The Time I Thought They Forgot My Birthday

The Universe schooled me this week.

I thought my coworkers were going to forget my birthday. You know, kinda like what happened to Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles. Except I am a GROWN WOMAN and felt really dumb worrying about people forgetting my 43RD BIRTHDAY. And yet, I worried.

“Maybe you should drop a hint?” my sister half-joked.

“I can’t do that! I’ll look crazy!” I answered.

So the anxiety stayed in the back of my mind for the next few days. I wondered why I cared so much. I don’t really like being the center of attention, so why did it matter if they remembered or not. It matters because them remembering makes you feel like YOU matter, I thought to myself. Oh right. That makes sense. Conversely, if people forget, it means you don’t matter. Nobody wants to not matter. Duh.

Anyway, these girls remembered like a boss. They remembered so hard. Balloons, decorations, cupcakes, flowers, a card, lunch and treats. They even sung the birthday song. They outdid all previous coworker birthday celebrations. How could I ever have doubted them? That was silly.

Universe: When will you learn? I got this.

 

#Throwback Thursday: It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

Originally published 11/18/14

 

“There were times in my life when I had one thing to do all day, but I still couldn’t get to it. I gotta go to the post office, but I’d probably have to put on pants. And they’re only open till five. Looks like I’m going to have to do that next week.” —Jim Gaffigan

People think when you’re laid off that you have all the time in the world to accomplish all kinds of cool stuff. And, theoretically, you do. King of Queens’ Carrie thought she was going to read the Great Gatsby and catch up on assembling all of her photo albums. Turns out she mostly just played chopsticks on the piano and watched Dr. Phil.

Yeah. That’s reality.

I have all kinds of ambitious plans, but a few minor roadblocks.

#1 You’re supposed to be looking for a job. Time spent doing anything else seems complacent. You want to be able to tell people you have leads when they ask. And they will. Repeatedly.

#2 Or at least be worrying about looking for a job. You can’t really enjoy anything else you’re doing because you keep remembering you have no job. Images of Hannah and I living in a cardboard box flash through my mind as pages on my mental calendar fly off at an unstoppable pace.

#3 You can’t spend any money. Catching up with friends for lunch, taking care of long put off home improvement projects, working on your crafts, getting ahead on Christmas shopping—all cost money and can hardly be justified when mama ain’t workin.

#4 Turns out exercising isn’t any more fun now than it was when I was employed. I still hate it only now I can feel twice as guilty for not doing it when, clearly, I have plenty of time!

#5 Some days depression = frittering = nothing accomplished = compounding feelings of uselessness. I really wish I could go back to work just so I wouldn’t have to feel bad about not using my time off wisely.

I was going to add the events of a typical day of a laid off person, but eh. I don’t feel like it. Friends is on.

photo by memecenter.com

Please Exit In An Orderly Fashion

My friend got canned on Friday. Employer says he is welcome to stay while they look for a replacement and he looks for a new position. I thought to myself, wow, now THAT would be a conundrum.

On the one hand, you might as well stay and keep getting your paycheck while you find something else. Seems silly to cut off your nose to spite your face. On the other hand, how how how? I think it would be really hard to go back to a place that has let you go. To exit in such an orderly fashion after such an ego hit.

I think a lot of people would never go back. Or they’d go back for the paycheck, but secretly fantasize about burning the place to the ground.

But he said something very growing-toward-the-sun-ish that won my admiration. “It’s just business. I don’t have any hard feelings. If I get all bitter about it, it just makes things worse for me.”

Touché.

And that’s how it’s done. <mic drop>

Only Terrorists Wear Jeggings

“How is the job search going?”

VennDigram

That’s how it’s going.

And apparently it’s going that way for everyone else, too. Every job seeker I know is approximately one ignored resume away from deciding they’ve failed at life and should just go join the circus. (I hope the circus isn’t offended that they are a struggling career’s last resort.)

When you’re frustrated on the reg by a fruitless job search, tiny frustrations can morph into a gigantic I-want-to-run-over-someone-with-the-car frustrations. Like there being no un-spicy sushi in the grocery store case. Or the last 15 minutes of The Good Wife being cut off on my DVR. Or the discontinuation of my favorite jeans.

