Monday, July 25, 2005

Babies, High School Dynamics Continue Well into Adulthood, and a Few Wonderful Men

As anyone who has ever met me can tell you, I have a ridiculous baby-envy thing going on. I blame the Mormon upbringing. You are constantly told that your "purpose" in life is to reproduce. While I effectively rejected all Mormon beliefs by the age of 10, the Desperate Need to Have Dozens of Children thing is alive and strong. Here's the weird thing, in Oakland, I'm one of the youngest people I know, and everyone tells me I have PLENTY of time to have kids, I shouldn't even think about it for a few years etc. In Chico, I'm the oldest unmarried person I know. Case in point: I went to a Baby Shower on Saturday while in Chico. (Here's how cool I am, I tagged along with my mom to the Baby Shower, because she has way more friends than I do) The woman having the baby is 22, married for over a year to a really close friend of the family. There were a few categories of people at this shower: Immediate Family of Mother-to-be, Friends of Mother-to-Be, Older Ladies Who Know Mother-To-Be from Church, and me. At 23 years of age, I was the oldest unmarried person there. To put this into perspective, the ages ranged from 10-50+. The unmarrieds, were me and the ten year old. Seriously.

So, the baby-lust was in high gear, I was unbelievably uncomfortable in this room full of women who are wives and mothers. They all ask "What are you up to?" and seem to be really disappointed when I explain that I'm living in Oakland, working for this company, and really enjoying it, love my neighborhood etc. These are not the things they want to hear. They want to hear that I'm getting married soon, and when they don't hear that, they feel the need to make sympathetic "Oh, you'll meet the right man" kind of statements, as though that would be the completion of my life.

Luckily, since all these women have young children, I got to hold a 2 month old. *sigh* I love that baby smell. This baby girl grabbed one of my fingers in both her little hands and began to gnaw on my knuckle. Heaven. Absolute heaven. One of the women there turns to my mom and tells her that I look good holding a baby, then asks about my love-life. All this is well-meant, but I feel weird being stuck between these two worlds. In one life, I'm weird for wanting kids soon. In the other, I'm weird for not being married with kids already. I'm the anomoly no matter what.

Coworker Friend Jen and I went to a corporate training in Walnut Creek last week. Our whole team went to this training. (The training itself was rather boring, as it was on software and I could have learned more by clicking randomly on things for half an hour and slept for the other 7.5 hours spent there. I had hoped that having my three "Work Crushes" there would make it more amusing. It didn't. And to put the topper on the whole thing, the lunch contained absolutely nothing I could eat. Not even water or a diet soda. Excellent.) I've often mentioned that Jen and I are considered the peons of our department, and obviously just "support staff" to the "really important" teammembers. (editor's note: sarcasm)

Jen and I drove out there together, and ran into a team mate I will call MS. The three of us chatted as we walked into the building together. Once inside the training room, MS and the remaining two team members did not address either of us in any way. No eye contact, not even a hello. Awesome.

The next day another team member whom we will call KG walked up to my desk and asked if I had the "bandwidth" to do some work for her next week. I say of course, because I'm thinking "She likes me, she values my work and considers me a team member to be respected." Then she describes the work to do, and it's work that a monkey could do. Jen has encapsulated this situation in a way that can't be improved upon, so I will just give it to you straight.
"It's high school all over again. We get all excited because the popular kids are talking to us, only to find out they just want us to do their homework for them."

And it is shit like this that makes me hate this job. At least with an abusive nasty-pants boss like Scooter back in Milwaukee, I was equallly as low as everyone else. Now I'm so below the likes of the rest of the team, I'm not even seen as a coworker.

Ok, enough whining about my job. It's not my news to give, but good things are in the works that will serve as motivation for me to get my ass out of this departmnet.

So, the final countdown to Xtian Move-In Extravaganza begins. When I left Chico yesterday, Xtian gave me some things to bring down so the official move will be a little easier. So, he has committed. The lease has been signed. That was my turn to freak out. All throughout this I've been really calm. I know it's because the whole thing wasn't real for me yet. Meanwhile Xtian has been calling me a couple of times a day, to get a little reassurance, and just to "Say hi, because I was thinking of you," (How adorable is that, by the way? Sorry, I've never gotten those phone calls before. It's nice having someone care about you. It's been a while...). Usually, I'm a "don't think too much about it, and act immediately on all decisions" kind of person. Once a decision is made, let's do it. The more time you give something, the greater the chance of something coming up to prevent it. So I was surprised that with this move-in, decisions made two months previous to the actual event, nothing had happened, yet, to fuck it up. I had put off doing anything with my lease, because, clearly, something would happen to prevent it, and then I'd be stuck with a new lease.

I finally called my landlord to add Xtian to the household. She called me last week and said she had the paperwork, and can she drop by that evening to sign them? Immediate panic attack! As it turns out, things get real for me when paperwork comes into play. I called Xtian and without so much as a hello launched into "You're not going to screw me here, right? You're moving in, right? I'm freaking out here!" Proving himself to be the kind, sweet, understanding man that he is, he immediately reassures me, that yes, everything is fine, he really does like me, no he's not going to screw me over, and what brough this on? As soon as I say, "my landlord called" he's making soothing sounds and flattering me beyond belief.

Is this what it's like to be treated well?
Oh lord, so I must share this: At like 11 am today, a car was driving around downtown Oakland totally BLASTING country music. This is hilarious. I'd expect opera long before country. It's like advertising you are out of your known environment. Dude is on his way to being mugged. Welcome to the East Bay, yo.


I'm a bit of a word nerd. I'll openly admit to that. But can I tell you how absolutely, irrationally crazy it makes me when people pronounce things incorrectly. Not difficult words, but words like: napkin, popcorn, nuclear, credo etc. All of these have been heard over the last 48 hours, so I'm going to complain about them.

  • Napkin: "Nap kin" NOT "na kin"
  • there's a "P" in their folks, say it!
  • Popcorn: "POP Corn" NOT "Paw Corn"
  • Same as above
  • Nuclear: "New Clear" NOT "nu cue ler"
  • Please, just look at the word!
  • Credo: "cree doh" not "Cray do"
  • I heard a woman say this in a room full of department heads, and thought she was saying Cradle for the longest time. I didn't even know you could mispronounce this word.

I know this sounds like just an irritation, but with the lack of literacy in our country, we need to make efforts not to sound like ignorant rednecks. And for another matter, I understand that typos happen, but for the love of all things wholly, take it upon yourself to run a Spell check periodically. Seriously. Your credibility will skyrocket.

Happy Squishy Moment:
I have random work crushes. Not "*sigh* I like him, maybe he'll leave his wife and we can live happily forever" kind of crush. More of a "wow, what a neat person, I really respect him and enjoy working with him" kind of crush. One of the subjects of this, whom we will refer to as O, has just made my week. As mentioned above, Coworker Friend Jen and I get no respect from our team. I always think that only we see it and everyone else just accepts that kind of thing or agrees with the rest of the team. O works in the same Department, and works closely with our team, but is not officially on our team. I heard from a coworker that O was lamenting our crappy positions, how shamefully underutilized we are, and what a terrible thing it is for our coworkers to just use us to do the work they don't want to do. *sigh* See? Undying respect and admiration. Not only that, SOMEONE THINKS I'M VALID!! He even said something like "Coley has a degree in marketing (PR, actually, but let's not nitpick) why do they have her doing so much admin work?" He like us, he really likes us!!

Like I said, this may get me through the rest of the week without needing to stab someone.

So, now I'll close on that happy moment!

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