For me this feeling is most pronounced when there is a sick kid at home throwing illnesses like RSV and a double ear infection into the mix of daily variables. I am fortunate to be able to stay home with The Baby when her health demands attention and her little spirit needs soothing that only her mother can give. But, during those snot dappled days, when germs victoriously dance around the loathsome chores piling up around me, and it seems that I will never be released from my station on the couch with the sicky, I entertain the idea of joining a workforce. Any workforce which is outside of the home.
|Illustration based on this image|
As I rub circles on a little feverish back, I daydream of belonging to an ethnically and culturally diverse team, an intellectual powerhouse to which I am a tidy, productive, skilled and respected member. My imaginary boss, Bill Williams, a 30 year veteran in the field who has a remarkably thick chestnut colored mustache and a fatherly way about him-stern yet gentle, will praise me daily for completing my tasks in a timely manner with exceedingly fabulous results. I will rise to all of the challenges thrown at me because my day will be devoid of interruptions beseeching my service for “More chocolate milk!” or “More Yo Gabba Gabba!” “More Love! More Love!” Come Friday at 5:00, I will know that I deserved the free pace of the weekend because I worked diligently and accomplished so much during the work week.
My daydream bubble bursts when The Mr. returns home from his corporate job where he holds a position which he takes very seriously, but which he seldom gets the opportunity to tend to in the way he wants to because teamwork gets in the way. With his shoulders slouching from the dejection of the reality of belonging to a team, phrases like ‘micromanagement,’ ‘team building workshops’, ‘daily scrum’ 'Agile workplace' 'mentally unstable boss lady' hover around his folded body. He tells me stories of team spirit with an eerie vacant look in his eyes. There was the 6 hour mandatory sadistic conference disguised as a team building exercise where employees were instructed to skip around the conference room high fiving each other. Then there was another time when his company was forced to get in touch with the emotional side of corporate culture and write letters of appreciation to one or more members of the team- which they had to share out loud. No one is calling out for 'More chocolate milk!' But in one of his former places of employment, the work day was punctuated randomly with the ding of a cow bell calling all workers to drop what they were doing and join the scrum master in the conference room for a spontaneous calisthenics workout- which resembled the hokey pokey. In a 9 hour day, The Mr. manages to get two solid hours of work completed because, in an effort to raise productivity, the CEO spent millions of dollars on team spirit leadership initiatives. The Mr. climbed the corporate ladder and all he got was a lousy card table which he had to share with 8 other people. They were seated elbow to elbow- their work issued laptops and a single legal pad and pencil as their only possessions-all in the name of equality and teamwork.
After listening to The Mr.'s stories I realize that there is no team in me. I am too easily humiliated. I would not have made it past the high-fives. I don't really mind working alone and I'd rather chose daily snot over daily scrums. As for Fridays and weekends, I still get them. With four other people around to entertain and distract The Baby, my break comes in the form of being able to use the bathroom without the banging of little fists threatening to tear down the door because she's afraid that in the two minutes I've been out of sight, I've disappeared to the Ozarks. This week the kids are on February recess. So, you can bet I am going to be taking advantage of my bathroom breaks.
Happy Friday, Team!