Friday, November 22, 2013

Things I Don't Do At Work

Having offered up, on Wednesday, a description of the things that I do do at work, I thought that, tonight, I might offer up a few of the things I don't do at work.

I started thinking about this a couple of days ago, when I was hearing what the office Christmas party was going to be like. (Yes, the company is owned by someone who is Jewish, but we still have a Christmas party. It is what it is.)

This year, the party is being expanded a bit. There's going to be the annual pot luck lunch. And there's going to be the yearly "Yankee gift swap." And we're adding in an ugly sweater contest and karaoke. (Oh, and booze, and invited guests arriving any time after 5pm.)

In the midst of the discussion, I started to realize that there are some things that I either don't do, or completely downplay at work.

For instance:

We all know that I bake a lot. I also cook a decent amount. And I'm pretty good at it. But, at work, there are two or three other people who are the ones known for baking. No one even looks to me when they talk about baked goods, because I've never brought in a decorated cake. I brought a salad to the last pot luck. The plus side? Although I know I could do better than a couple of the other people, at least I don't get asked to bake for birthdays.

We've also discussed (you and I) that I used to be involved in theater. Some acting, some dancing, lots of singing. But that is a side of my personality that no one seems to notice at work. Even worse, when karaoke was mentioned, my immediate thought was that I would have to try to stay out of the way when people were singing so that I wouldn't have to perform. When did that happen?

One of the less-normal annoyances comes in in the fact that all sorts of instructional/teaching materials are being created at the moment in the office. By the marketing team. The mostly-online sales and marketing team. I've got experience in instructional design, teaching, and even a little bit of recording. But will that be put to use in the office? No.

A while back, I was joking around with a co-worker and said something which was just a tad "blue." And she laughed really hard. I apologized, even so, and she said "Don't apologize, I like that side of you!"

Why is it so hard to let that side of me out in the office? Well, you kind of have to understand the office dynamic. I'm old enough to have fathered about 3/4 of the staff (even my immediate supervisor was born when I was 16 - and she's considered "old" in the office). And - although I'm actually not 100% certain any more - I believe I'm the only gay person in a staff of 30. (There are a couple of question marks on staff, one of whom is a guy that I just totally cannot get a read off of, and one of whom is a woman who... well... gets interesting when she's had too much to drink.) Put the age and the orientation together, and I'm the first to admit that this is not a group I feel peer-to-peer with.

So, instead, I just sit in my office and do my work. I let someone else bring in baked goods. I let someone else get excited about karaoke. And, yes, I let someone else do the parts of the job that I'm probably the only one in the office actually trained for.

I wish I had a good way to wrap this up. Some nugget of wisdom or witty commentary. But I don't at the moment. So, instead, I keep my snarky asides to my social media and try to let out my bursts of creativity when I'm on my own time.

I think I liked talking about what I do do at work, better.

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