Working Together as a Team Is a Challenge, Guys

Or: It’s Really Hard to Play Together as Adults

When I was little, getting together as a group was fun. Somehow, my friends and I would always end up trying to accomplish something.*
*”Something” including achievements like “climbing ladders” and “pretending to be Thundercats.”

Projects at 5

This is a recreation of actual events. Age 5

Things stayed pretty positive through the teen years. Group projects meant hanging out, over-caffeinating, and pretending we definitely got productive things done.**
**While also methodically ignoring whatever the point of the project was, until the last minute, where we each decided we’d done all the work on our own, without any help from each other.

Projects at 15

Age 15

But by the time college rolled around, things got sort of confusing…

Arguments at 21

Age 21. Definitely age 21.

…Because it’s really hard to technically be arguing when pizza is involved, but it’s also hard to accomplish anything while tipsy*** on the floor.
***Let’s be honest. By the time you’re on the floor, tipsy was a few drinks ago.

Then came the working world. In my head, the corporate world would be full of intrigue, professionalism and productive meetings.

Arguments at 11

Age 25

It was not.

But now, technology has made professional group projects even more fun.

Arguments at 31

Age 31. We live in the future, guys.

Mostly by giving us all more ways to argue with each other.

What It Is Like to be Promoted

Or: Why I’ve Been the Worst Blogger in the History of Time

It’s a common fact that being promoted is an excellent thing. It is a deserved reward for hard work, and appreciates that an individual has a greater capacity for success in the work place. It should be celebrated, and comes with all sorts of perks, like better pay and increased professional importance.


That’s why people get pretty jazzed* about it.
*This is how the cool kids are talking these days, right? Man, I’m so hip.

But sometimes this is not true.

Sometimes, you are abruptly told that you have been promoted.

And, of course, you are then entitled to a justified happy dance, even if it is awkward.**

And, of course, you are then entitled to a justified happy dance, even if it is awkward.**

**And it is always very awkward.

…Into a different department. Onto a different career path. With largely increased responsibilities. Without increased pay.

These things have a tendency to interrupt even the most awkward of dances.***

These things have a tendency to interrupt even the most awkward of dances.***

***Resulting in even more awkward-looking poses. It’s hard to stop an awkward dance in progress.

But still. You have been promoted. And there’s not very much you can do about it. Because it’s an honor. Your professional superiors are acknowledging your potential! And your hard work!

So try to look happy about it, ok? It's a PROMOTION.

So try to look happy about it, ok? It’s a PROMOTION.

As a newly promoted individual, it’s your job to dedicate yourself completely to your job. Your projects are your life. You’re tasked with showing you’ve earned your professional status.

Because if you are a boss, you have to get things done like a BOSS.

Because if you are a boss, you have to get things done like a BOSS.

Your new professional status means you are now doing a different job, however. Which means you will have larger quotas to meet, increased responsibilities to fulfill, and a greater bar of achievement to hit.

This is a very bad way to catch heavy projects. I do not recommend it.

This is a very bad way to catch heavy projects. I do not recommend it.

Of course, more responsibilities mean longer hours. And that’s only to be expected, because you’re growing, professionally. That’s great, right?

Help. I'm being repressed. Uh, I mean...Yup. Great.

Help. I’m being repressed.
Uh, I mean…Yup. Great.

It’ll look great on your resume. I swear.

It Does Not Matter How Fancy I Dress in the Morning

I will not make it to work in the same condition.

For the first time in my life, my place of employment is now in a proper downtown area.* This is a new development – today was my very first day working downtown.
*We’ve spoken before about how I totally live in a real city, with big tall buildings and things. We call our downtown “uptown,” because in the South, we like to confuse outsiders.

Which means I spent extra time this morning dressing up all slick and business-y. You know, so I could fit in with all the other highly professional and snappily dressed adults.

See? There’re business heels and a business coat, and even business hair. I’ve got this “professional” thing down.

See? There’re business heels and a business coat, and even business hair. I’ve got this “professional” thing down.

But little did I know that the universe was conspiring against me. I’d made resolutions to eat healthy foods and avoid the costly temptations of a downtown diet. I’d packed salad in my bag for lunch, and yogurt for breakfast. Clearly, I was prepared for the onslaught of very-cool-things that metropolitan areas can offer.

Nope. No one is prepared to resist cookie smells.

Nope. No one is prepared to resist cookie smells.

It stopped me in my tracks. The sweet smells of baked treats and coffee slithered through the air like that hypnotic python in The Jungle Book.** They were calling to me.
**A source of many of my childhood nightmares,*** and therefore a perfect comparison.

I tried to resist them.

This is my “resisting” pose.

This is my “resisting” pose.

It was not effective.

This is my “totally not resisting” pose.

This is my “totally not resisting” pose.

Mostly because the sweet, sweet smells were leading me to my office building, y’all.

Smooshing your face up against the window glass of a fancy bakery is a very professional thing to do.

Smooshing your face up against the window glass of a fancy bakery is a very professional thing to do.

And so I went to my first meeting with a bag full of cookies and an extra-giant soy cappuccino.

Best. Meeting. Ever.

Best. Meeting. Ever.

Looking substantially less business-important than I did 20 minutes before that.

I’m taking this as a sign that the universe probably wants me to go completely broke, and live entirely on sugar.

This is a double-marshmallow rice krispy treat covered in CARAMEL CORN, guys,  _Caramel corn._

This is a double-marshmallow rice krispy treat covered in CARAMEL CORN, guys,
_Caramel corn._

I hear you, Universe.

