Meet My Co-Workers

Meet My Co-Workers

WHO ARE YOUR CO-WORKERS?

I’m sure you have seen the hilarious challenges floating around on social media asking people to name something their kids or pets do as if they are co-workers. It’s pretty entertaining. Obviously, we are all searching for things to keep us entertained and furthermore sane in the craziness of life as we know it right now. To that end, I had an idea. Meet my co-workers: Jeremy, Jake, Bryce, Thor, and Gary.

I’ve referred to this place as the Lowey Fraternity House, otherwise known as my home. Weird stuff goes down here all the time. Nevertheless, when you are used to it, it’s really just normal life. Then I remembered while a lot of the things happening here are normal for us, it’s probably eye-opening, entertaining, or disturbing (maybe all of the above) for others. I hope you enjoy the story of my co-workers in this co-living and co-working space.

Most importantly, I pray you and yours stay healthy and sane in this crazy time.

The Mom Huddle Meet My Co-Workers: Employee of the Year sign with cat Gary

Employee of the Month: Gary

MEET MY CO-WORKERS: GARY

I will start with the sweetest of my co-workers. Gary. Mrs. Gary if we’re being formal, but on the contrary, SHE is anything BUT formal. Correct, Gary is a girl. Rumor has it she had a pretty rough upbringing. I mean her adoptive parents changed her name from PJ to Gary even though it was discovered she was actually a girl. Apparently, she was abandoned and lived in foster care for a few weeks before being adopted. This SOUNDS great, but her adoptive situation was utter chaos most of the time. I’ve heard terms like Lowey Fraternity House and nut house thrown around. Constantly people at the house, kids running amuck, a real three-ring circus kind of place.

Anyway, back to her work. While she is an absolute sweetheart, she does some super weird things. For example, earlier this week, she walked into my office, looked right at me and threw up on the floor. Then she continued to sit there and look at me for a little while longer. Eventually, she walked out of the room without saying a word. To make matters worse, my co-worker Jeremy walked into my office and stepped in it. For the record, he kind of lost his ever-loving mind. Oh well, he gets this way about messes in the office.

I think everyone really loves Gary around here though because she has such a sweet demeanor. In fact, she loves to give hugs. I swear, she is snuggly with even the strangers who come into the office. Weird if you ask me.

She does this super odd thing though of jumping onto the break-room countertop. Heat up lunch or prepare a coffee and she’s likely to be sitting on the countertop watching. Weird office behavior, but what can you do when she is getting employee of the month every other month. Truth be told, I have NO IDEA what her job is, but her boss, Bryce, loves her. He even laughs when she walks around the office carrying nerf darts in her mouth. WTH? 

The Mom Huddle Meet My Co-Workers: Employee of the Month sign with cat Thor

Employee of the Month: Thor

MEET MY CO-WORKERS: THOR

I mean, you guys seriously need to meet this guy. When he gets bored or angry, he literally uses his nails and scratches furniture!! Who does he think he is… God of Thunder or something? He’s a real piece of work.

Additionally, he is super curious and likes to perch on the back of chairs. Sometimes even when someone is sitting in the chair! I seem to be the only one around here who thinks this is odd behavior.

He is also a total micromanager. Watching every little step with big curious eyes. When he does it to me, I stare back but it honestly doesn’t seem to faze him. Jake talks to him during those zone out moments but doesn’t seem to be bothered by the fact Thor just stares back at him. Typically, Thor doesn’t even answer and often just walks away mid-sentence.

Frankly, he’s pretty lazy. Constantly sitting in the sunshine from windows and doors, even if it’s in the way of someone’s entry to the building.

Thor’s favorite employee is Bryce, which is kind of funny since they are in different reporting lines. Jake does get a bit jealous with Thor’s favoritism towards Bryce when it comes to reviews (bedtime). I keep trying to make Jake understand it’s because Bryce brings Thor food all the time, but Jake disagrees.

The Mom Huddle Meet My Co-Workers: Employee of the Month sign with son Jake

Employee of the Month: Jake

MEET MY CO-WORKERS: JAKE

This one, boy does he complain a lot if he’s having a bad day. He definitely thinks he does ALL the work around here. Carrying more than his fair share of the workload. Jeremy tries to explain if he wouldn’t rush through things so quickly, he wouldn’t have to re-do tasks and feel so overwhelmed. It falls on deaf ears most of the time.

