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.Simple to Follow Office Refrigerator Rules.

Employees: I just thought it would be helpful to remind everyone of the rules we have in place for keeping food in our shared refrigerator. Please follow these guidelines to help ensure the fridge remains a sanitary and healthy space for everyone who works here:…

.A Donation in My Name.

Happy birthday! As we wish you another year of joy and prosperity, we also acknowledge that many in the world are less fortunate. So, in lieu of a gift, a donation has been made in your name to several worthy causes. We donated in your…

.Working from Home (WFH) – How I Imagine This Works.

I yawn awake at the painfully early hour of noon o’clock to the pinging of 1,005 unread emails. A voicemail from my boss leaps to the top of my mountain of notifications: “PLEASE LOG INTO TEAMS NOW!!” I take a deep breath and realize it’s the perfect time to grab a cup of coffee and a croissant from the café around the corner.

At the coffee shop, I join a group of working-from-home guys typing away on their laptops. They inspire me to work on my pressing daily tasks: New Yorker or Wordle. Fortunately, I expensed my subscription this month as “emotional support software.” I consider checking my work messages while on my laptop, but I hesitate. My company uses Slack (a communication software), and I understand that as a directive, not a software.

The unbearable stress of upcoming Teams meetings has pushed me to take my first break of the day, but certainly not the last. As a WFH (“work from home” or “will fire her”) employee, I prioritize my mental health. My mind is a temple.

Out of my never-ending pile of notifications, one catches my eye: a new Spotify playlist. It begins with “9 to 5” by Dolly Parton. Her lyrics convey an understanding of the grind of my job, even if I’m only working twelve to four. I desperately need her inspiration to power through.

After my brief two-hour break, I head home to dive back into work. The jumbled, incorrect spreadsheets whose numbers dictate the future of this company were due three weeks ago. Attempting to cope with the strain, I bring my focus to my favorite job responsibilities: walking around the house without pants on, binging a new show, and writing meal-prep ideas that will never come to fruition.

Before turning to WFH, my boss was worried we’d miss the office’s social festivities. He was totally wrong, though, because I attended an ice-cream-tasting event and a public reading from my favourite author last week while working. My boss loves that I’m always working, no matter what I do.

Soon after transitioning to WFH, the five-day workweek turned into a two-day workweek. We call it the “reverse weekend.” The eight-hour workday is a curse from the distant past. Now, I work in five-minute increments and break when my chakras are misaligned. I can also take care of laundry, groceries, and anything involving child care. Picking them up from basketball lessons? No problem, bad reception on the computer. No more milk in the fridge? Bad reception and off to the store I go. Easy.

I do miss a few elements of working in-office while being remote, such as profound conversations (gossip mostly) with my coworkers in the cafeteria. I long for the human connection of “Hey,” “How’s it going?” and “Can you please stop taking seventeen bathroom breaks a day to avoid work?” and “Have you heard that they caught A with S in the car the other day? NAKED! Oh, and he has a new BMW!!”

Usually, bosses always believe that nothing makes employees more productive like being chained to a desk in an office that looks like a hospital. They are wrong, of course, because now my working attitude and loyalty are at an all-time high. I’m loyal to all ten hours of actual work I have done this week.

Speaking of which—this internet is down again. Time to sign off for today.

.Phone Hysteria.

It’s a universal modern-life experience to talk about something and immediately see an ad that seems like it must be a result of that conversation. Maybe you tell someone you’re planning a vacation and then start seeing advertisements for flights and hotels. Maybe you talk…

.Jokes Ruined by Gentle Parenting.

Hey there. Do you know what gentle parenting is? The gently parented child, the theory goes, learns to recognize and control emotions because a caregiver is consistently affirming those emotions as real and important. The parent provides a model for keeping one’s cool (yeah right,…

.What to Do as a Parent in a Family Resort after the Kids are Finally in Bed.

