Tag Archives: office

What really happens when the shades go down.

So….

I have a confession.

I own this now.  It belongs to me.

 The suit

Hello, suburban soccer mom warm-up suit.

BUT KERI – what about thisAre you giving in to this?   What about that “I will not be assimilated” stuff?

Didn’t take long for all that to go out the window did it?  How is the minivan shopping going, Ker?

NO NO – but wait!!

I didn’t pick it – I swear!!  I CAN EXPLAIN!

It involves Corporate Keri, and participation, and cuddly 80’s cartoon characters.

No Really.

Each year the office has a blow out Halloween Costume Contest, with different groups and teams interpreting a theme and going all out – costumes, pumpkin decorating, and even (oh yes it’s true,) cube/office decorating.  This year we decided to really go for it – opting for a furry group of cartoon characters from our youth – who shall remain nameless until Halloween because we are THAT crazy serious about the competition.

The next thing I know I am at the Kohls (which is pretty suburban mom of me too, BTW,) in front of a  giant display of semi-fuzzy velourish sweat suits in every conceivable color, making my selection. (What’s that?  You say “velourish” is not a word? That has never stopped me before.) Of course, Black and Grey were the two selections I was drawn to, but alas, these options had no coordinating fluffy characters in the cartoon land to which we are paying our homage.  Unable to stomach the idea of full-body royal purple, or the baby-est of blues, I settled on a light tan that worked well for one of the characters. I  plunked down my debit card (do I have any “Kohl’s Cash”? Um… no,) and left the store with a plastic bag hiding my purchase.

Here is where it gets truly shameful.  While The Mr. was upstairs reading Ten in the Bed for the eleventy billionth time with Jr, I decided to try the situation on “just to see.”  As soon as I zipped that fuzzy jacket up under my neck, a strange and powerful sensation washed over me.  I felt warm, and relaxed. I sunk onto the sofa and stretched my legs out in front of me.  The fireplace toasted my velour suit as I curled into its generously proportioned comfort.

Mmmmm. Cozy.

I was asleep in two minutes.

Uh oh.  The Mom suit has magical powers.  It soothes and swaddles and calms.  It warms the limbs, and the soul.

Crap.

In the days since that first encounter, the pull of the suit’s siren song is strong.  I feel it, luring me after long days on endless conference calls, enticing me as I brace against the fall chill to get home.

Twice more I have given in. The rewards it promises have not gone unfulfilled.

I can’t quit the Mom suit.

Don’t misunderstand me – you aren’t going to bump into me squeezing Asian Pears at the grocery store wearing it or anything.  Hell no.

But…..

The idea of wearing it, on purpose and with good reason, to the office all day on Halloween excites me.

For the rest of the year?  After a long day fighting the “have it all” working mom fight – I might just pour a big glass of wine, close the blinds, and give in to the power of the suit.

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The M.U.V.

Frederico Escapé is a mess.
Let me qualify that statement, actually. The INSIDE of Frederico Escapé is a mess.
For realzies.
The depth of the disaster hit me full force recently when “Corporate-y me” found herself feverishly pitching Scholastic order forms, hordes of napkins, junk mail, bobby pins, paci-covers and gah-knows-what-else into the back seat so my colleague from the Boston office could get a lift. (lucky him, eh?)
He is one of my faves, and has witnessed the special horror that is my desk, so he was a-ok with the sitch, but seriously, yo, it’s getting pretty thick in there.
The thing is – 99.99999999999% of the time the Keri-mobile is transporting Jr. and Mommy. Nobody else.
My beloved U.U.V. (Urban Utility Vehicle) of my city-dwelling, self-centric days has given way to the unintentional, unavoidable metamorphosis of suburban parenting:
The M.U.V. (Mom Utility Vehicle.)
Deceptively clean and serene in outward appearance : blueish gray, shiny, windows free of grime.
But crack open one of those doors fitted with the extra sun screen to protect tiny eyes and ZOMG!
Who pulled the pin out of the mom-supply bomb!?
Wet wipes and tissues, blankies and pacis, tiny baseball caps and T-shirts…. All mixing together, ever-churning as the car stops and starts and turns and takes on new layers.
A suddenly-yellow light produces an almost-impossible-in-size forward wave of sippies and goldfish “cackers” and school newsletters from below the seats. It is surreal, even to me.
Don’t misunderstand me here – I am not going down without a fight. I have all kinds of equipment designed to keep everything I could ever need in my M.U.V. organized, tidy, and available with no digging below the seat required. There is the handy cargo bay organizer wedged next to Binky-the-wonder-dog’s collapsible crate in the “way back.” It houses extra coats/layers for the whole family, picnic blankies, balls, and other “outdoorsy” items any Colorado native feels somehow compelled to drive around with at all times. It is stuffed full. I never remember what the hell is in that thing. It does make a nice wedge to keep Jr’s City Mini stroller from sliding around when I stop fast with it back there. (Stopping fast seems to cause a lot of issues for me. Maybe I am not the stellar driver I think I am. Nah.)
In the seat pocket in front of Jr’s throne car seat, an industrial-sized container of wet wipes, a box of tissues, and a trash bag for keeping the used versions of those paper products contained. Mostly. (Again, see “stopping fast” references. Damnit!) Below his feet a bin for toys and pacis and cloth books (no paper when I can’t reach him – he is a paper eater, and the freeway is no time to attempt to break that habit.)
In theory I have everything in place I need for the M.U.V. to be as shiny on the inside as it is on the out.