The funny thing is, he rides a hoverboard around the office from the minute he walks in the door at 8 am until he makes his way home (to his room) at the end of the day (bedtime). It’s hard to take someone seriously for management potential when they ride around on a hoverboard all day. On the contrary, he thinks he is totally ready for a manager position and wants to sit in on all of Bryce’s reviews. Always a comment with this one….

He is lighthearted though and tries to turn most tasks into a game. Why we have so many Legos in the office, I will never know. Regardless, he took it upon himself to sort them by color this week. Even made a basketball game in plastic containers by color for sorting. Again, management material? TBD. But Bryce, Thor, and Gary all got in on the action for a while. Leadership potential for sure. Too bad it wasn’t a more worthwhile business task like balancing the budget or doing the taxes.

Jake has natural leadership skills, so I think with some good mentorship, there is a lot of potential. He has aspirations for being a CEO one day, but time will tell.

The Mom Huddle Meet My Co-Workers: Employee of the Month sign with son Bryce

Employee of the Month: Bryce

MEET MY CO-WORKERS: BRYCE

I can’t get a read on this guy. He’s SUPER helpful one minute but conversely flies off the handle the next over seemingly nothing. It’s borderline cray-cray if you ask me. For the record, no one does. I just sit over here and write emails, update websites, write for our publication, pay the bills, manage operations, party plan, meal prep for in-house functions, you know, just a few things…. But who’s complaining?!

Anyway, back to Bryce. He and Thor are super tight, like I mentioned. First off, they even go to the bathroom together. Jeremy is so weirded out by this. I’ve even had to have a discussion with both Bryce and Thor about it. They claim they just like to take their breaks together, but someone caught Thor watching Bryce in the shower after they went to the gym the other day. Next, I guess I’ll have to address THAT.

Bryce loves to bring food in for all of the employees. His specialty is zucchini bread and it is a crowd favorite. Although Jeremy’s calorie counting always suffers when Bryce does this. Then we all subsequently have to hear about how many calories are in various foods. BORING…

Even though he can be a bit temperamental, Bryce does help everyone around the office with their workload. He also takes his position as the office philanthropy chair very seriously. Pushing us to ensure we get our volunteer hours in each year.

The Mom Huddle Meet My Co-Workers: Employee of the Month sign with husband Jeremy

Employee of the Month: Jeremy

MEET MY CO-WORKERS: JEREMY

As much as everyone gives him a hard time for his Dad-like demeanor, Jeremy believes in setting the bar high for this team. In addition, he does the lion’s share of the work. Not only does he bounce from call to call, but also assists with operations and other thankless tasks. He even makes lunch for the whole office various days of the week which is a nice treat!

Gary spends a lot of time in his office, which CLEARLY gets the rumor mill going about the two of them. Despite the rumors, I think they just enjoy spending time together in quiet. The rest of the office environment is so loud and boisterous throughout the day, it’s hard to get anything accomplished.

Jeremy is looking to promote Jake or Bryce to give them some additional responsibility. I’m just unsure of who is ready for it. We’re here together all the time and I can’t take any more complaining or questions on how to do something. It can be maddening and really cuts into time for the start-up business division I’m creating.

 

The Mom Huddle Meet My Co-Workers: Employee of the Year sign with Heather

Employee of the Year: Heather

 

MEET MY CO-WORKERS SUMMARY

As for me, clearly, I’m perfect in every way and should be the president of this company. I’m being told if I prove myself over the next two months, it’s highly likely. Fingers crossed I can practice empathy, patience, compassion, and not losing my s**t long enough for this to occur.

Last but not least my friends, I wish you grace and sanity with your own “co-workers” as you try to maintain normalcy in work AND home life. In all seriousness, if you feel you are losing it, stop, take a breath, and decide what would serve you best in the next moment. If it means stopping for a good cry, do it. Additionally, if it means seeking out someone to talk to, do it. Find something supportive to you and furthermore, don’t be embarrassed for whatever it is. As I mentioned in my last post, the only judgment you are going to get from me is if you are shaming someone else.

And with that, I leave you my most favorite tweet yet since this pandemic began:

If there’s a baby boom in 9 months, it’ll consist entirely of first-born children.