Me to retail clerk: Are you guys getting any more of the boot cut jeans?
Retail clerk: Ummmm probably not. We have mostly been selling the skinny jeans and the jeggings.
Me in my mind: What the hell is a jegging.
Me in real life: Oh.
Me in my mind: (throw my hands in the air, sigh loudly and cry “OH WHAT’S THE USE!” while collapsing onto the sales room floor)
Me in real life: (exit without refolding the tower of tshirts I had knocked over)

I pause to text my sister about how my boot cut mom jeans were extinct and everyone wears jeggings now. “Only terrorists wear jeggings,” she texted back. I laughed to myself. I enjoyed our shared rejection of jeggings. Then I logged onto ebay and found a pair of boot cut.

One thing that’s great about constant rejection is that you relish the small victories.

Laid Off: A Day in the Life

6:00am: Wake up and listen to Hannah whine about school/hair/clothes/face.

6:50: Drive to bus stop in pajamas and listen to Hannah whine about school/hair/clothes/face.

7:15: Drive back home while wondering if I should stop at CVS for candy. Resist.

7:30: Fix eggs. Eat right out of frying pan so as to avoid dishes.

7:45: Check Facebook. Feel compelled to click on article: Read about 9 Nerdy Actors Who Grew Up to be Hearthrobs. Wonder why Anthony Michael Hall is on there. Decide it’s fine.

8:00: Check email and review job listings which haven’t changed at all since the previous day. Wonder if I will have to become a Starbucks barista. Think that barista sounds cool. File it under “last resort”.

9:00: Take a walk with sister. Hash out latest quandaries. Feel double accomplished. Vow to carry motivation throughout the day.

10:30: Get back in bed with laptop instead. Feel justified as I am “researching” various items on Amazon that I cannot afford. Check Facebook. Like friend’s photo of her cat.

12:00: Make a wrap. Watch Roseanne reruns. Wonder why Becky #1 left the show. Ponder if she regrets it to this day. Decide Sarah Chalke was much better on Scrubs. Wonder if John Goodman ever fought with Roseanne and why I never see him on talk shows.

12:30: Try to figure out John Goodman’s age. Look him up on Wikipedia. Decide to Wikipedia each cast member.

1:00: IM friend and talk about King of Queens episodes. Realize there are two about layoffs—one where Carrie is laid off and one where Doug is. Try to decide which I like best. Carrie.

1:30: Look at list of calls I need to make. Make dr appointment. Decide that’s enough phone calls for the day. No need to overwhelm myself.

1:45: Consider going to grocery store. Getting dressed huge hurdle. Look in pantry—determine I can get one more lunch for Hannah from peanut butter, bread and only slightly shriveled grapes in fridge.

2:00: Check Facebook. Take a quiz to see which Disney Princess I am. Cinderella. Vehemently disagree to myself.

2:15: Text friend. Discuss how no, I didn’t get the job I interviewed for last week. Go over Everything Happens for a Reason script.

3:00: Have a snack. Think about volunteering somewhere in the community. Table the idea.

3:15: Decide most productive part of the day is over. Might as well watch Friends reruns.

4:00: Load dishwasher in last ditch attempt to accomplish something. Notice I have twice as many forks as I do spoons. Vow to use more forks going forward. Spoons only when necessary.

4:30: Pick up Hannah. Listen to her whine about school/hair/clothes/face.

5:00: Check email. Have an Etsy order to fill. More Taylor Swift magnets. Seems too late in the day to start project. Put on mental list for tomorrow. Preemptively pat myself on the back.

6:00: Heat up leftovers for Hannah. Eat some beans out of the can while standing at the counter. Notice floor full of crumbs. Do nothing.

7:00: Take a shower, but don’t shave legs. Because, why. Consider skipping conditioner. Chicken out.

7:15: Contemplate plucking eyebrows. Decide against it since percentage of time I leave the house + people I make eye contact with nowadays = much less than the trouble it takes to pluck.

7:30: Fold a basket of laundry while watching Extra. Feel like a winner.

8:00: Listen to Hannah whine about school/hair/clothes/face.

8:20: Go through mail. Actually look at ads. Consider clipping coupons. Don’t.

8:30: Stumble upon rerun of the Cosby Show. Google Bill Cosby scandal to see what’s going on with it.

8:45: Look at bank account. Think about what expenses I could cut. Hate doing that.

8:50: Check out Pinterest. Pin recipes (that I will never make). Pin DIY projects (that I will never do).

9:00: Listen to Hannah whine about school/hair/clothes/face.

