Monday, September 05, 2011

There are moments in your life when the ground underneath you shifts a bit.  Maybe one of those moments was when you got your first job and felt a little more grown-up.  Maybe another was the first time you got dumped and discovered a canyon of pain you never knew existed.

One of those moments happened to me last month.  It was shortly after the VP of Marketing at my job sent out an email that said something to the effect of: "Next Wednesday will be our first monthly themed dress-up day.  For the first one, everyone is encouraged to dress up as one of our company founders!"

Eep.  Dress-up day.    When I see "morale boosters" like this, I think of one of two things:

1) When Marge on the Simpsons got a job at the nuclear power plant and suggested that they do a "Funny Hat Day."
2) Flair from the movie "Office Space"

Terrible, just terrible.  Trying to boost morale this way at a tech company is like trying to boost morale at a McDonalds by telling employees that you're doubling the amount of RAM in the cash registers.  It's just the wrong approach for that audience.

The most terrible part of this, however, was the realization that since I'm now a manager, rather than getting to sit in the back of the classroom preparing my spitballs of mock,  I needed to support this bucket of lame.  Oh, how the snarky have fallen.

So, I managered-up and came to work that day festooned with a hastily-grown goatee and the cheapest and least blurrying eyeglasses I could find at the drugstore.   I then spent much of that day explaining to my apparently unobservant co-workers that, no, I don't normally have a goatee, and no, I don't really need glasses.

"Are you sure you don't need glasses?" one woman asked.

"I'm sure," I sighed, launching into my well-worn speech about how the only good sense I have is my sense of vision blah blah blah.

"If you don't need glasses, then why do you hold your iPhone like this whenever you look at it?" she asked, holding her phone at arm's length as though she were an old person looking at a tiny, blurry, and unnecessarily new-fangled gadget.

That question stopped me dead in my tracks.  I didn't hold my phone that way.  Why would I?  My vision is great.  Someone was projecting.

The next morning, as I was making breakfast for Daisy, I stared at the comically teeny print on the sticker on the plum.   Why did they make it so tiny?  The print reminded me of how over the last few years the font on medicine bottles has become ridiculously small.  I shook my head at the idiocy of people who make labels and their battle to out-small each other.

I paused during this hilarious internal monologue and walked over to my backpack where I had thrown my costume from the previous day.  I grabbed the eyeglasses and peered at the plum again.  Crystal clear this time.

Dammit!  I need glasses!  I'm oldening!

Stupid dress up day.  Stupid passage of time.  Stupid 3-point fonts.

Next theme dress-up event?  Dress like a pirate day.  Can't wait to find out that a peg leg works better than my real legs.


Diana said...

Finally! I have been a-waitin' for a new blog post from you! This was a good one (so somewhat made up for all the blank days...)

Mike said...

Hi Diana! Sorry for the absurdly long delay between posts, but thanks for sticking around.

dolface said...

Is Dress Like a Pirate Day going to happen on the same day as International Talk Like a PiAARRRate Day? (9/19 in case anyone is wondering).

Mike said...

Hi Dolface. Pretty much. The next theme day is indeed in honor of Talk like a Pirate Day, but we might date-shift it to Wednesday for logistical reasons.