Thanks For: There are Apprentice Ninjas On The Roof

Dear Literally Ninjas or Really Fat Seagulls,

STOP SETTING OFF THE ALARMS! I know it’s you causing the mind-numbing, brain-piercing siren to go off periodically during the day. You’re not even consistent with you timing. You land on the roof all stealthily then mess up or tip your fat seagull selves over and set off the alarm.

You know what I’m doing while you plan your assault on the building? Working like a good little employee. Then you set off your siren and I jump. Every. Single. Time. It’s not a great arrangement. Please improve your ninja skills or take a seagull weight loss program. Pretty please?

Or take me with you to your ninja academy to learn your ways.

But really, the siren is right above my head. I’m not appreciating it. It’s bad enough when the workmen are on the roof next door and bang on the window to our office accidentally with their tools. You ever turned around to a second story window and seen a large hairy man waving at you? Do not recommend.

However, you know why I’m thankful for you? Because you’re bringing the office together. Everyone emerges from their little rooms to discuss the noise, what could be causing the noise, if we should send someone onto the roof to investigate. It’s a party.

But still, increase those ninja skills.

Aria

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Thanks For: Old Men Who Fall Asleep During Meetings

Dear Spiffy Elderly Gentleman,

I saw you. You were sitting right behind the COO and I saw you fall asleep for 10 minutes during the last staff meeting. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. Actually I applaud your seating placement, that was prime real estate for subtle sleeping without anyone who has actual firing powers seeing you. Just little ol’ newbie me and some of the accounting folks.

Maybe they didn’t even notice, there were budgety number up on the screen and accounting folks love that jazz.

So maybe it’s our little secret. But your eyes were definitely closed, your head was drooped, and you were doing the head-bounce thing where you no you shouldn’t fall asleep but can’t quite help it. Eyes close. Head up. Head slowly drops. Yes, sleep. Sleep would be good. 1 sheep, 2 sheep, red sheep, blue sheep. NO! MEETING! Head jerks back up.

Restart.

It’s precious. Even better it was entertaining. Clearly you were having a rough day sir and I’m glad that you didn’t get caught napping which would have made everything worse.

Do you know that I know? I think so. Your smile gave it away. So thanks for the head bobbing entertainment. Thanks for the secret. Thanks for reminding me that meetings, while they have their benefits, aren’t always the best way to communicate with your staff. That’s a lesson I can take with me.

Sleep on sir,

Aria

Thanks For: Cold Calls of Terror

Dear Paralyzed-with-Fear Cold Calls,

I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that I’m being sarcastic. Who likes cold calls? No-one. I don’t even like cold calls, making or receiving, but I’m thankful for them. You can be thankful for annoying things right? Maybe?

You can be thankful for MIND-NUMBING TERROR INDUCING THINGS TOO. Which is what making cold calls are to me. You want me to do sales? Sure. Marketing. Done. Make a speech in front of a hundred gazillion people. I genuinely really want to. You want me to call someone who is expecting the call. I can do that.

You want me to call someone out of the blue? Terrifying. Guess what I had to do. Yupp. That’s right. It took me 15 minutes to psych myself up for it and then I just went for it. Still terrifying but mostly done. Bad phone.

But I’m thankful for the cold calls of paralyzing fear because they forced me to stretch myself. They’re making me grow even if I hate them. It’s a brain thing. If I can knock on car windows and sell things I can do this. Yes. Growth is good.

People who are nice to the people making cold calls are even better. What are the chances that the 2 people I have to cold call again will read this before I make the call? Here’s hoping.

Be nice to the cold call people. You don’t know. Maybe they’re terrified.

So thank you for the stretching fear,

Aria

Thanks for: Empty Cubicleville

Dear Empty Cubicles Everywhere,

I, the lowest on the work power totem pole, currently have the biggest office. In fact, I’ve got a whole section of the building purely for yours truly. My boss meeting clients. All my cubicle buddies are meeting different clients. I’m here manically benevolently ruling over four cubicles, an extra office, a boardroom, two filing rooms, the computer servers, two bathrooms, and 13 whiteboard. My realm.

The power. It’s phenomenal.

The entire area with all the cubicles is mine to control. I’ve got my iPod on WITHOUT THE HEADPHONES. That’s power right there. I can get up and pace the whole room. I can draw bat symbols on other people’s whiteboard. I can look out of windows. I can pace. I can take my laptop and go work in, pause to count, any of the 29 chairs available.

I might just spend the day rotating. This is magnificent. Thank you cubicleville for being empty. Delusional states of power are good for a person once in while.

