Life Lesson: Morning People Will Probably Eventually Rule the Whole World

Life Lesson #6,120: Do not get dressed in the dark. Even if it’s only dark because it’s cloudy outside and you’re too lazy to turn on the light.

That is how you discover your shirt is inside out. At work. At 10:00 in the morning. After two meetings. With the C-level executives* in your office.
*CEO. COO. CFO. C-More-Important-Than-I-Will-Ever-Be-O.

I am not a morning person. I have never been a morning person. I was not a bright, chipper small child up with the sun. I was not even a person before noon during my teen years. In my 20s, I continue to bodily drag myself out of bed before the hour of 9:00 in the morning. Maybe by the time I’m 50, I’ll have a healthy relationship with dawn, but right now, we’re mortal enemies.


Closing the curtains doesn’t even help. I still know it’s there.

But every now and then**, I have to drag myself out of bed on a cloudy, rainy or snowy morning. This is a strange blessing and curse all rolled into one. For one thing, the sun is forced to refrain from taunting me, due to being locked behind the shelter of clouds. But, on the other hand, it’s still blissfully dim and all I want to do is stay in bed. So getting ready becomes even more difficult.
**Sporadically and spontaneously and generally on the most inconvenient days, because I live in the South.

As has been mentioned previously, I work in a proper corporate business office, where I am expected to wear proper corporate business attire. There are skirts and heels and fancy shirts and dressy sweaters and other things I have had to spend a bunch of money on to ensure that I look appropriate and good at my job.


Of course stars and sparkles appear when I successfully get dressed in the morning. Does this not happen for you?

I am successfully good at accomplishing other morning activities (showering, hair brushing, makeup) in a lit bathroom that has bribed me into awareness with promises of hot water. But no amount of wardrobe budget and steamy showers can spare me the horrors that come with getting dressed in the dark.


Selecting the proper attire in a dark closet clearly requires a lot of finesse.

I have a tendency to select items at random and fling them out of the closet onto my bed, signifying that they are destined to be part of the day’s outfit. Lots of these items are black, because I am a champion at color-coordinating. After other preparations are complete, I tend to hurl these clothing options onto myself, achieving a successful dressed state.


It’s hard to see the stars and sparkles in the dark.

However, some mornings***, I am not quite so successful. Apparently.
***Like THIS morning.

Some mornings, not all of the clothes go on the right way. And without the supervision of the blindingly bright, evil dawn sun, there’s no chance to catch the devious, inside-out shirt until well after I’ve left the apartment.

You know, until after I’ve finished my second meeting of the morning.

I need more coffee for this nonsense

It was not subtly inside out either, guys. There were tags and seams and possibly the opposite side of shirt-decorations visible.

So in other words, guys: Happy Tuesday. I hope your clothes are on the right way.

Public Service Announcement #33: Do Not Ignore Headphones in the Workplace

Or: Cubicles are Wildly Undervalued and I Am Jealous of Everyone Who Has One

I work in an office that has run out of space. The Company is growing, which is fantabulous*, but it also means that cubicles have become a high-value commodity and offices are non-existent. Because of this, Marketing has migrated into a “collaborative workspace.”
*Totally a word. And The Company pays me for wordsmithing, so it’s pretty silly that you’d question me about words.

What this means is, we are no longer entitled to the luxury of walls. My office space looks like this:

Do not question my professional pigtails

Note that those are not cube-boxes. Those are deskspace mini-cubes. The few “walls” don’t even come out past the desk chairs.
But we do have desk chairs. So basically, we’re pretty spoiled.

This has led me to become a believer in giant headphones. I support them for a variety of reasons:

  1. They make it legitimately impossible for me to hear my coworkers when I’m working.
  2. They clearly signify to my coworkers that I cannot hear them.
  3. They have a microphone on them, so I can use them in place of my telephone headset for conference calls.
  4. See reason 2. This is important enough to repeat.
It's very productive

These headphones are clearly not small.
Also, this is my zen and productive work pose.

However, no matter how giant my headphones are, I have found that my coworkers still firmly believe that I am listening to all the conversation going on around me. Now, it’s true – the conversation is much more interesting than work. But as someone who is held responsible for creative** writing, as well as practical business*** writing on a regular basis, I need a bubble of clear headspace to accomplish my mission.
***Also manipulative


This is an accurate representation of this situation happening.

When I become aware of people looking at me expectantly, I’m forced to do the polite thing and pull my headphones off to find out what was said. I mean, maybe my valuable advice**** is needed. Or maybe a new assignment has come down the pipeline. Maybe, as productive and essential marketers, everyone decided to get started on a new campaign idea.
****Valuable advice available here, here and here.

Every. Single. Time.



This is never the case. And so I return to the delightful land of my cone of silence*****.
*****Or music. Cone of music. Same thing. 

Whereupon the cycle promptly starts again.


So value your cube space, my friends. Value it…and send me some walls.

