Tag Archives: work

THEY KNOW … What Have I Done? Part II

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Sooo when last we talked I suggested that my failure to acknowledge the fruit of my loins was going to be a problem. See, What Have I Done? The problem was that I had recently broken one of my rules — that is — I promised myself that I would never directly  deny that I had children. Well I kind of did that, and I did it in front of someone who knew better.

But I have to go back a year and a half to explain.

Although when I began this experiment and this job I was with a large group of lawyers, we were later broken up into small groups and sent to different places. I worked closely with the people in  my room, but rarely talked to people at other locations –until the holiday party.

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Remember Steve Martin in the classic “The Lonely Guy” ?

I went to the party alone because that’s what I do. Once there, the only people I recognized were a couple of women from my project who worked in different locations.

But it was a party. There was alcohol. Things happen. You understand.

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So I’m making small talk with virtual strangers. These were two younger child free women. They were nice. One was drunk. I’d had maybe a half a drink. My half a drink on meds is like three for a normal person.  So I felt suddenly close to these women. They were my new work party best friends.

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The Office, A Benihana Christmas

Twin talk began because one of the women brought her twin brother. I was way too talkative and knowlegable about twin stuff. And apparently alcohol is Goddamn truth serum delivered by the morality police, and I felt sooo bad for not revealing the source of my expertise. I confessed.

“I feel like I’m lying to you guys. I have to tell you. I have kids, twins. Two sets plus a singleton.”

And then the whole story came out. I begged my new work party best friends not to tell anyone about my —  experiment. They promised.

This was the Christmas before last. Almost a year and a half ago. Fun fact: The drunk one has since had a baby of her own. But God love ’em they kept my secret – easy, though, because we didn’t work in the same room.

Then we were all relocated. I found myself sharing space with a new set of attorneys, including Cheryl, the twin. The one who knew.

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From Friends. Joey’s entrance after he got a new brain on Days of Our Lives

That was fifteen months ago. People have come and gone since then. Currently in this space it’s me, Cheryl, another woman I’ll call Sophie, and two guys. One of the guys  has never mentioned a wife, girlfriend or children. Let’s call him Bill. The other  is married and has one daughter who is, reportedly —  repeatedly reportedly — a certified genius. Yeah, he’s that guy. We’ll call him Ross.

Ross explained to the room that he feels comfortable bragging about his daughter at work because NO ONE ELSE HERE HAS CHILDREN. Consequently, he reasoned, we can’t get jealous or feel bad because our kids do not and can not possibly measure up. Then he stood and asked the room,

“Wait, no one here has kids, right?”

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Sophie is a talker. We know all about her life. No kids.

The other guy, Bill, said nothing.

I opened my mouth briefly and closed it.

In that moment my silence felt dangerously close to denying my kids — and Cheryl knew it. She murmured, “Well, not little kids.”

Guilt showed up and took a seat.

My punishment?

I must endure Ross  brag brag bragging about his academic superstar daughter to us childless folks. Side note, child free folks don’t want to hear that shit either, not all the time. Well, except Cheryl. She  encourages him. She’s in that holy trinity  love bubble of just got engaged, planning a destination wedding and can’t wait to have babies!

Bless her heart.

But I have condemned myself to silence while Ross talks as if  he is the only person to ever have had a child, a golden child.

Listening to Ross actually confirmed my decision. It is possible to talk about kids too much. Parents of high achieving teens are much worse than parents of adorable babies in my opinion. There are awards involved.

It is important (to me) to note that my original observation that started all this, that the guys do not talk about their kids as much as the women, still holds true. Ross doesn’t talk about her in meetings. And when he leaves early because of her he only says, “Well that’s it for me today,” as opposed to “Oh I’m on carpool duty this week because soccer started and I have to pick up the snack etc.” You know, Facebook detail. Ross shares no day to day kid stuff, he merely announces her many, many awards.

Plus, what’s the harm in my nondisclosure? It’s not like I’m dating any of these people.  I have been enjoying being me without reference to kids or my ex-husband. I won’t ask Cheryl to lie, though. I figured I’d just continue to opt out of kid talk. I’ll just be cool.

But Sophie . . . Sophie was NOT at the Christmas party.

Today, Sophie was talking about some estate law issues and asked me if I had  siblings with young children. Then she casually added,

“Well, you have kids.”

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“Wait! What? How do you know that? Who told you that? WHO TOLD YOU????? GODDAMMIT WOMAN, WHO TOLD YOU???!!”

But I didn’t say that.

“Um, kids?”

But I didn’t say that either.

I didn’t say anything. Sophie went on to discuss something else. The guys weren’t around.

I tweeted about it because I was like what the F— ??

I never ever told Sophie about my kids. It must have been Cheryl.