Aria

Thanks For: Wall Lurkers

Dear Chairs by walls,

I write this on the break in the middle of the staff meeting. I adore staff meetings, I love meetings of any kind because I’m apparently mildly crazy but staff meetings are my favourite kind. You get to hear about what everyone else is doing. All the bits and bobs and things you didn’t know.

But I wouldn’t get to attend if it weren’t for your existence wall chairs, you let me join the wall lurkers and participate. Even when I don’t get to sit at the conference table due to the sheer number of people and my newness to the company.

This is okay. If this was a different blog I’d say stupendous. But here, I’m just thankful for the opportunity. I know that you’re supposed to endeavor towards the big chairs at the conference table or be resentful of being delegated off to the side of the room to side alongside the wall.

But I’m happy to be a wall lurker. I’m simply thankful to be there. They could just as easily not bother to invite me in at all. It’s not as though I”m contributing. It’s not as though I have deep insights into the 5 year plan. I don’t even know the 1 year plan. I’m brand spanking new.

But you wall chairs, allow me to join the party. You allow me the opportunity to sit, listen and learn. Better yet, you still allow me to speak up if the occasion demands it. I would never get to the big conference chair if you, dear wall chair, didn’t allow me lurk around the room and taking everything in.

So you are not the chair in the corner, you’re the chair that lets me learn and grow. And I’m thankful for the opportunity.

I must now return my butt to you for staff meeting part 2.

Regards,

Aria

Thanks for: Sunsets in My Eyeballs

Dear Strategically Placed Sunset,

Normally I’m not a fan your propensity to shine directly in my eyes, surpassing the protective power of the sunglasses and potentially searing the rods and cones of my retinas into permanent non-compliance. However last night you knew that  my exhausted introvert-ness needed it.

Having stayed at the job late for the staff potluck fun times by the time I headed on my hour long commute home the sun was setting. You know this, you’re the sun. Now I’m down to hang out with my colleagues. They’re great people, I have a nice time, it’s all good. Except after. After is always a challenge.

Because I am a good little introvert who has the uncanny ability to temporarily become the most extroverted of all the extroverted. This comes in handy at parities, work functions, and generally any social situation. It also exhausts me. Not physically. It exhausts my brain. I shut off.

The dreaded, fairly dangerous auto-driving. You know when you’re driving the car and suddenly you’re home and you have no idea how you got there? Yes that. It’s quite dangerous. Not an ideal state. But that was my introvert exhausted mind once the extrovert mask was slunk back into the cupboard to recharge.

But you, dear sunset, prevented me from going into this auto-drive zombie daze by shining your brightest rays of last sunbeams into my eyes. You forced my eyeballs to focus all the way home as you slowly sunk over the horizon. Minor pain yes but I arrived home safely and I didn’t hit or hurt anyone else.

So thank you,

Aria

PS The quasi-baking was a hit so that’s something!

Thanks For: Quasi-Baking that Prevents Flour Explosions

Dear Fake Baking,

Quasi-Baking: The art of creating desserts and baked goods without the use of many ingredients, copious amounts of time, or any flour that could potentially explode everywhere. Often used by people who have baking-capability deficiencies. Like me. I’m not a baker or a cooker or a food maker or a kitchen purveyor.

One time I had to make a frozen pizza and somehow ended up cooking half of it upside down so the topping dripped on the bottom of the oven. Note that this was ONLY HALF THE PIZZA. Clearly I’m a domestic goddess.

But work called for a potluck. In a stroke of genius I’d avoided any actual cooking and had ensured the safer squares-chocolate-baked goods option. Normally I’d purchase. But the women I work with? Mothers of extreme cooking prowess.

As the newbie I had to keep up. Somehow in my head, my being fired hinges entirely on my ability to produce a successful dessert item from scratch. I’m the most logical.

So thanks to baking that doesn’t require baking or finesse or skill of any kind. And thanks to the mother for still talking me through it. Because that’s how I roll. Give me a 4 ingredient recipe with a total of 8 minutes of oven time and I still need a guide to talk me through boiling copious amounts of butter and brown sugar. (Brown sugar has to be packed when measuring. What? Why? This isn’t the case with white sugar. Why the difference? I thought Organic Chem had weird measuring rules).

But thanks to you dear quasi-baking I could spread a butter/sugar mixture over soda crackers, coat the whole thing in chocolate, shove it in the freezer for 3 hours, throw the whole tray on the floor to crack the contents into little pieces, shove them all in tupperware, and voila – mildly acceptable home-made dessert. I don’t need your condescending chuckles Father, I am a domestic goddess.

So thank you quasi-baking, (thanks conditional upon everyone actually liking the food tonight at the potluck)

Aria