– Winston Chang @winston_chang

(Thank you Winston, this has made me laugh over and over!)

 

 

Advertisements
Enjoying a Mandated Staycation

Enjoying a Mandated Staycation

HOW TO ENJOY A MANDATED STAYCATION

It’s all in the mindset. “I hope you are enjoying the time at home with your family right now!” This is how I’m starting every email to clients, potential clients, friends, basically everyone right now. Why? Two reasons. First, a positive lead in to the conversation can start to shift the mindset out of the gate.  Second, mandated time at home and everything around us being cancelled can feel like we’re not at choice. However, we CAN choose to look at this differently. In fact, even enjoying a mandated staycation. 

Last month, I wrote an entire article about Hitting the Pause Button. No, I’m not Agent Zero of the start of the Coronavirus, but the irony of this is not lost on me. While it’s a bit of a forced pause, maybe it’s exactly what we’ve all been looking for.

“Heather- you crazy….” (said in my best movie character voice) I know. I tend to see opportunity in situations no matter how dire they may seem to others. It’s a blessing while also annoying as hell to others I’m sure.  

There are absolutely going to be days/weeks as a part of this time at home where we may lose our ever-loving minds. Folks, I’m not s**tting rainbows and riding around on unicorns, I promise. I did the same exasperated sigh when city and state officials held the press conference announcing school was going to be cancelled for at least three weeks.

Pretty sure I said something like, “Jake and I may not make it out of this alive.” In fact, Jeremy and I took a long walk after the announcement talking about our approach for the next few weeks and how we were going to “make it through.” (yes, very dramatic) Afterall, I’m starting a business and having two kids at home doesn’t exactly scream productivity.

But if we are going to ask our kids for help in making this work, shouldn’t we at least have a mindset of enjoying this mandated staycation?

POPS OF POSITIVE

I keep seeing pops of positive that frankly make my heart happy. Friends talking about family meals around the table because all sports are cancelled. Family game nights more frequent because no sports are on the tv. Let’s get our own family competition on! Kids actively wanting to read because at some point, how long can you watch movies and play video games? Neighborhood kids playing for hours on end when they are normally interrupted because of schedules. These aren’t BAD things folks.

I’m not blind to the fact this is an absolute struggle for some families both from a financial standpoint as well as logistically. You want to know what else I’ve seen? People posting on social media how they can and will help with meals if you reach out to them with no judgment around the need. Neighbors offering to watch kids in an effort for more community. Individuals offering to support local people who are considered high risk to run errands for them or just have a daily phone call for some interaction. Humanity stepping up in a time of need.

What is my point? There is the old saying about life giving you lemons and making lemonade. Well, maybe life is giving us Corona right now to make a better Community.

Here are my three pieces of advice for having some fun and furthermore, a positive outlook for enjoying our mandated staycation.

#1 – STOP WATCHING THE NEWS AND SOCIAL MEDIA 24/7 

Being informed is great. However, over informed and constant information creates panic and a serious amount of “what-ifs.” If you don’t know what I mean by the what-ifs, there is a great children’s book called Bruce Moose and the What-Ifs, by Gary J. Oliver and H. Norman Wright. You would actually be surprised how often I refer to this book when coaching with clients.  The premise is about worry and how it can consume and paralyze us, but only if we let it. How we immediately go to the negative space of what could go wrong. But what could go right? Bringing us back to the mindset that there is a silver lining to all of this if we just dig a little deeper.

When life gives you Corona, have a party at home. Yes, I’m stretching, but come on. We HAVE to laugh. 

Speaking of, yesterday I saw a meme that made me laugh really hard. It was about how we’re all glad to know the way every random sweepstakes, vendor, and rewards card we’ve ever encountered are handling the Coronavirus. SO TRUE! Stop looking at your emails and/or just hit delete. I am assuming you don’t need to know how Delta or the Marriott are handling this unless you have upcoming travel. I literally just went through my email and grabbed the first five I saw….. Groupon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Monogram Hub, Michaels, and Papa John’s, noted. Not sure why I need to know how you are handling things. 