Then when Cheryl left for the day, she said, “Happy Mother’s Day” to me, albeit a little under her breath.

Happy MOTHER’S Day???????

I’m not entirely sure I formed any actual words in response.

Happy MOTHER’S Day?

Twice in one day. Two different people acknowledged my motherhood. Out loud.

Soooo there ya go. Cheryl must have told Sophie, the talker, and Sophie let it slip. I’m sure Cheryl was just being nice by wishing me Happy Mother’s Day. It’s just that Ross was there and it freaked me out. Thank God for earbuds. He missed it.

I don’t think either of the guys know. That’s all I have to hang on to. But Sophie, as I said, is a talker. My days are numbered.

Just Me With . . . children. 

This is so silly, I know. But you must understand. First, the number of kids I have, coupled with the twin thing and my slender physique tends to be a big deal and dominate the discussion. And second, I married my high school sweetheart (and that, as you may have read, did not end well). I never got a chance to be single with no kids. Never. It’s certainly not the same now because I’m of a certain age (something else I never acknowledge) but it’s the closest I can get.

So when I leave my former hoarders house to go to work, I’m just a single girl on the train.

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Perhaps not the unemployed alcoholic depressive and obsessive Rachel from the book and movie, The Girl On The Train . . . though

See also:

Confessions of a Skinny Mom

The New Walk of Shame For The Single Woman — Going Out Alone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If We Were Honest on Resumes

Simon Cowell used to say it on American Idol,  “If I’m being honest . . .”  then he would insult the very being of some wannabe pop star.

Sometimes, honesty hurts.  Consequently,  in decent society (and by decent society I mean not reality TV)  we make nice-nice  while expressing our opinions of others to avoid causing them emotional injury.  Other times we choose not to be honest about ourselves to avoid the appearance of  being (gasp) boring.   We lie, omit information or engage in puffery (ha! I got the word “puffery” in a post) so that we seem fun and important.     It’s expected, really.  It’s the secret of success.

I once had a job where I had to screen  law school students for professional positions.   My best work friend and I used to love reading through their resumes and laughing at the  obligatory “Hobbies and Interests” section, you know,  that last part of the resume when candidates try to make themselves sound well-rounded and  interesting, giving the interviewer something to talk about other than grade point averages.   Call me cynical, but I never believed even  half of it.   My friend and I would sit back with the pile of resumes, go straight to the “Hobbies and Interests” section, and read between the lines to reveal what we thought could be  the, well  . . . truth.

We had a system:

  • Avid sports fan =  Watches TV –ESPN, all the time
  • Enjoys hiking and exploring the outdoors = Owns a bicycle but not a car,  doesn’t shower on weekends
  • Crafting, knitting and scrap booking = Lies — and often
  • Dancing and spending time with friends = Possibly a slut (probably knows Avid Sports Fan, above– from the bar)   

It’s not that there is anything wrong with how people actually pass their time, we just can’t put it on our resumes.  So  my friend and I  amused ourselves by trying to  crack the code.

If  job candidates were being honest, the hobbies and interest section on resumes would  state things like:

  • I watch TV from the minute I get home until I go to bed.
  • I look  for split ends; I hate my hair.
  • Electronic stalking.
  • Hair removal, ‘nuf said.
  • I like to have staring contests with my dog.
  • I spy on my neighbors.
  • Shopping.   I look nice, don’t I?
  • I meet strangers in public places, aka — online dating.
  • Plus the ever popular,  “Social Media” for six  hours a day —  usually while watching TV or at work.  (Readers say, “Amen.” )

If applicants were being honest, maybe they’d omit the “Hobbies and Interests” section entirely  (I always did, but I’m a rebel) .

They could simply tell the interviewer:

I need a job so I’ll have some money to buy equipment for a real hobby but have  no time to actually do it.

And wouldn’t it be refreshing if a stellar candidate  just said:

Look, I have a 3.9 GPA. I’m President of every club at school.   I study all the time.  When I’m not studying or at some meeting, I’m drinking, eating or sleeping.  If I’m lucky I do my laundry.   My primary interest is maintaining my GPA and getting this job so that I can make a lot of money.   Then maybe I’ll buy a boat or something and can put sailing on my resume, but I won’t need a resume then, because I’ll have your job  — if I’m being honest.

For a hilarious example of an honest interviewee, check out the movie  “Office Space.”

In Office Space, Peter tells the Bobs:

“Yeah, I just stare at my desk; but it looks like I’m working.  I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I’d say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.” 

I love Office Space, but I digress . . .

And by the way, as I write this, I’m not doing a damn thing, . . . except writing this.

Just Me With  . . .  Hobbies and Interests:   I enjoy reading, writing and meeting new people.  And by that I mean  . . .  Twitter.