich with family time, exploring ways to get our feet back underneath us, and a run to the store for koolaid comes to mind.

That can make my hands clap.

I wrote this at the end of MAY, people…. Whattayagonnado?

Chasing My Tail

Last week, I sat with five total strangers in a dark classroom, taking a free adult education class on “Succeeding in Today’s Job Hunt”. Gathering what was left of my dignity, I followed along as we clicked through our personalized “Career Exploration” quiz. I tried to keep an open mind because occasionally these quizzes tell you something awesome, like which Disney Princess you are (Dory). If it gave me some winning Lotto numbers, I would also be content.

And bust my buttons, if it didn’t know me. There was nothing ambiguous about my results. I like working with other people to help them learn and grow. I enjoy teaching, giving advice (ahem), and helping and being of service to people. Also, I like positions that involve  leadership, risk taking, decision-making, and that can be done without following a set of rules.

I’ll take my tiara now, please.

“These types,” droned the heavily made-up teacher, “do not prefer cubicle jobs. They are up, on their feet, running to help someone. They are creative and innovative, and win the Lotto regularly.”

Maybe she didn’t say that last bit, but the rest is spot on.

Sitting a little bit taller in my plastic chair, we moved forward to the top ten job suggestions in our type. Eagerly, I scanned the list, looking for the magic door to my future, and found…my past.

Teachers Aid”, check.

Nanny”, check.

“Funeral Parlor Director”. Umm.

Morbid curiosity made me click the next link. It explained that, while I have the empathy, practicality, psychology and plenty of black clothing in my wardrobe, I also had to have a college degree and love the smell of formaldehyde.

For another minute, in the silence of my laboring colleagues, I saw myself in a funeral parlor, orchestrating floral arrangements, murmuring condolences, swaying a little to the soft Bach in the background. I saw myself writing obituaries that would make a gang lord weep. I watched myself lock up for the evening, toss my long black cloak over an arm, and slide behind the wheel of a chromed-up hearse. As I slow-cruised the boulevard, windows down, AC/DC blaring, I realized the hearse had hydraulics. I left the image hopping at the street corner.

After careful scrutinization of my past, I decided that – more or less – I could check this one off, as well.

“In today’s business world,” continued our fearless leader, “your interview is key to securing the job position. Here are the top five questions you want to ask during the process that will make you stand apart from the crowd.”

We watched a short Youtube video.

The suggestions were clever enough: use a bit of psychology to put your future employer on the spot in regards to the job description.

Having done a bit of hiring myself, I couldn’t stop seeing everything from the employer’s point of view. If an interviewee had asked me, “What, specifically, would it look like a year from now, that would indicate to you that I have exceeded your expectations for this position?”, my answer would be, “Specifically, you would not have been called into a closed door meeting and handed your hat.”

“Where do you see this company headed in the next three to five years?” the eager interviewee would ask, because companies with no vision may not be a good fit for you.

“I see us furthering the cause of the American dollar, with the person in this particular position sitting down and getting to work and not asking quite so many questions.”

I love the pro-active newby employee enthusiasm. You want to be a contributor. A hub. A pencil-whipper (I heard this phrase at a meeting once and fell in love with it). But most of the time, the employer just wants a cog in the wheel so things aren’t quite so lumpy as it turns.

When the video ended, I raised my hand.

I know. It explains a lot.

The other class participants had been quiet, slouching in their seats, faint perspiration appearing as we fretted over resumes and cover letters and websites and interviews.

They startled when my hand went up.

“I think what everyone forgets,” I began, “is that the interview is a two-way conversation, not an interrogation. You go in and sit down, and you’re nervous and you think you’ll forget everything you know or say the wrong thing, and maybe you will, but the person across the desk is just a worried as you are and that makes it a little easier to navigate.”

Just then, a presence appeared in the corner of our room. Completely unnoticed until now, a giant of a man rose from his seat. His frame unfolded to at least six foot six, and it was dressed in a blue suit that held his girth in check and topped by a balding head over a commanding set of eyebrows. He turned his gaze and a finger towards me and launched into a booming five minute speech in an academically intimidating accent.

Think Miranda Priestly meets Lurch.

He pontificated on my thought, adding the details that a prospective employer would worry about and the questions they wanted to ask, but couldn’t, and how very much at the mercy of the candidates they were to do the right thing for their company. He mostly talked to me, as half of the class couldn’t or wouldn’t make eye contact. My instincts were to curl into the fetal position under the desk, but it was filled with computer cables.

He introduced himself as the headmaster of the school, gave his best wishes for our job search, and left the room, audit complete.

Quickly, before anyone else could raise a hand, our teacher wrapped up the lesson and gathered her paperwork. I glanced to the student on my far left. Resuscitation is not something my job type prefers.

