If Only I Had 2 Cents for Every 2 Cents I’ve Put In…

There is an art which I have yet to master. No, I don’t mean the art of writing. I mean the art of minding my own business. Every year on Yom Kippur, I throw bread into a lake. To Jews everywhere this symbolizes casting away our sins. To others, it symbolizes feeding the ducks. (Occasionally I’ve been chased by zealous park officials: Apparently tossing away sins is prohibited there.) Every year, for as long as I can remember one of my “sins” that I throw away is “minding my own business”. Unfortunately, it usually limps out of the lake and boomerangs back to me about two days later.

Don’t you hate those people who, when you’re having a conversation, just show up out of nowhere and start commenting? That’s me. And it could be about anything from gardening to why the husband of the woman talking ran off to Brazil.

I just float in like Tinkerbell to save the day:
“You told us months ago that he’s been learning Portuguese. Come on Alyssa, the red flags were everywhere! You probably didn’t give him enough attention and oh yeah, ditto for your tomatoes. That’s why they’re not growing. It’s all related somehow.”

And I’m sure after I put in my two cents and finally leave the room, they look at each other and say: “I’ll bet she doesn’t even realize she’s doing it.” That’s where they’re wrong. I realize it. My problem isn’t ignorance, it’s arrogance. I just always think I have something vital to contribute to their otherwise humdrum conversation. I know more than they do. There are thousands of topics in this world I’m sure I know nothing about, from UN policy to opera, but that doesn’t stop me from playing “Jeopardy!” or from being an authority. As my ex-boyfriend used to say:

“Hi I’m Lori and I’m pretty sure I’m some sort of a genius.”

That’s not why we broke up. I mean, he had a point. I think this is a trait I inherited from my father. You’d be working on something: Putting a toy together, washing a dish… and he’d nudge you aside and say: “Better let me do it.”

And you’d think this would make me more compassionate and understanding toward others with the same affliction and yet it doesn’t. Quite the opposite. If I’m having a private discussion and a third party interjects, I’m incensed. How dare they interrupt? I get annoyed and obnoxious: “All who want your opinion raise their hand.”

But when I “intercede”, I’m a master at it. I don’t even have to do it in person. Often I butt in over the cubicle wall. You know when you’re sitting at work in those “sound-proof” “offices” with no door or ceiling? I eavesdrop. Everyone eavesdrops. The discreet, professional thing to do of course, is to pretend you don’t hear a thing and go on with your work.

I’m a busy woman. I have no time for either discretion nor professionalism. It works well in my work environment. My coworkers have chosen to embrace my true self as a buttinsky, yenta, and general annoyance. People have gotten so used to me listening-in uninvited that they’ll just use me as the wealth of information that I am. They know that Big Brother may be watching, but I’m always listening. There will be two women talking in a low voice two cubicles over: “Did they say that meeting is supposed to start at 9 or 10? I can’t remember what time they decided on…. Lori?”
See? I may be rude, indiscreet, and unprofessional, but I’m the company’s most vital resource. I seriously doubt if they could function without me.

Infertility, Holidays, & Coworkers: 3 Full-time Jobs (Friday)

(Start with “Monday” if you can. This week is all about co-workers. You may want to forward some of the posts to them…or maybe not… Well at least look them over before forwarding with the subject line: “Read this and thought of you.”  And if you so desire, please subscribe to this blog. You get nifty weekly insider updates and get to hear what I really think of my own posts…not as boring as it sounds..geez I hope not anyway.)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How the fertility-challenged among us are reluctant to go to the company holiday party, and, lo and behold…so are most people.

As we’ve discussed this week, the reason most of us are nervous about going to these parties, according to me anyway, is because at work you’re expected to talk about work. The company party is the one time a year when there are (supposedly) no managers, supervisors or employees…No back stabbing,  no letters from the boss saying: “Bonus?! You’re lucky you have a job.”  No favoritism. No sht list. It’s almost like a religious retreat. Just chums, buddies, comrades, and friends.  And friends talk to each other about their families…and introduce you to them.

Continue reading

Infertility, Holidays & Coworkers: 3 Full-time Jobs (Thursday)

Sorry for the late post. Power/Internet outages as far as the eye can see.

(Start with “Monday” if you can. There’s another snowstorm in the forecast for this afternoon for a good part of the Country. It could be a blizzard. You’d better just curl up in front of the computer in your jammies with bunny slippers and cocoa. Nothing else would be advisable.) 

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Our coworkers who show their true hoochie selves at the company holiday party. Yeah, those who look like they just came in off the street on their way to work… at the corner.

Truthfully, there’s a positive side to the nose-diving economy: It’s made attending company holiday parties easier for us. Continue reading

Infertility, Holidays, & Coworkers: 3 Full-Time Jobs (Wednesday)

(Start with “Monday” if you can. Did you see “It’s a Wonderful Life” the other night? No, I’m not sure there’s a connection either.) 

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The pitfalls of attending the company holiday party. Specifically: The dangers of bringing along a gabby-when-drunk spouse who, when he throws up in front of your coworkers, might accidentally let some of your intimate infertility secrets slip out with the scotch.

I mentioned yesterday that I’m not a drinker. Have no interest in it. Couldn’t be bothered. My motto has always been “When people start getting stupid it’s time to go.” I’m starting to rethink my motto. Because when people start getting stupid, the company holiday party finally starts getting good. Continue reading

Infertility, Holidays & Coworkers: 3 Full-time Jobs (Tuesday)

(Start with “Monday” if you can. If I do say so myself, yesterday’s post wasn’t half bad. I can’t vouch for the other forty-nine percent though.)

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The people we work with, some of whom know our reproductive secrets. 

Most of us don’t readily spill our guts to just anybody at work. So when we consider who might be a good candidate to confide in we might ask ourselves: “Is this a caring person? Is this a person who will be sympathetic and sensitive to my situation?” Wrong! 

If you want to tell somebody at work your infertility business there’s only one soul-searching question you have to ask yourself: “Will this person get plastered at the company holiday party and float my secrets down the River Rum?”   And for that matter: Will my spouse? Continue reading