So this week, I found out that my immediate boss had been promoted. I’ve been doing her job for a few months, but no one said anything to me about what would happen with my position. I didn’t want to ask because why poke the bear, right? (Not that she’s a bear—she’s actually lovely). But the date was quickly approaching when my term was supposed to end, and I wasn’t sure what to do, because I’ve kind of gotten pretty homey with her office, having installed my Retro Coca-Cola mini-fridge, my single-serve Keurig, and an assortment of family pictures, vintage wooden boxes, my melty Salvador Dali clock, and sundry other items. Not to mention things like binders and extra computer monitors and a drawer full of about 17 pairs of reading glasses and five different types of green tea. Was I supposed to wait until the last minute and then throw it all on a wheely cart or something? I was getting a little stressed out, especially since people in upper management were avoiding me like the plague and I was starting to get worried. Then, late on Wednesday afternoon, I got a call that the CEO wanted to see me, and I got a bit panicky. Why? Because I was recently nominated to chair one of our weekly meetings, and for the first week, I thought it would be nice to bring snacks to make up for the fact that I was very nervous about having to steer the group and be the one to say things like “in respect of the time, I think we should move on—let’s take this conversation off-line (which is something that I have to say now that I’m a manager. I was at another management workshop on Monday, and the presenter said that. I turned to the woman next to me, and said, “I didn’t think we were ON-LINE” and she just looked at me like I was crazy and responded, “We ARE.” And I so badly wanted to say “NO! This is not TRON!” but I didn’t, because one of my directors was sitting at the table with me also, and I didn’t think that would help my case.)
Anyway, for the first week as chair, I brought miniature Hershey’s chocolate bars, and everyone was like, “Oooh! Good job, mydangblog!” and they ate them all up. So I decided for the next week that I would really have to up my game. Then I was at Winners in the checkout aisle where they have all the good snacks, and I saw these little crates full of liqueur-filled chocolates. I mean, how do you make chocolate one step better? You throw alcohol into the mix, am I right?! I bought two crates—one with chocolates filled with tequila, and one that was labelled “Mojito”. Who wouldn’t like that? Well, as it turns out, no one. I’d put the little bottles into a bowl, and placed it on the table. Everyone looked at it. “Aren’t they cute?” I said excitedly. “They have liqueur in them. Please, help yourselves.” Nobody moved. Then one of the Directors next to me cleared his throat, laughed in a kind of weird way, and said loudly, “Oh, I think it’s a little early in the day for that, heh heh.” Then everyone else was like, “No thanks…I couldn’t possibly…” and the bowl sat there in the middle of the table like my own personal alcoholic badge of shame. At the end of the meeting, I cheerily invited people to take some with them “for later, wink, wink” but people were like “Oh, tequila makes me wild—I better not” or “It’s too late in the season for a mojito” and I was left with the bowl, a mounting sense of trepidation, and an uncertainty about exactly when mojito season was.
So you can see why when I was called to the CEO’s office, I was a little nervous. Had she heard about my “liqueur-filled chocolate faux pas”? I walked in with a pen, a notebook, and one of my many pairs of reading glasses, just in case I had to take notes about how not to encourage inebriation amongst my co-workers. As luck would have it, however, she was actually offering me an extension of my manager’s position:
CEO: So we discussed your position at the Executive meeting…
Me (silently): Please don’t say ‘tequila’…
CEO: And we all feel that you’re doing an excellent job, so we’ve decided to extend your position, if you’re willing to continue.
Me: Oh, that’s a relief!
CEO (confused): Does that mean you accept?
Me: Yes, sure, great.
CEO: Would you like to think about it?
Me: Do I NEED to think about it? I mean, if you WANT me to—
CEO (laughs): No, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. But don’t say anything to anyone until we have a chance to make an official announcement, please.
Me: Oh, OK. But I can tell my husband, right? And my mom?
CEO: What? Uh, yes. That’s fine.
Me: Super. Thanks again.