Except Life.
Except when 2 nights of barfing makes it MANDITORY for me to cover every square inch of interior in the burp-cloth collection I am relieved to say I still have pack-ratted away in the basement just to drive the 5 minutes to the doctor’s office. (Which end up not being barfed on, and living wadded up on the floorboard for months, because that third arm I keep asking for seems to be on backorder.)
Except that a toddler with a snack trap full of cheerios is happy as a clam eating away and singing along to Veggie Tales until that moment when he isn’t – and the cheerios become some sort of anger confetti, whipped around the interior of the vehicle to express his unease. This never takes place on a side street when pulling over might be possible. Not offering snacks at all IS a possibility; however it may result in said toddler deciding that the carseat is, in fact, the portal to hell, and the firey flames are creeping up his backside as I attempt to pilot Frederico safely to our destination.
The Mr’s reaction to this, er, situation, ranges from a mild side eye when I rush after a minor crumb explosion in the garage (“ants, Keri… you will cause ants,”) to recoiling in horror at the idea of actually riding anywhere in my rolling preschool.
Whatever – I’d pit my M.U.V. against his Jeep that he treats like a Bentley in an end-of-times sitch any day.
Blankets, water, books and games – hell our family could eat like kings off that floor board for WEEKS and be fat and happy. (Kings eat ground up teddy grahams and goldfish, right?) Crisis AVERTED.
What do you suppose The Mr. would do in the same situation in his ride? Keep warm with that tiny little shammy he cleans his sunglasses with? Gnaw on a floor mat?
Mmm hmmm.
LONG LIVE THE M.U.V.!!!
(Seriously though – what’s that smell?)

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Sorry, coworkers.

When I was brainwashed we decided to move to the ‘burbs, I shifted my already on-going search for a new job out to the ‘burbs too.

I don’t commute.  I don’t understand the idea of commuting.  I spend enough time on the actual working part of the day, I am not going to extend that day by hours sitting in my car surrounded by a bunch of other suckers doing the same damn thing.

I found a job that I was uniquely qualified for (no, no one pays me to make sarcastic-but-obvious observations.  Where ever I work, that is something I offer free-of-charge,) so fast I took it as a sign.

I had been looking to move out of my position for over a year with no luck looking in the city – then I switch my search outward and BOOM, awesome job right into my lap?  It was obviously because I was lining up my thinking with God’s plan or something, right?

Except, as it turns out, I can totally work from home with this job. Could do it ANYWHERE.  Shot that little theory to hell PDQ, eh?

The thing is, I split where I work pretty much half-and-half.  Some days I am at home, tucked in my little basement office working away, and some days I like to wear cute clothes and have someone to notice have the interaction that the office provides, so I go in.

Yesterday was a cute clothes office day, and as I finished my lunch and tossed the Tupperware with  remnants of my spaghetti squash and parm up onto one of my paper piles,  I realized something.

It would be the ultimate workplace courtesy if I would go ahead and stay down in my basement.

Awesome outfits aside, I think I am kind of blecky to work near.

-I don’t make extra trips from my cube, so if I finish eating, I chuck the container/silverware/coffee cup/whatever aside and let it sit there until I am getting up for another reason.

-My paper piles spread like a virus.  They are contained in the cube, sure, but I am one of the first cubes you pass as you come in, and it ain’t pretty.  Ask me for a tissue and I will get you one, but I have to go into the piles to retrieve the Kleenex box..

-I love me some mementos.  My cube walls are as busy as a teenaged girl’s locker.  Pictures and cards and bumper stickers and notes mix haphazardly with phone directories and processing info actually needed for work.  A far cry from the grown ups’ everyone else’s carefully placed calendar and tasteful framed family photo sitting to one side of a clean desk.

-Post-its.  I use early and often and EVERYWHERE.

-My dietary habits are occasionally questionable.  They involve a lot of Nacho Cheese and Mountain Dew.  This can’t be easy to watch.

– I am socially clueless in work settings, and not alert before cup of coffee #3 – which means if you walk by and say hi first thing in the morning,  I may stare blankly at my computer until you are WAYYYYY down the line before awkwardly mumbling “goodlo”  ( a cross because “good morning” and “hello” because I was going to say one, but then changed my mind faster than I could change my mouth and said both.)

Basically I am an office disaster.  I am pretty sure I also type mega-loud when I am stressed, and I am a one-person department just now, so I am ALWAYS stressed.

Also there is that sarcastic comment thing.  Hilarious to me, but someone SOMEWHERE might be less impressed.  (Naw, that can’t be true.)

 

Long story short (never happens,) the nicest thing I could probably do for my coworkers is to get back into my sweatpants and back into my basement.

(But then the poor dog has to deal with my sloppy loud self….  It’s lose/lose, really.)

See you ’round the water cooler.

 

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