It’s Probably Time We Talked about Baby Showers

Or: It’s Probably Better if My Pregnant Friends Don’t Read This One.*

*But if you do, just remember – your pregnancy is super special and like no one else’s and I love you and you deserve a thousand baby showers.

Guys. Guys.
**Also, ladies. Ladies. Because generally, you’re all a little more involved in this.

We need to sit down and have a rational discussion here. A rational discussion about office baby showers.

Nope. Definitely awkward.

Because this is just a really awkward conference for everyone involved.
Click for source, which I’m sure wasn’t awkward and was amazing and thank you for letting me use your picture.

I think it’s cool when people make babies. Awhile back, we discussed the fact that I clearly love babies because I am a sane***, non-sociopathic human being. And I think we should, in fact, celebrate the fact that women are going to produce entirely new people through the magic of science and reproduction.
***Ish. Sane-ish.

AAAAAHHH-ZEEE-VAIN-YAAAHHH

In my head, all new babies are shown off in Lion King fashion.

That’s cool stuff, guys. That’s science.

And, in the right context, I support the baby shower. Because every woman-in-the-process-of-making-more-people needs stuff. Babies require a lot of stuff. Diapers, blankets, cribs, various carrying devices, clothes…A LOT of stuff.****
****I have not made any people, so I base this list entirely on the gigantic registry lists I have hunted through for baby shower presents. I know I’ve left things out.

Since bankrupting new mothers is usually frowned upon, a baby shower is in order. One baby shower. One baby shower that your friends and family come together to throw.  This should result in a giant present fort of supplies and adorable things for new parents to use to take care of their future tiny person.

Not quite as good as a Christmas present fort

One giant present fort. From one baby shower. From people who love you and do not feel oddly obligated to buy you awkward things when they’ve never even met your family.

But then there is the now-longstanding tradition of the office baby shower. The office baby shower is frequently thrown during the work day – during a lunch break or squashed between meetings when everyone is already frazzled. Sometimes, they are thrown immediately after the work day ends, so you are obligated to stay late or look like a cold, evil baby-hater.

Honestly. I may need spinal surgery

No excuse is acceptable for missing the office baby shower.
(But getting accused of baby hating will apparently make your stick figure body disconnect from your stick figure arms)

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, you’re friends with your coworkers. Sometimes you’re even the really good kind of friends that see each other outside of work and actually hang out on weekends. That’s cool. Then you should get an invitation to the real baby shower, which should be an actual event showering love and affection on the expectant mother*****
*****This is my favorite phase. She’s “expecting.” Expecting a baby, but, you know, it really could be anything. “The expectant mother was expecting a human baby, but was really surprised when she had a litter of robots instead.”

In most offices, however, the office baby shower is a strange combination of awkward discussions avoiding the topic of how the baby will actually come out, and people milling around waiting for enough time to elapse that they can politely leave. In case you were wondering, the time you have to stay increases exponentially if there’s cake. Cake means you have to stay longer, otherwise you look like a glutton who uses babies as an excuse to cram sugar in your mouth and run away.

People are frustrated with the last-minute panics of remembering to bring gifts, and the mental debates of how much they were required to spend. In general, even the mother feels awkward.

So can we all just agree to cancel these?

…No? Well then can we all just agree that the cake should never, ever, ever look like this?

Nightmares. So many nightmares

This little terror is courtesy of Cake Wrecks. Click for source and hours of entertainment!

Because if not, I’m bringing this cake to your next office baby shower.

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.
**Manipulative
***Also manipulative

Seriously

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.

IT WAS A TRICK.

Nope.

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.

Seriously

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