So I left her office. I was really excited, even though I’m not great at sharing that kind of thing publicly, so as I walked down the row of cubicles, I checked to see if anyone was looking. There was no one around, so I randomly jumped in the air and clicked my heels together. Then I kept walking. I thought it was all good until a while later, when one of the other managers came to see me about something. Then at the end of the conversation, I realized that I hadn’t been as inconspicuous as I thought:
Manager: By the way. What the hell was with the heel-clicking earlier?
Me: Oh my god, you saw that?!
Manager (laughing): Yeah. It was kind of awesome. I told your Director about it, and when I tried to imitate you, I almost fell down.
Me: You told the Director?! Oh my god, I’m so embarrassed. What did she say?
Manager: She thought it was hilarious. Don’t be embarrassed. There’s nothing wrong with clicking your heels together. People should do it more often.
Anyway, it all worked out OK, despite the booze and acting like a middle-aged leprechaun. One of the things I have to do as a manager is attend a lot of meetings. And I’ve gotten really good at attending them (mostly because when they go into my calendar, I automatically get a 15 minute reminder before they start, so I’m never late). I realized the other day that, essentially, my role in meetings involves several important jobs. First, I have to listen and take notes. This can often be hard, because a lot of my meetings involve people who like to speak using solely acronyms, like “So we have the PRRT for the TIA and the MOU”, and for a long time, I would be like WTF? Three weeks ago, I was at a meeting and had to leave early, so I said, “TTFN” but no one got it. Anyway, by this point, I have a pretty good glossary of “The Initials of Stuff and What They Stand For”. My other job is also very important: when someone says, “Are we all OK with this?” I nod very vigorously, and when someone says, “Are there any questions?”, I shake my head very vigorously (even though I just want to whisper, “SO MANY.”). But I like to support my co-workers, and I’m nothing if not a team player. And for this week’s snack, I’m considering chocolate spiders. Everyone likes those, don’t they?
Thursday: I swear at the police
On Thursday night, I was out for dinner with my brother, sister-in-law and some friends to celebrate my sister-in-law’s father’s birthday. A few days prior, I had gotten a phone message from a guy with a very heavy accent telling me that I was in serious trouble and that if I didn’t immediately call him back, he would be forced to contact the police and that I should retain a lawyer. It sounded very ominous, and also like the total scam that it was, not unlike the calls that were making the rounds last year from “Revenue Canada” which instructed people to send iTunes gift cards to Paypal accounts OR ELSE, and some people actually did. I called the number back so I could give the dude a piece of my mind, but as per usual, the number was no longer in service. In addition, I’ve also been getting slammed with text messages from a bank that I don’t deal with, telling me that my account is compromised. It was scary at first, but then I realized they must have me confused with someone else, like the guy who keeps texting me with pithy sayings like, “Hey Shane! Blazefor dayz!” even though I keep telling him I’m not really “Shane” and that I haven’t “blazed” for innumerable dayz.
Anyway, I was sitting at dinner when the phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number but I answered it, and a recorded message said, “This call may be recorded for Quality Assurance purposes”, then a very stern-sounding man said, “Hello. I’m calling from the Police Services Board.” And how did I respond? I cut him off and said, “Yeah, right. F*ck off” and I hung up. Then I called the number back. And it said, “Welcome to the Police Services Board Fundraising Line, helping children everywhere.” I immediately hung up and gasped in shock. What had I done?! Had I just effectively black-balled myself? What if I had an emergency and had to dial 9-1-1? Would they say, “Oh right…it’s mydangblog. Yeah, you’re a funny one. F*ck off with your emergency”? So I did what any normal person would do. No, I didn’t call Ken, because this was one of the few times that wouldn’t have helped. Instead, I called the number back:
Recorded Voice: You have reached the Police Services Board Fundraising Line. Please leave a message after the tone.
Me: Um, hi. So a little while ago, somebody from your fundraising campaign called me, and I thought it was a scam, so I was really, really rude to the person. I might have used a swear word. Anyway, I feel really bad about it, and I would like to sincerely apologize to him. And the children. So, um, really sorry. Thanks.
Hopefully, they can hear how sincere I am (since I used so many ‘reallys’, which is always a sign of good intentions), and not put me on a “Do Not Respond” list. Because otherwise, FYI, TBH, I am truly SOL, LOL. FML. CYA.