A Day in The Office

I read an article the other day that was visceral in its assessment of stay-at-home moms. Apparently we are a drain on society and do not have the right to call ourselves real women. It is appalling that we would compare doing laundry with any real work. I’m not really here to debate that.

Don’t get me wrong, I have thoughts. I have all kinds of thoughts. But you don’t need to hear them. I don’t know this woman, but I feel a little sad for some of her (crazy! mean! pathetic! Lady, you don’t know my life--see– all kinds of unloving thoughts) ideas. Ahem.

My girls have been sick for a few weeks. Seriously, weeks. Not colds, either. Tummy bug sick. (pretty sure the fact that I said ‘tummy’ would be something this chick would definitely hate about me…doesn’t matter. Shake it off) More than once I’ve woken to those awful heaving sounds right next to my bed. Mr. Riehl is amazing and we take on these things as a team. One cleans (usually him) one comforts (usually me). It’s a good system. Hmmm…I don’t know if he would agree, now that I think about it…

It seems we are now a little past the sickies and have moved on to the little-miss-cranky-pants-ies (ok, now I’m just mocking the woman). While my girls were complaining about breakfast and cartoons and the misery that is their life this morning, I wondered what it would be like if employees behaved like children (which after being a bank teller manager for the longest year of my life, I assure you they are-just in a slightly different way) Ahem. Here is my conclusion.

Yesterday was…an interesting day. Let me tell you about it:
-Two hours before my alarm was set to go off, one of my employees called me in early. When I arrived, she was so upset, I couldn’t understand her. She repeated the same gibberish over and over and over. It sounded a bit like, “Copier is full” but her hysterics led me to believe that we were in danger — grave danger. She eventually calmed down and never did communicate what I was called in for. I’m still a bit on edge, wondering if danger is indeed lurking somewhere close by.
-After the early start, I headed to the break room to make coffee, thinking I could quietly get some work done before starting time. Two more employees also came in early, so I resolved to a long day and called a meeting. I offered everyone coffee and muffins that we had on hand in the break room. They said they preferred bagels, would I go get some?
-I agreed and grabbed my purse and keys.
-On my way to the parking lot, an employee called me to her office to ask a question. After a few minutes of discussion, she inquired as to if I had gone to the store for bagels yet. I answered, “No, I’ve been talking with you.” We stared at one another awkwardly and I made my exit.
-The other employees were working on projects in their cubicles and also had questions. I stopped to sort things out, wondering as we inched closer to start time, if I would get a chance to work.
-The first employee, glad to see I was nearby, called me back in to her office to ask for my signature.
-The other two came in and complained that they couldn’t find the bagels.
-I finally left the building. I hoped that I could make some calls to the corporate office while on the way, instead,
my staff followed me and asked if they could come.

-The employees had disagreed about a policy the day before and wanted my opinion on it. Every time I attempted to answer, the debate turned another direction and became increasingly hostile. I bit my tongue.
-At the store, everyone wanted a different kind of bagel. I made it clear that the office budget could only afford one kind. They decided they’d prefer to have muffins. I reminded them of the muffins back at the office; they were happy with that idea and we drove back.
-We made it just in time for opening and everyone went about their business.
-I retreated to my workspace to sort through proposals. After an hour of sorting- with only a few interruptions- my paperwork was in tidy piles, ready to be filed. One of my employees opened the door and a rush of air spread papers all over the floor. I held back frustration and asked what she needed. She reported that she had copies to make, but another employee was blocking the copier and wouldn’t allow anyone else to use it.
-I told them all that copies could wait and they should finish the work they had on their computers.
-They reported that the server was down and they could get nothing done.
-I suggested they help me sort through my filing, but they all found something else to do.
-Close to noon, I sent out a lunch order form and tracked them down in their offices, helped explain the choices, and sent out for our box lunches.
-When the order arrived, I suggested they all take an hour break. They wanted to take it with me in the break room. I handed out lunches. The deli had made a few mistakes. The staff was disappointed.
-One employee eyed my sandwich and asked if I planned to eat all of it. I handed her the other half. My other two employees helped themselves to the rest of my lunch.
-We worked quietly through the next few hours, with minor disputes and a few calls to corporate to clarify policy questions.
-I informed the staff that our biggest client was coming at the end of the day. Could they prepare the status reports?
-I was told the work was locked up in the computers, server still down. I struggled to find something for them all to do and suggested they could head home early. No one wanted to do that; such hard workers I have.
-The server was back up ten minutes before closing time. I encouraged them to get as much work done as they could before it was time to go home. Twenty minutes after closing, I finally convinced them to stop working and close up the office.
-I went to the break room to put our muffins and left over lunch away and to set the coffee pot for the next morning.
-The staff, still confused and debating policy hung around long after the work was done. I bid good-night to everyone and went home.
-When I was finally in bed for the night, I got a call from an employee. She was sick and wondered if I was up. Could it have been the sandwiches?
-I talked her through it, ensuring her she would not be expected at work the next day, and we hung up.
-An hour later, another employee called. Had I filed the report she gave me, she wanted to know?
-I assured her I had, but that she needn’t worry about it until the next day.
-The next morning, an hour before I had set my alarm, my staff called to inform me that they had all arrived early to make up for lost time the day before. Could I bring bagels?

