People often imagine The Office when I talk about my workplace. My company is much bigger, but I can understand why everyone’s imaginations go there. Most of my stories I bring to the outside world revolve around just my department, which has often acted like they belong on that show. I have a few different stories I could share, so maybe I’ll save a couple for another time, but today — I’d like us to focus on my personal fave.
When is a time you considered quitting your job to save yourself some embarrassment?
We try to celebrate every birthday that comes around for each of the members in my department. I say “try” because sometimes (much to everyone’s chagrin) we get too busy and forget it’s someone birthday until the day of. Then we just end up sheepishly scrambling to find a card and cake. When we do remember though, a big shebang is put together — oftentimes way too over the top, because my department works in creative design and we don’t know how to stop. There’s definitely a line, but we always cross it.
Last time a card was going around, my manager brought it to my desk for signing, but there were a couple of people with me talking (most definitely about work, guys…like, definitely). Since I was in the middle of a conversation and actually didn’t know this team member very well, I just hastily scrawled out “Happy birthday! -Hannah” without bothering to write something lengthier. I skimmed the card for the names of those who’d already written to check if I was the last one, and it looked like it so I passed it back to be delivered.
Fast forward a half hour to forty-five minutes later and I was over at a different coworker’s desk with a few other people. Yikes, this is starting to make me sound bad. BUT, this time we were actually discussing something work related! Well, it was the team bonding trip, but still work-related, people. There were a couple of team members who hadn’t yet responded to the team-bonding email that asked which days worked best for everyone. Thus these couple slackers were holding up the process for selecting a date (a very serious business indeed).
“Someone needs to boss them a bit to get them to submit their availability.”
“Who still needs to respond?”
“Well, I think Lewis might be one of them, but I know Vicki is the other for sure.”
“Ohhh, well we can’t boss Vicki around today…let’s wait on that a bit.”
This is when I speak up: “Why? What’s wrong with today?”
“Didn’t you hear? (Whisper) Her dog died over the weekend.
“Ohhh, wow, that’s so sad!”
Little back story real quick. Vicki loved this dog she had. It was her child really. She’d bring him into the office whenever she could and would walk her around dressed up at the children’s Halloween parade our company puts on every year. This dog was her baby.
All of a sudden, my bestie (whose desk we were sitting around) slaps me on the knee hard and she leans in close with wild eyes.
“Hannah, WHAT DID YOU WRITE IN THAT CARD.”
People. I almost died, right in that instance. I understood immediately, and I could have died immediately. That was no birthday card, my friends. That was as real a condolences card as they come.
Bebes immediately tore away from her desk in search of the card. I think I started praying. Please, PLEASE don’t let Vicki already have gotten the card. Please, PLEASE don’t let it be delivered yet. It was an eternity of 3 minutes before my friend was back, gripping the card victoriously. Vicki hadn’t seen it yet.
Friends, this card was no pretty sight. Read till you find it, left to right is best.
Tell me that isn’t something to quit over? I almost did. I came so close to just walking out right then and there, until my best friend — who has never looked more beautiful — came rounding the corning clutching my greatest offense.
I went to the Dollar Store and managed to find a sticker that seemed to fit the card well. I’m not exaggerating when I say it barely covered my note. I’m so grateful that I hadn’t written anything longer and more heartfelt or else I never would have been able to cover it.
I hope you enjoyed this story as much as it almost killed me. Please share one of your own embarrassing stories from work so I don’t feel alone!