Sunday, March 22, 2015

Obama Can't Get Me Sick Days

I woke up sick today. I thought about calling in sick and then I remembered: I don’t get sick days.
My employers aren’t stingy or anything. It’s not like my management team is trying to make my life miserable. In fact, my bosses love my work. They might even think the sun and moon rise because of the work I do on their behalf…even if they never say it.
They love the decisions I make unless they disagree with me. Although I must admit I hear about those decisions in raised voices and demonstrative behavior when this happens, so I always know where I stand. Frankly, I know they love me, even when we disagree on my choices.
However, they can be unreasonable, and when it comes to sick days, downright despotic. My excuses fall on deaf ears when they do filter through their narcissistic haze. Blinking eyes and uncomprehending stares barely register my confession that I am feeling a bit under the weather, so I won’t be reporting to work.
Despite what you must think reading this, they aren’t evil bosses. They have always made it a big point to celebrate my work with personal, handwritten notes. More than once, I have received one-of-a-kind works of art as a result of my efforts. They have been known to light up when I arrive at work or even just enter a room. My bosses usually stop what they are doing and bestow upon me a warm and enthusiastic greeting. I have no doubt that I am a valued member of the team.
They just don’t “do” sick days.
Obama’s Healthy Families Act isn’t going to help me either. I am one of the 39% of American workers who have no paid sick leave. I might have earned several sick days by now according to the parameters of his act, (21 in fact) but I still don’t have any. I was hoping maybe the local option might trickle down to my unenlightened employers, but it’s unlikely. Obama’s State of the Union Address and most media outlets are just something with which they can’t be bothered. They are deliberately ignorant of world events. Truthfully, I prefer that ignorance.
Not having sick days doesn’t exactly make me want to quit; after all, I need to do my job. It’s not like anyone else is doing it. Besides, there are many times I love my job. If I’m honest, I love my bosses for all their faults and shortcomings. Maybe even because of those shortcomings.
No education is required for my position, although it is helpful. I do have my degree, by the way if a Theatre degree counts that is. Honestly, sometimes it seems like all it takes is a little (or a lot) of Chardonnay and a pulse to qualify for my position. Clearly, it didn’t require an impenetrable immune system.
It is a job I always thought I would want, and although I don’t always feel that way, I do want my job. I signed up for it, warts and all. I sometimes wonder had I been acquainted with those warts if I would have been so delighted when I heard I got the job…but that’s beside the point. I am doing what I always knew I wanted to do, ever since I was a little girl. Unlike that little girl, I understand that there are pros and cons to everything, including my current profession, and we just have to accept that and save the grumbling for our blogs.
So even though I feel like I was hit by a truck, I rolled out of bed and reported to duty--although not before gulping down a couple of over-the-counter cold pills. After all, my job is not going to do itself.
As I walked into my office already a buzz with activity, my bosses, all three of them, looked up at me and said, “Mom? What’s for breakfast?”
I love my bosses. And it’s a good thing they like cereal.
This Post originally appeared on LinkedIn. 

5 Lessons I Should Learn from My 7-Year-Old

I am the mom, so honestly I should be the one teaching my daughter things. And I do. Like when I taught her to look both ways before she crosses the street, to keep her feet off the table when we are eating, or to spray the perfume in the air and walk through it. However, there are a few things I could learn from her. A few of them make me proud…and a couple that completely bewilder me.

Here are 5 things I could learn from my seven-year-old daughter.

Never wear anything that’s uncomfortable.

My daughter puts together ensembles that run the gamut from classy to clown suit on any given morning. The other day her sartorial statement included a sundress and earmuffs. While it may seem that she lacks a discerning eye and taste by my description, I can assure you this is not the case; she has exacting standards. My daughter will not wear anything that is itchy/tight/hot/painful. I bought her a super cute T-shirt with a sparkly purse on the front of it a couple of years ago. I knew she would like it because it featured two of her favorite things: sequins and accessories (a double whammy in that it was a sequined accessory!). She was delighted when she saw it, but her delight devolved to disdain when she wore it. Apparently the applique was itchy, so the shirt was a no-go. As a person who has worn clothes that itch, are too tight, and that caused numbness or bleeding, this is a lesson I should heed.

Poop anywhere.

It doesn’t matter if we are in a port-o-potty at a parade route or a church bathroom in a wine country town; if my daughter has to go, she goes. Talk to her during? No problem. Hear an impatient fellow-patron knocking on the door? Sure. Wrong time of day? What’s that? None of these are an impediment to her activity. I think this might be her superpower.
You can never have too many best friends.

I grew up with a definite sense that a best friend was an item one had in the singular. You might have a lot of good friends, but there was only one best friend. My daughter does not share my view on this issue. If you ask her who her best friend is these days, you will invariably get a list, maybe even with as many as six names on it. In some ways, this is youth. However, I also think this is indicative of a disregard for labels—at least as far as friendship is concerned.

Fairies are real.

A couple of years ago when she was in Kindergarten, I got a couple of emails from some perturbed parents. Apparently, my daughter had convinced all six of her best friends that fairies were real. She explained how you write them a note and hide it in the backyard, and then the next day you went out to see what they left for you. Needless to say, I deeply regretted the library book choice that led to this activity.

When I was introduced to this concept, I was a little grouchy, too, so I could understand the other parents’ ire. Luckily for me, she forgot about it after a few days—which was great because I heard the fairy was running out of pink Post-it notes she was answering her with…

Even Santa can have a bad day.

Early in the season, my daughter wrote a letter to Santa with what she expected on Christmas morning. Her list was challenging, to say the least. It included an iPhone 6 and an iPad mini (neither of which she had a remote chance of getting) and my personal favorite reach, a puppy. I told her Santa wasn’t going to bring her any of these things but she just sighed and looked at me like I was an idiot as she explained, “Mom! I just put those there so he would get me what I really want.” Diabolical!

Now that I had been set straight, we mailed the letter to the North Pole (“Santa doesn’t need a zip code. He’s too famous.”). Surprisingly, we got a letter back. Unfortunately, Santa told her in it she had been “a very good boy this year. “
Good lord, Santa! Lay off the eggnog, you geriatric genius.

Not sure how to cover the blunder, I hesitated, my mind preoccupied with composing the exact words I wanted to use on the pissy phone call to Santa’s answering service. My daughter on the other hand was neither hesitant nor pissy. She folded the letter up and set it down on the table before she said, “I guess Santa was having a bad day.” Crisis averted.

I suppose it doesn’t matter what the traditional role of mom and daughter is. If I can teach her things, why couldn’t she teach some things to me? Frankly, she is more mature than me in a few areas anyway. I can only hope one day when I grow up, I will be as wise as my seven-year-old.

Have you learned any lessons from your kids? I'd love to hear them in the comments!

Post originally published on Moms Magazine.