I’ve been tasked with the misfortune of planning my company’s Christmas festivities. I’ve never been more disappointed or frustrated with my coworkers than I have the past few weeks…
We have a sister division in town who we work closely with; their manager and I wanted to have a joint party so we could combine our meager budgets and do something nice. Sounds like a great idea, right? Right. Apparently, my office doesn’t want to hang out with their office because so and so doesn’t like so and so. That was an embarrassing phone call to have to make…
So I went for Plan B…a small catered lunch with a fun game of Dirty Santa. But they didn’t want to play Dirty Santa…because what if they found a cool gift they wanted and someone took it away?
Then I proposed an ornament exchange…but ‘nobody wants ornaments.’
I got them to agree upon a regular old Secret Santa. Someone pulled me aside and mentioned that financially this is a hard year for them so I set a $10 price limit. Again, more whining because they thought it should be at least $20. I put my foot down- it’s going to be $10, and you can be happy about it or you can be talking about me behind my back-I really don’t care.
THEN someone had the audacity to approach me with the request that I give her Secret Santa her Christmas list so that ‘maybe I’ll have a chance of actually liking my gift.’ Um, no. Do not pass go, do not get $200, DON’T YOU DARE SEND ME YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST. Ironically, the person who asked me this is the person whose name I drew and now I’m having to dig really deep to not purposefully buy something that sucks.
And finally, they threw a fit when they found out I’m having it catered by Boston Market. Apparently, that’s not nice enough. LOOK. You turned down a situation where we would’ve had a much larger budget, you embarrassed me in front of another colleague, you’re made this a GIGANTIC pain in my butt…you should be counting your lucky stars that I’m not renting a van, driving you to McDonalds, and making you select a value meal because I’m one complaint away from that.
There’s just too much of an emphasis on things that just don’t matter
There are a lot of negatives that have accompanied this condition- A LOT- but it has helped me grow up a lot and see things from a new perspective. I lived quite the lovely life until I started having symptoms. If I wanted something or wanted to do something, it just happened. I will admit that I was a bit snotty about it. But if your worldview your entire life is that you always got what you wanted, it is a little hard to understand people who don’t have things quite that easy.
Getting RA for me was a super sized serving of humble pie. All of a sudden, most of the core things I defined myself by- feeling pretty, being the best at anything I tried, choosing any sort of physical activity and putting forth at least a respectable performance, having lots of fun friends and being very social- were being threatened. I felt fat, ugly, deformed, sedentary, and useless. I made some really bad decisions, let some really bad people into my life, and threw myself into work. You probably haven’t noticed but while I allude to the first few years of my diagnosis, I have yet to really write in depth about them. I should and I will eventually…but it’s a hard place to revisit and until I have a little bit more distance between then and now, I just can’t. Suffice it to say that I felt (and still feel sometimes) that EVERYTHING has been a fight in recent years and that for awhile, I felt like I had lost everything.
I found myself in a really bad place where I really was all of the things that I never thought I’d be and you know what? The people who mattered were still there. The job that I was still very good at was still there. Doing that first 5K and finishing in 42 minutes felt like the biggest accomplishment in the world whereas several years before, I would’ve died of shame with that time. Weight…it comes off and that feels like a huge accomplishment too. I hate how I had to learn the lesson and how long it took me to realize it but I have learned how to better spot what’s important and what’s not…and how to really appreciate working through challenges.
I think that’s why I’m having such a hard time with all of this petty nonsense at work. Because it is all about things- gifts to be specific- that just don’t matter. All of our hard work this year…the fact that we’ve taken the challenges of a newby team in the smallest office in the region and turned it into a force to be reckoned with (if I do say so myself)…matters and should be celebrated. THAT is the accomplishment here, not the friggin candle you buy me for my desk.
I know it’s asking too much but I really wish they could see it that way.
Lovely irony is that nobody wants ornaments, right? Because, as my manager’s gift to everyone, they will all be receiving ornaments.
Enjoy them, Grinches!!!