Saturday, July 9, 2011

Working Gal

Workplace etiquette is extremely important.  Sometimes the one who knows how to "play the office game" is the one who gets promoted, get special assignments, or just gets the most face time with the boss.  Unfortunately for me, when I "play the office game" I'm just as likely to knock the board off the table in a two-year-old display of frustration as I am to actually try.  I just fail at politics.    If I think something I'll say it, which makes for an extremely entertaining environment for those I work with and a great blog for you guys--but a certain future in entry-level minutia without advancement for me.  

The only difference between Mel and I?  The hair and the cigs.
On Tuesday, I noticed the office was out of coffee.    I looked into our little Maxwell House coffee can "coffee fund" and all that was in  it was the $1.75 I guiltily put in as a desperately chugged my fifth coffee of the workday sometime last week.   I realized that if I didn't act, when I got into the office Wednesday, there would be a problem.  I am unfit for human interaction (always) but especially so without the sufficient amount of coffee.   So I composed an email, listed the recipients as "ALL STAFF-DAY" which means it would go to All Staff in the Dayton office.  I congratulated myself for not accidentally hitting, "ALL STAFF" which would have gone all the way up to the CEO, and to all 4 regional offices and then I typed the body of the email: "Hey everyone.   I've noticed we're out of coffee for tomorrow and since I would inject it directly into my veins if I could--I will be feeling the loss.  Currently, the coffee fund has $1.75 in it, which I put in, so I would appreciate some more donations.  I'm happy to go out to the store and buy more coffee; but since I decided to empower youth at a non-profit instead of pursuing my lucrative career as a hand model, I can't afford to supply the coffee for the office alone.  If I get no more donations I will be forced to take the $1.75 to Speedway, buy one large coffee and dole out shots of it.  Love and Hugs, Annie."    I felt smug/self-satisfied (my default emotion most of the time) and thought the whole thing was very clever of me.

My plea worked, for the next 15-20 minutes, a steady parade of co-workers came up to my desk with money for coffee.   But they also in very soft, soothing voices, the same voice one uses to explain to a three-year-old why it's inappropriate to run around the mall nude, told me gently, "You're new, so it's okay you don't know this, but you should never send All-Staff messages."   Apparently, my little hand model/heroin addict message went to some key players in the Cincinnati office as well, which are included in ALL STAFF-DAY.  Which, you know, isn't good.   I wasn't that disturbed about it, in my mind the email didn't use "fuck" or "tits" once, thus making it totally office appropriate.  That is until even the grizzled male facilities manager (who's never said two words to me before) came up to my desk and growled bitterly into my ear, "I've been burned by the sending to 'All Staff-Day' before.  You really need to be careful." Uhhh, ok?  I made a mental note to pay more attention to him and search for signs he's contemplating shooting up the office. Buuuut his warning ended up making me so paranoid that I tried to recall the message, but apparently the computer (completely ruining the point) sends out a little alert that I was trying to recall the message.  Thus, making me more conspicuous instead of less, as was my intention.   People now came up to my desk asking why I'd tried to recall it.   I just wanted some coffee!

"Yeaaaahhhhh, Annie I'm going to need you to not send All-Staff E-mails"

Yesterday, there was a staff-meeting in the office about community cultivation.  Staff meetings, first of all, are awful.  They're boring and redundant and since I work at a very touchy-feely non-profit they also usually involve some "fun" get-to-know-ya game.   I hate icebreakers of all kinds, and usually decide to say something ridiculous in an act of defiance.   For example, "tell me something about yourself" usually leads me to share something like, "My cat just got her ovaries ripped out," or "I enjoy soup."   Ha, now aren't you sorry you asked?!  

This meeting's show and tell involved, "what are you doing this weekend."  Thrilling.  When it came to my turn, I said, "You know honestly, this weekend will probably involve me drinking gin in my bathtub while talking to my cat, you know, the usual."   Yes, I said this out loud.   Sometimes I forget I'm in public, let alone at work.  Luckily my boss (and everyone else) laughed heartily, and I shrugged like, "Yeah I live a pitiful existence, what of it?"   But inside I chided myself for concentrating on making people laugh (which I love to do more than anything else) instead of sharing a more acceptable answer, like "My boyfriend and I have date night tonight."  I'm really striving to be the class-clown, but unfortunately, the class-clown in elementary school wasn't armed with nearly 23 years of inappropriate amo like I am--it's apples vs. deadly, career ending oranges.

As the meeting progressed, my blouse button popped while I was answering a question and I pantomimed injecting coffee into my veins while I helped myself to more.  All good things.   I, however, STILL can't believe the next thing I said.

Just to give you some background, where I work is very much like a cult, in that we have our own special jargon.  We talk about "delivering the mission" and "using the program" (sort of like people in AA work the program).   We also have 3 keys to leadership, and 3 outcomes, 5 foundations, and God knows what else--probably 15 ways to wrap a towel or something.   During hour 3 of the meeting I was becoming restless and slap-happy.  Then, one of my favorite co-workers connected community cultivation PERFECTLY to our three keys to leadership.  After she made her points, a sanctified, awestruck hush fell over the room.   Which I, then unceremoniously broke, by saying, "Oh my God, I just had a (name of were I work)-gasm."  My manager started laughing so hard she was crying.  There were snorts and shrieks and gales of laughter, followed by pandaemonium.   Then, just to put an exclamation point on how ridiculous I am, when the moderator said, "Wow, I feel like I can't follow that.  Maybe we should just finish here."   I said, "Yeah, that's usually how I like to finish."   Nice orgasm joke at work, Annie.

So while, luckily, I work somewhere so loosey-goosey it doesn't really matter that I made these gaping faux-pas, it probably isn't good that this is the habit of workplace conduct I am developing.  And even while I feel really lucky and blessed that I found such a cool workplace environment, these instances only further convince me that I can literally have no other career but becoming another Chelsea Handler, because while I am qualified for other things, but fit for nothing else.  Imagine me working in a law-firm!    Yeah.   I really need to be Howard Stern's sidekick instead of someone who works with small children on a daily basis.

I don't need this. Yet.

1 comment:

  1. This blog entry, totally just made me laugh out several times, I love the way you tell your stories. And yeah the orgasm comment was pretty much epic, I loved the reaction of certain people around the room. lol..