Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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Memorandum: That Kind Of Person

I worry I'm becoming the kind of workaholic who can't go a few hours without checking her emails. I manage a team of people, including storm chasers who are out and about in severe weather, and am also responsible for a large portion of the company website so the emails are plentiful and mostly important. Except, of course, those lurking among us who get 'reply all' happy and hold the rest of us hostage with the subsequent 'reply all' email orgy. Thanks for the 43 extra emails, guys.

Thing is, I'm not interested in being the kind of person who scurries from home to work and meeting to conference call all while religiously checking my iPhone for new emails. And yet I find myself being that kind of person. Probably because I really like my job. But still, I see people who are that kind of person and have determined that some people get off on being that kind of person. These are people who happily employ jargon-y office phrases like "deliverables" and "drill-down" and "action items" and then there are other people who slowly die inside until they are mere shells of their former selves; pale, slumping against anything and everything, flasks hidden in desk drawers, haunted eyes... I am of the latter persuasion.

It's a catch-22, isn't it? Job at a place with people I really love but at what cost? It's this fine line I now find myself walking; attempting to do a job I dig while trying to remain a fun, carefree person who isn't beaten down by the officey officeness that infiltrates your soul. I suppose I'll know it's time to quit if you ever catch me bandying about phrases like "low hanging fruit" and "run it up the flagpole" and "synergy" or "circle back" or "best practices" or "value add" or... Sweet mother of god, can someone just put me in a dark basement corner and let me do my thing? We're putting cover sheets on all TPS reports before they go out now and I've got to jump on a conference call to schedule a meeting about that so we can effectively cascade the relevant information.

Also, have you seen my stapler?

Reader Comments (13)

OMG! I hate the buzz words. At my company it's "incremental growth". It makes me want to kick kittens and I love kittens.

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCharity

Ugh the buzz words are the worst: preso, drinking from the fire hose, boil the ocean, tee'd up.... they are like nails on a blackboard when I hear those buzz words!

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBeccaV

My coworkers and I used to enjoy playing Bullshit Bingo ( - it makes every officey office meeting so much more fun!

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChristine from Canada

But, are you "leveraging all the assets" that you can? Gah!

April 28, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCorporate Tool

@Corporate Tool - HAHA. I'd like to leverage my assets ALL OVER YOUR FACE.

April 29, 2015 | Registered CommenterMonica

I just found this the other day: It's a font you can download that replaces buzzwords with a censorship bar that says "bullshit" on it; it's pretty funny. It works on words like strategy, synergy, monetize, proactive, bleeding edge, next gen, paradigm shift, make it pop ... stuff like that. It's really not that useful but for the half hour I spent trying out different words it was strangely therapeutic.

April 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth B

@Elizabeth B - You have just made my day.

April 29, 2015 | Registered CommenterMonica

ahh, I thought this was so a problem of my generation that was not affecting you youngsters. I guess you will carry on the traditions of my officery office days. BTW I am retiring in less than 5 years!!!

April 30, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJust Jill

Let yourself get bogged down until you reach a point where it's uncomfortable or it zaps too much of your personal life, you'll know when it's crossed the line. Also, you haven't mentioned your compensation. With all this added responsibilities I'm sure you're making more money which as tacky as it sound might make it all worth it. Once your bambinos get older you'll be glad you have the experience and time at the job because you'll need the dinero. The perks of taking Violet on a girls only vacation, or getting the kids tickets to really cool events will make you feel better about the mind space that you are giving to the job. Plus, I think you seem very happy with a "regular" outside of the house job ;)

May 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie

I don't think it's an either/or situation--you can work in an office and contribute and still be an interesting, creative person, right? Right? God, I hope so.

May 5, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlissa

Great article and definitely a sign of the modern times. I found myself doing the same for a while but then I'd get angry at myself later for feeling overwhelmed. I decided when I was off..I was off. No phone checking etc. I would check my email once before bed to see if there was anything urgent that needed a response but reminded myself that I could do it in the morning during the hours I am actually getting paid. Definitely tough to do though! Great post!

May 18, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterShaina Braun

And though you love what you do, you NEED to be able to get away from it, otherwise you burn out sooner or later .Right? Sometimes it's difficult to switch gears from working at that which you truly enjoy to being off. You get into a groove where you are producing whatever and it's a good speed for you...then you are off suddenly and it is all supposed to come to a screeching halt, except your mind is still working and emails are only reinforcing the need for your continued interventions or whatever. You step outside and it's suddenly clear that there is a day going on out there. Bike rides to take, whatever. Other things besides work. I remember being the LAST one to leave every single day, and then staying until 10 PM or later trying to catch up on and get ahead, and not even getting paid for all of this overtime. Anyway, if that is the case it might be a good idea to start wrapping it up earlier. Balance. The person who took my place walks out at 5 and never looks back..

May 21, 2015 | Unregistered Commentergina

and at least YOU have a life outside of that place! my gosh...

May 21, 2015 | Unregistered Commentergina

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