Any fun stay-at-home mom stories you think would be funny in an office setting?

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4 thoughts on “A Day in The Office

  1. While I cannot think of any SAM stories right now, I’m sure I can later on! In regards to the woman who is seemingly clueless to our choice of being homemakers, I found myself getting a tad angry. I let it go because she along with others who look down on us have no idea what we do every day. Perhaps their perception came from Peggy Bundy from Married with Children or some of these reality shows that broadcast nowadays.

    My life is far from that. One can not understand unless they’ve walked in our shoes for more than a weekend. (I’m talking about those who work outside the home) Now while I had worked since a teenager and joined the US Army for a few years, my hearts desire was to stay home and take care of my first born child while my husband continued as a soldier. To be honest, I/we wanted the Lord’s will above our own. While I felt a little torn about staying in the Army, I really wanted to raise my child. NO JOB can ever compare to that of being a mother. NO JOB outside the home could ever compare to the ongoing list of jobs SAHM’s do. I don’t care how much it pays. If there was…. I’m sure many would switch over. Then again…. not all can handle staying at home.

    I’m proof along with many others that this ‘meaningless, society draining’ job stands all by itself. We ARE the home front holding down kids, being a nurse, teacher, budget planner, chef, housekeeper, mother, wife/husband, banker, etc.. We ARE The CEO’s who don’t have to worry about asking for time off or being fired if we have to leave to take care of sick kids. *I’m about to wrap this up! Please forgive me. I digress. Lol

    Being a wife of 19yrs with 5 children aging now 18, 16, 15, 14, and 12 I am STILL a SAHM. We made this lifestyle work and I wouldn’t trade it for nothing. So to all those who degrade us, they can go sit in a corner and talk to themselves because we will not let their opinions move or sway us. If you think about it for a second, we usually are those the naysayers call upon to help them out if they can’t afford to leave their jobs unless they just choose not to. Needless to say that I’m happy and I know it so I’ll clap my hands and get back to my beautiful, creative and sometimes chaotic lifestyle that money cannot pay me enough to say how much I should earn or place my worth on a scale based on what others think. 🙂

    I’m long winded as you can see but I just cannot understand why people have the audacity to criticize something they don’t do or understanding.

    God bless you for the share my new friend! Thank you for allowing the readers mind to travel with you into this great story!

    1. Terra, I thank you, from the very bottom of my heart, for your service to our country. Both as a soldier and the wife of one. I am very aware that my freedom is not free, and I never want to take that for granted. The Army would have sent me right back home, so I tip my hat to you! (ha!)
      While I believe that work and staying home are both hard and both have their own challenges, I wanted to lighten up the assessment that staying home was altogether weak and meaningless. I’m with you: the benefits and delights and joys of being with my children day after day far outweigh the hardships. I know this is a hot topic for many, many people. I’m so thankful that 6 years ago, after fully planning to return to work (part-time), my husband on our first night with our new baby told me, “No way. we’ll figure it out”. God has provided again and again for our needs. He’s even provided a way for me to write and stay home with my children. My publisher and editor completely understand that family comes first and I know it’s by the grace of God.
      Thank you for sharing some of your fire with me today 🙂

      1. Praise God!!! I’m so delighted to hear how God has made things work out for you and your family. I agree that He does indeed provide! If I can just add really quick that when I got out the Army a month before my first child was born, my husband and I did not even limit ourselves to how many children were going to follow! I don’t say that to seem that we were careless ( lol) in bringing new lives into the world after I got out but that we laid everything before the altar and trusted God. He already new our desires. With that said, we have still trusted Him to this day. My heart fell at awe at you taking notice to my service in the military. That warmed my heart deeply! Thank you for that! I got everything you were saying in regards to how some people view what we do. I didn’t mean to go overboard writing a response. Please forgive me for that! I just wish people could see the rewards in what we do a long with sacrifices that are made so that we are able to be home to take care of our children. God bless your beautiful soul!

        Terra

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