Family Field Trip by Erin Austen Abbott

The other day I had a conversation with a colleague at work who is spending “quality family time” with his child at a family resort. Why do I get goosebumps? Maybe because this has nothing to do with relaxation and free time to me when travelling with a small child. Proof me wrong and I will shut up about this! Another friend told me to go to a farm where the kids can pet animals and stuff. Again, I haven’t heard anything about relaxation for the parents yet. Maybe there is the option to hand your kid(s) over to someone who takes care of them all day long while you are at the SPA? That could work. So, you decided to hang out at this over-prized all-inclusive hotel with your lovely family. Finally, the kid is in bed. Here are some options for you and your significant other if you don’t fall asleep at 8 pm as well (oh sweet parenting, sigh!):

Sit in the bathroom and use your creativity to make it the most exciting place in the entire hotel.

Become frustrated that rearranging the towels has failed to turn the bathroom into the most exciting place in the entire hotel.

Remember that your child’s bed has wheels, and see if you can wheel it into the not-particularly-exciting bathroom without waking them up.

Stop moving the crib in a panic after one of your child’s eyelids briefly flutters open. Spend the next ten minutes silently begging them for forgiveness.

Listen to the peaceful sound of your child’s breathing and feel guilty that it is boring you rather than inspiring you to compose a sonnet.

Wonder if going to the hotel bar would count as negligent parenting, given that you and your child would technically still be in the same building.

Decide that going to the bar counts as negligent parenting, but going to the adjacent hotel room would be totally fine.

Remember that you have no idea who, if anyone, is staying in the adjacent hotel room.

Try to figure out if there is a non-creepy way to determine who, if anyone, is staying in the adjacent hotel room.

Knock on the door of the adjacent hotel room. Experience a huge rush of excitement at the thrill of not knowing what awaits you on the other side, a huge rush of relief when no one answers, and a huge rush of shame upon realizing that you just left your child alone in a hotel room for approximately nineteen seconds. Run back to the hotel room and spend the next twenty minutes silently begging them for forgiveness.

Realize that all new parents must share this frustration when staying in hotels. This has opened up a golden business opportunity to start a company that makes it easy to book entire homes with multiple rooms rather than individual hotel rooms for vacations.

Remember that Airbnb already exists, and this is the thesis behind one of its recent ad campaigns. Sigh quietly.

Reminisce about that crazy trip you and the girls took to Amsterdam over sophomore-year spring break while listening to Cindy Lauper on your headphones. Get nostalgic and wistful about how much fuller of possibility the world seemed back then, even though you actually spent most of that trip vomiting after losing tequila shot contests to your at that time best friend J.

Look J. up on LinkedIn. See that she is now a cardiopulmonologist based in the UK. Feel weird about it.

Worry about what to tell your child about the Amsterdam trip if they ever ask you about it. Decide to hope it doesn’t come up.

Write a letter to your local representative asking what they plan to do about how immorally expensive it is to book a hotel room that includes a separate and closed-off space where your child can sleep, as this has clearly been the biggest problem facing the country since about forty minutes ago.

Play Wordle.

Try to come up with the next Wordle.

Struggle to come up with the next Wordle, and play the mini crossword instead.

Write the lyrics to a hit song inspired by your trip. A good title for it could be “Hangin’ at the Hotel.”

Struggle to come up with lyrics beyond “We’re hangin’ at the hotel / So glad it’s not a motel,” and find a different mini crossword to play instead.

Put on your headphones, and watch an episode of Sex and the City on your iPad before passing out. Realize that this really isn’t very different from what you usually do after your child goes to bed.

Also fall asleep at 7:30 p.m. Finally understand why your child seems so full of energy every morning.

.Welcome to NoSuckLand.

I bet you experienced this: Everything sucks, everybody sucks, and all you want to do is dig a little hole and hide forever. You don’t want to see or speak to anyone. The world simply feels unfair and bad. So, what can you do? Scream…

.Yes and No.

It all happened four years ago: I was having one of those no-good-very-bad periods. Parenting felt hard and heavy. My job had many challenging moments. My domestic load was ridiculous. My phone buzzed and dinged and rang. I was forever in the car, or at…

.How Mature Are You? The Quiz.

1. When a co-worker steals your lunch, you:

A) Emit a guttural scream. Ask, “What man committed this crime?!” Lecture the entire office on boundaries. Your bark is worse than your bite, but they don’t know that.

B) Hunt down the motherfucker who ate your cheese sandwich. Tell him to keep his hand at the level of his eye when he walks to the parking garage tonight.

C) Go home. Take a nap under a blanket fort.

