Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Time to Cut the Hours

A few months back, I caught my reflection in the bathroom mirror at work.

Perfected business casual drone of black slacks and some color of cable-knit sweater, shapeless grandma shawl over the shoulders, and a puffy triangle of hair.

"Geez, you're not even trying," I shrugged with indifference at the unfamiliar morphed reflection of elderly-me in a wrinkled shawl and middle-school-me with frizzy, brushed out curls.

Before babies were in the picture, I remember interactions with coworkers that went something like this:

Me: "Excuse me, [name] is here with [company] to see you. They've just arrived, and I've set them up in the conference room."



But one day, and then frequent days, and then regularly, I caught myself having this conversation:

Me: "Hey, were you expecting someone?"

Coworker: "Um, yes, I think so. At 10?"

Me: "Oh, is that what time it is? Sure."

Coworker: "Did you catch their name?"

Me: "Hm, no. It's a woman."

Coworker: "From Bank of America?"

Me: "Sure, she looks like she could be with Bank of America."

Coworker: "Ok, thanks."

Does it say more about the extent to which I lowered the administrative standard around our office, or the outstanding congeniality of my colleague, that he actually thanked me for the information I provided?



And then there's this excerpt from a reply to an overlooked email:

Hi David,

I apologize for this delay. Your email got pulled into a folder that doesn’t get checked very often.

[...important email request fulfilled...]

Best regards,

Charlene

Unfortunately, the "folder that doesn't get checked very often," was referring to my inbox. 


When faced with the overwhelming task of refilling paper in the printer, I found myself choosing the "Hm, cancel print" option more and more often.

If it weren't for my mad OCD and impulsive multi-tasking skills, I'm pretty sure I would have received a "thanks, but no thanks" letter of termination from my company.

Delirious months later, filled with laundry, inexplicably adorable kids, novenas, two car wrecks (no injuries) and extensive research on coupon moms and health insurance alternatives, I finally passed a letter of gratitude and resignation over to my long-suffering employers.

To my surprise, rather than taking the opportunity to hire an ambitious, high-intensity, full-time replacement, they restructured the admin schedule and responsibilities, and offered to keep me around part-time.

And THAT is why they get name-dropped in our family rosary each week, with prayers for their families and business success!

As for me and mine, GLOOOORIOUS! Not that I haven't crashed hard into the doldrums of part-time, stay-at-home motherhood, just that I'm finding the dividends of happy kids and a calm(er) home well worth it.

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