I left the room, chastised. I wondered two things: Specifically, where did he see his company headed in the next three to five years? Did it include our teacher, this class…maybe the cheeky student in the back row?

And also, would his coffin be grande, venti or trenta?

This can’t be happening…

Rip van Forty Winks

Y’all need to sit down and buckle up, because the last two weeks feel just like Rip van Winkle waking up in Lilliput. Or was that Buck Rogers?

This isn’t happening.

Maybe I’ve been living under a rock – aka working a full time day job – but crawling out from under it hurts my eyes. And my heart, just a little.

It’s the toilet paper that sent me over the edge.

I’m cleaning the guest bathroom because company is staying for the second weekend in a row but this time I can’t trust it to the kids because they left actual used Qtips in a drawer last week, so now I’m scrubbing the toilet and notice that the toilet paper is unrolling and wisping into the trashcan below it.

My sister-in-law will admit to being a paper snob. She insists on paper plates that hold food without bending and paper cups that won’t melt at the first touch of your lips and never in a million years would she allow single-ply toilet paper near her house.

Apparently, my guests last week were fine with it, as it was never mentioned, but I feel like if they had any common sense, they would have reached for a Qtip which is more absorbent than an entire roll of single-ply.

I’m wondering if my boys just air dry but I’ll be darned if I ask them at this point.

I pulled a dozen rolls out of the pantry before finding the last of the proper-ply old stock. I guess I grabbed the wrong case during my last shopping spree.

Before you go judging, let’s all sit back and rethink the whole “day job” situation. A shopping spree in that lifestyle consists of running through Target after work in your heels, desperately grabbing TP, shampoo, and tortillas because you promised the family a meal and a can of refried beans is going to save the day.

Again.

And let me tell you that once I got home, I did not notice that we never replaced the broken microwave plate, that the dishwasher no longer cleaned dishes, or that the oven door had never been repaired.

Rounding out the kitchen appliance alliance, although our fridge had not had a working water dispenser for years, it now was no longer making ice.

None of this was noticed until last week, when I lost my job on Tuesday and kid #5 broke his ankle on Wednesday. On Thursday, I was really really wishing we made ice.

“Self,” I said, “This is not a good week.”

And ever since, I have been looking around me and noticing that I have not been home for over two years.

The freezer has a top layer of microwaveable fake food and just below it are layers of real ingredients. I pulled out a chicken with an expiration date of over two years ago. Worried that I may have forgotten how to cook (gasp!), I fluffed it up and put it in a pot. Chicken soup does not discriminate against old age. When I dusted off a can of tomato juice to add to the pot, I noticed the date: May 19, 2016.

Good enough. Don’t tell my mother.

And because I know you were wondering, marshmallows over two years past the date on the bag will not melt into the butter in the pan when you want to make the rice crispy squares you thought of making circa 2015.

They sauté nicely into little buttered, rubbery cubes.

Even old reliable – my faithful mop bucket – gave up on me. Full of cracks, it was thrown into the trashcan, along with five pairs of broken shoes, two dead houseplants, and every single rusted ring that had graced my traveling tea mugs to the office and back.

I will never drink out of a mason jar again.

But that is a story for another day.

Reaching into the freezer like….

Digging My Way Through the Day Job

Okay, here’s the deal.

I have been called a perfectionist, a fairly over-zealous housekeeper, and an over-thinker.

While this is sometimes undervalued in the kid-raising environment, I understood it to be a bonus in the work environment. That place called a “real job in the real world”, the place that looks for buzzwords like “organized” on a resume.

“How would you describe yourself?” asked one of the three women who interviewed me.

“Flexible,” I replied, pleased to see the trap and avoid it.

Flexible covers all the bases.

“Um,” suggested another interviewer, “Would you say you were organized?”

I hung my head a little. How did they find out?

“Well,” I admitted, “I am organized,” I glanced up apologetically, “but…it’s just so not sexy, you know?”

Two things happened in that room that day.

I flubbed the world’s worst interview in the history of all interviews.

And they knew exactly who they were about to hire. Not my fault.

Six months down the road, I am standing at the copy machine showing it who’s boss (you get your perks where you find them) and I realize I’m standing in a glorified closet that hasn’t been cleaned since carbon paper was an actual thing.

As you know, I am equally interested in processing purchase requisitions and dusting for cobwebs.

I’m a multi-faceted individual.

I cleaned out the closet before the copy machine was done whining about life, and pleased as punch with the transformation, went about the rest of my professional day. Pinkies up.

You’re welcome, world.

Two days later, our supervisor huffs into the room, “Who took my tray?”

We glanced up from our keyboards, mid-thought.

“In the back closet,” she continued, “I kept a tray of stuff back there so I wouldn’t have to carry it all with me every time I make copies.”

