Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Incident Report, 7-25-2014 AND Fat Tuesday

1. The check engine light is on in my car.  Again.
2. Left my snacks at home.  For a person with multiple food allergies, this is a problem. There is nothing sold within a 2 mile radius of my office that I can eat.
3.  Was late for work.
4.  Felt ill all day.
5.  My cat has fleas, and now I'm afraid I might have them, too.

Today is Tuesday.  To be more precise, it is Fat Tuesday.  Fat Tuesday is a new ImpatientBee-specific holiday I've created to help keep myself happier during weekly department head meetings I must attend.  

Each week, I can count on at least two (and usually all five) of the following things happening:
1) At least one of my co-workers will make a joke criticizing my political beliefs,which will lead to a discussion among 3 or 4 of those present about how terrible those beliefs are. I have not told my co-workers that I hold the beliefs they're mocking, because doing so would only lead them to make fun of me, too, right to my face...and then expect me to laugh and be good-humored about it.
2) At least one of my co-workers will make a joke criticizing a politician I support, which will lead to a discussion among 3 or 4 of those present about how terrible that politician is.
3) At least one of my co-workers will call me a communist because I'm an environmentalist or tell me I'm obstructing business development in our community because I did my job and enforced the rules we have in place about land development.
4) Several of my co-workers will spend at least 10 minutes talking about a topic not remotely related to our meeting or our jobs.
5) At least one of my co-workers will make a non-political joke that falls somewhere between between obnoxious and outright offensive on the scale of jokes that are meant to be funny but aren't. 

And each week, the staff meeting that should take 20-30 minutes stretches into an hour and a half, minimum.  Often, I will chime in to say something about getting back to the agenda, or rebutting one of the comments made, and now I've earned a reputation for having a quick temper and, probably, for having absolutely no sense of humor.  This kind of image does not help one's professional reputation, so I've come up with a system to help me get through these meetings without saying a word unless directly spoken to.  That system is Fat Tuesday.

If I can make it through the entire meeting without losing my temper, if I can keep my trap shut when those annoying comments are flying around the room, then after the meeting, I get a treat.  Today was the first Fat Tuesday, so to help me kick it off, I took part of a candy bar into the meeting, broken into little pieces.  After the first obnoxious comment was aired, I focused my attention on the candy bar. Eyes on the prize. After the second one, I had a little bite of chocolate.  And then, after another comment, another little bite.  Suddenly, the comments didn't seem so obnoxious after all! 

I think this is going to work, y'all.  At least until I run out of treats.