D) Find the person eating your lunch, and tell him that if he wanted you to make him a sandwich, all he had to do was ask. You’d be more than happy to pack for two sometimes! Maybe Fridays?

E) Remind everyone that you labeled your stuff. For the next few days go out for lunch. Watch the thief wither without your delicious food.

2. When that woman in your book club calls you confused and forgetful, you:

A) Tell her to fuck off. You know you want to! You’ve been so patient with her hater ass. You deserve a little release!

B) Stab her hand with a salad fork. Shatter a metacarpal. Feel how your ancestors must have felt when they conquered worlds.

C) Freeze and replay everything you’ve ever said or done that could make her think that. Sift through hours and hours of footage. By the time you remember you’re in a room full of people, no one remembers what she said.

D) Tell her she’s right! You are totally spacey. You should probably work on that.

E) Ignore her. This can look like C, but it is an intentional act.

3. When a friend asks for help moving 
even though she knows you have back problems, you:

A) Call her a shitty friend. Why can’t she remember the basics about you! What is wrong with her?

B) Slap her until she remembers that you’re always in pain.

C) Tell her you’re busy that day.

D) Help her and injure yourself but don’t say anything. Spend hundreds of dollars on chiropractor treatments just to get back to your normal pain level.

E) Remind her that you can’t lift. Offer to bring bagels or lunch to make her move more enjoyable.

4. When your mother obsesses over the weight you’ve gained 
since your high school graduation fifteen years ago, you:

A) Call her a bitch. Who else would randomly talk about your body without prompting? Tell her we can’t all have eating disorders, Karen.

B) It’s mostly muscle. Cardio kickboxing is going really well. Tell her that the next time you see her you can kick her ass until she gets the right idea.

C) Say nothing. You can feel your healthy dinner rapidly putrefying in your stomach. But it’s a free country. You can’t tell her what she can and can’t say. That would be fascist. She’s entitled to her opinion. Even when it makes you cry in the shower before work.

D) Tell her she’s right. You have gained weight, but you’re working on it. You’re going to the gym five days a week and eating healthy. Your body changed. You’re trying to do better.

E) You didn’t ask for her opinion, and you don’t want it. Tell her if she can’t say anything nice, she shouldn’t say anything at all.

5. When your boyfriend says he wants to move in, 
but you’re not ready, you:

A) Pick a fight. How could you move in with someone who still can’t manage to clean the sink after shaving? You’ve asked him a million times. It’s like he doesn’t even care enough to try.

B) Throw him out. A window, the front door. Whatever’s closest to the garbage.

C) Break up with him. Don’t tell him why. You obviously want different things and talking about it will only muddy the waters.

D) Tell him yes, yes, a million times yes! Feel that pebble in your stomach grow into a boulder gathering speed down a hill toward an elementary school. Never voice your doubts or reveal your newfound anxiety-related constipation. It will only make him worry.

E) Tell him that his lease being up isn’t a good reason to move in together. You told him you needed space after the miscarriage. No more secretly picking out names or looking up just how big it would be. A poppy seed. A blueberry. A green olive. You were going to throw away all your future plans for him and an apple seed. Without the apple seed, moving in together seems like the rash act it would be. You haven’t even known each other that long. Four months. You want to be smart. You hope he can respect that.

Results:

Mostly As
You may have some issues around impulsivity and aggression that you should look into with a qualified therapist.

Mostly Bs
Physical abuse isn’t cute. Get yourself to anger management before a court mandates it!

Mostly Cs
Bottling up all your feelings isn’t healthy, and hiding from the world won’t solve your problems. You need to learn how to draw boundaries and ask for what you want.

Mostly Ds
There’s something called “fawning” that you might want to look into. Stop catering to other people so much! You are responsible for your own happiness, not everyone else’s.

Mostly Es
Congratulations! You’re basically a zen master! You don’t need that lavender bubble bath, but maybe run it anyway? You deserve it for dealing with A’s, B’s, C’s, and D’s bullshit.

.Being a Mother is So Easy.

Despite near-constant whining about how impossible it is to be a mother, really, it’s simple: you just have to be perfect. No, not like that. Not annoyingly perfect, like a show-off or something. You need to be effortless and self-deprecating in your perfection. Not that self-deprecating—is this…


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