EVERY BLESS-ED ORGANIZATION is sending out an announcement. At some point, WHO CARES?!?! You are an adult. Your organization is run by what I assume are adults. Furthermore, my assumption is you are handling this to the best of your abilities. Stop telling me to wash my hands. Got it. Noted. I do not need the company I ordered a chair from in 2004 to remind me to wash my hands and stay home if I’m sick. 

And the social media posts….. OMG. Unless they have Dr. before their name or an LPN, RN, CAN, NP, PA, MD, EMT, RT, CRNA after their name (thanks Tonna Randolph for this list!), I LITERALLY DON’T CARE AND DON’T WANT YOUR TAKE ON WHAT SHOULD OR SHOULDN’T BE DONE. For the love of God. MAKE IT STOP. To every Tom, Dick, and Harry who are the resident expert on everything because they saw one headline from one news source and are spreading panic and questioning all authority, kindly….. SHUT UP. In fact, hole up in your house. The world will be a better place for it. And for more reasons than just the spread of a virus.

Just for the record, I’m fully speaking to everyone. Not just one side or the other of the political s**tshow. ENOUGH! If you were my children, you would be grounded and sentenced to write, “I will be nice and treat others with kindness,” until your hand needs surgery. All of them!

#2 – STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS

This one is a full-time mindset, not just in a time of a global pandemic. However, for our purposes today, we’ll talk about this in terms of having your kids at home with you for the unforeseeable future with no extracurricular activities. I was on a hilarious text chain last night which verified my thoughts on this.

If you are the most organized, June Cleaver mother and have amazing activities with color coded time slots for entertaining your children for the next 3 weeks, awesome. If you are polar opposite of this and are handing over the remote controls and setting up a soda and snack station by the Playstation for 3 weeks, also awesome. DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU! 

I’ve seen some amazingly creative things on social media. It should be noted, I don’t think anyone posting their charts are doing so for bragging rights per say. (On the other hand, there are probably some, but let’s be kind.) Hopefully the intent is purely providing others with ideas.

But parents, first off, if it’s not going to work for you, don’t do it! Secondly, stop feeling bad about it. Setting up unreasonable expectations of yourself and your kids is only going to create more frustration in an already tense time. Suddenly asking your child to read 2 hours a day when you can barely get them to read for 20 minutes has DISASTER written all over it, for instance.

We’re somewhere in the middle on this schedule thing. Jeremy and I came up with an additional house chore per day for each kid and then a few school related things for them to do each morning. The boys choose whatever order for these activities and if they complete without argument and complaining, then basically the rest of the day is playing outside with neighbors, video game tournaments, puzzles, and Lego building. We’re mixing in some family walks in there when we’re off of calls, but we’re not scheduling this. Again, because THIS IS WHAT WORKS FOR US.

Stop judging each other for what is going on. Everyone is in survival mode with this new schedule. Furthermore, comparison during this time will be the root of all evil. I will only judge you if you start shaming others. Think about that.

#3 – ENJOY YOURSELF- THINK OF IT AS A MANDATED STAYCATION

This goes back to the mindset thing, but what would happen if we allowed ourselves to actually enjoy this time at home? Thinking of this as a gift of time. Time is one of the top reasons people sight for not doing things. Following dreams. Making phone calls. Playing games. Getting in shape. Spending time with family. Reading a book. Doing a puzzle. You name it, TIME is the factor.

We’ve all just been handed the GIFT OF TIME. Schedules opened up. Kids present with us now with clear schedules. What are you going to do with this gift? The present is a present. (I know, so corny… but so true.)

I’m not telling you this as another thing to stress yourself out over. Instead, just take some time to think about it. Be intentional about what you want to do with this time. Your mind will inevitably go to the what-ifs sometimes and that’s okay. But after you have acknowledged this worry, move back to a space of enjoying this time with your family. Relax a little. At some point, “this too shall pass,” and when it does, we’ll all be back to 100 miles per hour every day. 

So hit the pause button and enjoy some time with your kids.

ENJOYING A MANDATED STAYCATION

We live in a country of complete abundance. I have full faith we’ll get through this and life will go back to activities and fun. So why not take some TIME to enjoy this staycation? Mandated or not, we still have a choice in this. That choice is our mindset. Every day isn’t going to be rainbows and sunshine. Your kids are going to drive you crazy. That’s what early bedtimes and bottles of wine are for.

My advice? Enjoy this gift of time.