I Am Possibly the Sole Source of Entertainment for the IT Department

Or: The Story of How an Otherwise Competent Human Can Convince an Entire Department She’s Barely Smart Enough to Not Eat Paste

Generally, I’m identifiable as a fairly intelligent human being.* I manage to dress myself in the morning, pay my bills, and effectively accomplish things related to my multi-faceted, demanding job. I can hold real conversations with people about science things, and space, and marketing, and even some other stuff.
*Hey, hey, hey. I said generally, guys. Not always. Sometimes I am also identified as an overgrown child, and other times “that girl who dresses up like a dinosaur any time it might be remotely socially acceptable.

Despite all that, you probably couldn’t convince the IT department at the Company that I’m smarter than a second grader.

I’ve mentioned before that the Company is growing**, which makes it exciting to be an employee. All sorts of things happen at growing companies. One of the things that happened this week was my department was moved into a different office space. We packed our things up in boxes and hauled our workspace items from one location into the other, like capable adults.***
***Capable adults with desk toys, in my case.

ALL OF THE THINGS in one box!

All of my things did not fit in one box. I am lying to you with this picture.

Desk-space reassembly seemed pretty straightforward. Phones were rebuilt. Monitors were set up. Docking stations were re-hooked-up to all the things on the desk. Files were re-filed.

None of the pieces are sky-colored, though

It’s like a grown up puzzle!

Then, once everything was nicely laid out and assembled, I shoved all the cords off the back of my desk and went about powering everything up and plugging things into the giant power strip the Company gave me.

Which I did. Because I care, guys.

I had to make the plug in noises myself

Everything whirred to life and booted up. I was clearly a master of computer-and-desk reassembly.


…I sense a disturbance in the Force…

Except I had no Internet.**** And my phone had lit up at first, but by the time I sat at my desk, the lights were out and my dial tone was gone. Clearly it had kicked the bucket.
****No Internet access, if you’re feeling grammatically picky. However, I view “Internet” as a thing, like a pulse. You have it, or you don’t, and if you don’t have it, you’re probably dead.*****
*****I am not going to survive the zombie apocalypse.

So I had to go talk to IT.

Almost no one gets it, even if I make the whole "hands are bowls for imaginary gruel" thing...with my hands...

Yes. I do reference Oliver Twist when I ask people for things. It makes everything more literary.

IT came to help me.****** An investigation took place.
******Their mistake.


This is why I should not be allowed to work in real companies with other employees.

IT found the problem. The problem was, my phone was not plugged in.******* My phone controls my access to the Internet. The solution was simple: Plug in phone, get both Internet and a working phone. Because, as it happens, power is needed for electronics to work.
*******The bit that plugs in to the back of the phone fell out. Which I did not check. Thanks for conspiring against me, phone.

Yep. This was a humbling moment

My IT helper was very good about delivering this news with a sincerely helpful face.

I was legitimately speechless, mostly because I am normally competent and capable of fixing basic problems like this. I held the cord and stared at it with an expression of betrayal.

I deserved that head pat


And then my IT helper giggled. He tried to hide it – he really did – but it was a giggle that turned into a snort that turned into a cough.

I’m entirely sure this story has now been shared with the entirety of the IT Department. I know this because all of the IT people have come by and offered me help. With advice on how to work pens. And how to use a mouse.

But it’s cool. I still got Internet.

I can console my pride with the Internet for DAYS

And that’s the very best prize.

Someone Hid the Coffee and I Think the World May End

I am not known for my glowing morning-person personality. I am, however, a known coffee-holic.*
*Also cake-holic, marshmallow-holic, one-more-glass-of-wine-holic…Basically, I should be in a lot of Anonymous programs.


In retrospect, my life would be easier in the morning if I started keeping my coffee pot on the floor.

It’s the sweet nectar that lures me out of bed in the morning and the bribe I use to transform myself into a professional human being on work days. It is the difference between me staring blankly at the wall for half an hour and me writing a blog post.

In short, it is the breath of life. It is my Gummiberry Juice.

They are the gummi beeeeeeaaarrrs!

This is your obscure 80s/early 90s cartoon reference for the day.
Click for image source.

And this morning I did not wake up in time to make any coffee.** That shouldn’t be a problem. I work in a professional office with a fancy break room full of snacks and coffee-making things. So really, on mornings when I don’t make coffee, it’s just a short walk to work before I can have some nestled in my hands.
**I did not make it out of the shower in a reasonable amount of time, and was forced to choose between putting on clothes or making coffee. It was not an easy decision, and I regret the choice I made.

But apparently not today.



Today there is no coffee in the break room. Today, the fancy Keurig, source of all life in the office, sits idle. Someone unpacked the shipment of coffee somewhere secret and hidden. It may be a social experiment. It may be an act of aggression. It may just be general cruelty.

But I think it is an act of war.

And so, since I watched entirely too many episodes of The Walking Dead this week***, I am probably going to go to jail.
***Not true. Not possible. Just stick with me here people. Sometimes humor requires some mandatory exaggeration.

I am a great zombie

This is how TV has taught me to cope with things.

If you’ve never watched the Gummi Bears, a product of Disney’s imagination and corporate greed, then you should probably watch this. It’s the intro, and it sums the whole thing up nicely. “Hey kids! Learn that bouncing a lot and drinking sugar water is a great way to win EVERYTHING!”

Disney says you’re welcome, parents of the world.