I Don’t Know What that Costs

No, really, I don’t. I work in Marketing. Marketing tells people why they want things. We know why you need it, why you crave it, why your life simply is not complete without it.

But I don’t handle the pricing.

I have no idea what three hours of a developer’s time is worth. If you asked me, I’d say “Mountain Dew and a box of Reese’ Pieces.” But for all I know, it’s actually a 2-liter of coke and five Slim Jims. I don’t know what it costs The Company to dedicate a project manager to an assignment. I don’t even know what junk food they eat.*
*It’s not that I don’t care. It’s just that I work with them less.

I don't understand.

Is this not how people are quantified?

It’s a little bleak, but I like to think of Marketing as working a long con. It’s my job to get to know you.** It’s my job to find out what your needs are, so The Company can anticipate them. We’re here for the greater good***, to make sure you get find the right products and services that will make your life better.
**The royal “you.” The one that means everyone, and doesn’t mean I specifically spend my time stalking you. I definitely don’t do that. Because I’m not a weirdo. And I have no idea where you live. Why are you closing your blinds?
***Consumerist Evil.

It's possible I don't know how jobs work

“Women who wear boots and fluffy skirts like things that can be carried in bags.”
– Factual Marketing Observation

And get paid. I have college loan debt. I am really, really interested in getting paid.

But there is an inherent problem with working in the Marketing Industry. That problem is Sales. Sales does not care what you want, or what you need. Sales cares about what you think you want to buy. Sales cares how we can bend your needs to match The Company’s products. Sales really, really, really wants you to buy what we have to sell.****
****Ok, ok, I do too. But I really want to make sure you want it, too. I have to do research and stuff. That’s why it’s called “market research.” Duh.*****
*****This is not why it’s called “market research.”

And here at The Company, Marketing has almost nothing to do with the prices of what we sell. Sales handles that. Because they’re selling it.****** It’s an obvious assignment of responsibilities.
******And because Marketing is a rabble of adorable, creative-minded individuals who probably can’t be trusted with math.


You never know just what might happen when you give Marketing numbers.

But this never stops anyone in Sales from asking our department complex questions about how prices are determined and issued. In essence, when tasked to determine the price of a good or service provided by The Company, Sales comes running up to Marketing and asks “How much does this cost?”

Marketing does not know. 

More importantly, not only do I not know, I cannot be trusted not to make up an answer.

Vortex eyes of doom!

Nothing The Company sells costs $7. Unless you ask me. Then absolutely everything The Company sells is sold for $7. Because math.

So, by all that’s good and right in the world, can everyone please stop asking Marketing how much things cost? We don’t know, and we don’t care. We only care if you want it, if you’ll buy it, and if you’ll Tweet about it.

I should probably just start pointing out the comic on my desk


From The Oatmeal. Go show him all the love, because he’s brilliant, and this makes me happy.
Click this and cheat to the comic in question.

Why Corporate Meetings Should Never Last Longer than One Hour

It may be obvious at this point…then again, given that my last post directly referred to my handmade Halloween costume, maybe not. I have a corporate job, in corporate America. I dress up in fancy clothes and flounce off to work every day, doing my best “knowledgeable professional” impression while chugging coffee. I put together presentations. I submit reports. I write proposals.

And I attend meetings.

Now, I understand the purpose of gathering together to discuss business-y things. Sometimes we need to brainstorm. Sometimes we need to catch everyone up on the status of a project. Sometimes we need team training.

But no meeting should last longer than one hour.

After one hour, attendees stop learning. By this point, I’m plotting my escape; I’m dreaming up daring exploits involving ninja costumes, grappling hooks, and a guest appearance by Channing Tatum dressed as Batman. (Stop judging. I need someone to distract the meeting attendees while I make my escape.)

BatMike...aka "Bruce Wang" (Kudos for this image and slick pun go to the artist: @jeremyhyler on twitter

BatMike…aka “Bruce Wang” (Kudos for this image and slick pun go to the artist:
@jeremyhyler on twitter

In my experience, everyone participates and takes notes at first. We’re all competing to be the best at meetings. After about 60 minutes, the process devolves into higher-ups arguing about long term intentions, and minions checking Facebook on their phones. After an hour and a half, people on diets are eating the conference room candy and coffee addicts are going through withdrawal. And I’ve added a cameo from Willem Dafoe, reprising his role in Boondock Saints, to my plans.

For your escape-daydream reference,.

For your escape-daydream reference,.

Let’s not even talk about three hour meetings.

If you’re an employer, I hate to tell you this, but I’m going to anyway: You have employees just like me. So ban all meetings over an hour. We’ll be too busy to daydream about movie stars and five minute dance parties set to “99 Red Balloons” because we’ll be working during all that time once dedicated to superfluous, distracted meeting time. Also, you won’t have to refill the meeting room candy as often.

I hope this was informative. If you need me, I’ll be in the conference room. I have an all-day training meeting.

These balloons are on their way to my dance party.

These balloons are on their way to my dance party.