I slunk a little lower in my seat.

“I tidied up the closet the other day,” I admitted, “but I don’t remember any tray.”

She walked over and looked at me, “It was just a small tray of random things. It had my stamps, some paper clips, a couple of…..”

In my mind I saw it, sitting on one of the shelves, a pile of junk surrounded by flotsam and jetsam from years of neglect.

The look on my face was the same one used when Hubby approaches me and asks who cleaned the garage – the dumpster where tools and wires are discarded after a job half-done – and I know full well that telling him his tools are actually back in the toolbox on a tidy shelf will only make him madder.

Her words echoed his: “Don’t tidy any more closets. I need to be able to find things.”

She walked back into her office as I made eye contact with my coworker.

“But there’s a nice little container of all that stuff sitting tidily right beside the copy machine now.”

We shrugged and went back to typing.

I did, however, go after my own files with gusto. I approached each pile of papers like an archaeologist, prepared to find both treasure and trash, and excited to discover which might be which.

You can’t always tell (ahem).

The ladies who had gone before me each left their mark, passing on nuggets of valuable information, email chains that hashed out a big question so that I would not have to, ten years down the road. I appreciate their efforts to blaze the trail for those who may follow, even if the trail goes in circles or directly off cliffs.

They left me sticks of gum and rubber thumb thingys that have nubbins on them.

And also, they left me this.

Not only do I salute the Captain Obvious who put this together in what must have been a time of crisis (I remember that year), but I am delighted to admit that I am, by very definition, the guy who makes this list relevant in 2017.

My girlfriends know exactly what I’m talking about.

Administrative Professionals Day

Today, April 26th, is Administrative Professionals Day, and apparently it comes around as a way for In-Desperate-Need-Of-Administration Professionals everywhere to thank the person who keeps their papers spinning.

That’s me. I keep millions of papers in several colors and sizes spinning like tops. My home office alone resembles the NASA Mission Control Center.

But I question this method of acknowledgement.

Once upon a time, all the secretaries got together and decided that, darn it all, they were under appreciated and underpaid, overlooked and overbooked, and needed something else on their jam-packed calendars to fix it.

“Make a note of it,” they said.

Tappity tap, tap…I’m sure men know how to type too, yes?

And they did.

They made up Mother’s Day, Women’s Day, and National Dadgum That’s a Good Day, Day (March 1st). There’s Be Heard Day, Receptionist’s Day, Women’s Checkup Day, Lost Sock Memorial Day, and No Dirty Dishes Day.

This is just a drop in the waterfall of are-you-kidding-me national days.

Only a handful of these “Days” stick to my calendar, and today’s is just vague enough to make me wonder several things:

  1. What qualifies someone as an Administrative Professional?
  2. Who are the non-Administrative Professionals that are supposed to wish you well?
  3. What are their motives for doing so?
  4. Is the well-wishing preceded with “Happy”, “Merry”, or “I need this in today’s mail”?

My research (qualification #1) led me to the greeting card aisle of Target. If there’s one thing Target knows is their shoppers, and sure enough, they were prepared for our imminent need.

Target for the win.

Behold the end cap.

It’s clear that 10 out of 18 Admin Professionals are female (qualification #2). One out of 18 are multilingual. One is an animal-lover. Or thinks everyone else in the office are animals. Four out of 18 have no idea whether they qualify as Admin, and so will take what they can get.

Admin Professionals drink coffee and tea (qualification #3). They make a difference. Their job involves phones, books, clocks, and typing. They require a written “Thank You” once a year for their efforts. They don’t mind feeling patronized instead of professional.

And they can’t mind if you screw up the exact date, because Target has nicely advertised it as a whole week which gives others several opportunities to get it right because we all know who normally is in charge of getting cards out on time.

Who made this??

This one slays me. I am so offended by this bathroom door symbol. If this is the card you reached for when you thought of me, I quit. All 1% of you had better run and hide. These stupid stereotypes exist because you bought into it.

I want just one card that shows a manly man with a dark tie and a beard, sitting at a desk typing away with a real slogan hanging on the wall…Going Commando to Cover Your Butt.

Office Ninja. I could Take you all Down with a Click of my Mouse…

Payroll…Just Do It

Letting Concerned Citizens Scream into my Ear Because I like Money

Boss’s Day is coming up.

What goes around, comes around, and saying “Thank you” is always a good idea.

Flowers and cards and snacks are nice, and the mailroom guy would like some too, by the way. I think he stands with me on the obvious: a Professional is anyone who brings their job up the notch that turns it into a career.

If you’re a street sweeper, be the best darn street sweeper anyone has ever seen.

Here’s to the broom pushers and the paper pushers alike, you have my solid respect every day of the year.