9:20: Get into bed. Text with hot boyfriend. Discuss Hannah’s whining about school/hair/clothes/face.

9:45: Check Facebook. Watch video of Better Call Saul preview. Appropriately lower expectations for series.

10:00: Lie there and think of worse case scenarios. Eat peanut butter from the jar. Take sleeping pill.

10:30: Notice how little current TV I watch. Fall asleep to King of Queens repeats.
wasting-time

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

“There were times in my life when I had one thing to do all day, but I still couldn’t get to it. I gotta go to the post office, but I’d probably have to put on pants. And they’re only open till five. Looks like I’m going to have to do that next week.” —Jim Gaffigan

People think when you’re laid off that you have all the time in the world to accomplish all kinds of cool stuff. And, theoretically, you do. King of Queens’ Carrie thought she was going to read the Great Gatsby and catch up on assembling all of her photo albums. Turns out she mostly just played chopsticks on the piano and watched Dr. Phil.

Yeah. That’s reality.

I have all kinds of ambitious plans, but a few minor roadblocks.

#1 You’re supposed to be looking for a job. Time spent doing anything else seems complacent. You want to be able to tell people you have leads when they ask. And they will. Repeatedly.

#2 Or at least be worrying about looking for a job. You can’t really enjoy anything else you’re doing because you keep remembering you have no job. Images of Hannah and I living in a cardboard box flash through my mind as pages on my mental calendar fly off at an absurd pace.

#3 You can’t spend any money. Catching up with friends for lunch, taking care of long put off home improvement projects, working on your crafts, getting ahead on Christmas shopping—all cost money and can hardly be justified when mama ain’t workin.

#4 Turns out exercising isn’t any more fun now than it was when I was employed. I still hate it only now I can feel twice as guilty for not doing it when, clearly, I have plenty of time!

#5 Some days depression = frittering = nothing accomplished = compounding feelings of uselessness. I really wish I could go back to work just so I wouldn’t have to feel bad about not using my time off wisely.

I was going to add the events of a typical day of a laid off person, but eh. I don’t feel like it. Friends is on.

Everyone Flipped Over ‘Frozen’ But It Really Just Annoyed Me

The older I get, the more deeply I understand that communication is underrated. I just looooove talking to people about stuff. Most misunderstandings can be avoided if people would just speak up, clear up and man up.

I can’t stand speculation, wondering, fretting and fuming over an issue as I build a story about—or even a case against—the person or event currently festering in my never-turns-off mind.

I’ve been called a troublemaker or mean and who knows what else but, truthfully, I just try to be as genuine as possible in my day to day interactions. This means if I have a question, I ask it. If I don’t understand something, I get an explanation. If I feel misunderstood, I go to that person and clear the air. It seems so easy, I don’t get why more people don’t do it.

When Anna was breaking into her 14th year of the pitiful ‘Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” performance, I was all caught up in why her parents couldn’t just get real up in that castle.

“Anna, the reason Elsa can’t come build a snowman is because she has freako hands and almost killed you once.”

Or Elsa could have taken the bull by the horns after her parents died and yelled at Anna through the door, “I can’t come build a snowman because I have this really weird affliction where everything I touch turns to ice. If I were to build a snowman with you, YOU’D be the snowman. Capish? Also, don’t tell anyone.”

It’s kind of funny that I work in a corporation where I must function amidst endless red tape, mountains of forms and layers of people who are assigned to each and every task. My coworker and I were working on a powerpoint presentation together and were receiving art direction through a layer of people.

<groan> I haaaaate that.

Some of this direction was clearly not going to work and so we began to stew. “Why does he want the graphic that way? It’s going to look so cheesy.”  “Why does he want a map of England there? That makes no sense”.

Then I remembered, ohhhhh yeaaaaah! We have a mouth that allows us to communicate directly with people. And a phone on which to call anyone we wish. So we called our creative director.

My coworker was reluctant, but went along. Afterwards, we managed to get the creative director to see our way. My coworker even told me she felt so much better after that call. And it only took 5 minutes to totally change our perception of the project.

Another time, a coworker told me that another coworker was asking, in front of my boss, if I had a problem with them. I didn’t. So I lined up a meeting with that coworker, my boss and me. In 5 minutes we all understood that there was no problem and we were free to go on with our lives. Not having any problems with eachother.

I will never be accused of being a woman of few words, but I wouldn’t (and quite possibly couldn’t) have it any other way.

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