And the award for Employee of the Month goes to…

Words and phrases like surfactant and wellbore tubulars cause my eyes to glaze over. When exposed to them at a high enough frequency I start to foam at the mouth, and more often than once emergency crews have been dispatched to revive me at my place of work. It is costly to both my employer and my self-esteem. It takes a toll on the productivity level of my colleagues and on my pride and dignity alike. Therefore, it is a matter of commercial responsibility and personal health that I pursue alternative vocations.

Equally as unfortunate is my inability to turn off my tendency to associate everything with human anatomy and naughty things. Flush, penetrate, plug, stimulate – I become the 14 year old boy in science class who fidgets and squirms to stifle smirks and laughter, all the while looking around to share that moment of solidarity that comes when someone else makes the same association and understands the hilarity of it all. This is not appropriate behavior for an adult in a meeting during which the fate of a project worth millions of dollars is being decided.

It distracts my colleagues, this tendency. And I find that not only does it impede my own credibility as a professional,  it jeopardizes the reputation of the company I represent and the careers of my peers, whom I wear down until they eventually give in and join me in my childish outbursts. I don’t know what it is about certain words, but once one person has a giggle at their mention, the laughter spreads like wildfire.

My behavior would be viewed by most as immature and distracting; as inappropriate and vile as it is pathetic.

Of course, it’s not all for naught. In order to censor myself, I find it helpful to let my mind wander. And so, during lengthy meetings I’m afforded hours on end to make lists and notes about how I can organize my life or what I need to pick up from the grocery store on the way home from work. I might also visualize how I’d like to rearrange my living room furniture, or give myself a mental pep talk about how tonight will be the night that I finally get around to consolidating all those nearly-empty bottles of salon-quality shampoo that I’ve carted around to each of my last five apartments (because, although they take up valuable real estate on the rails of the bathtub, it seems wasteful to toss away the remnants of such pricey brands, especially when they promise to preserve my color or add gloss to my locks). I’ll write lists of the phone calls to friends and relatives that are long overdue and imagine the pleasantries we’ll exchange, making note of all the important matters I’ve been meaning to tell them. I’ll sometimes even challenge myself to create a series of haikus or poems about nature, or catch up on my journaling. In fact, this very blog post is the product of an early morning meeting about proppants used in hydraulic fracturing treatments. I don’t know about you, but something about proppant talk just makes creativity really start to flow.

Of course the trouble with this approach is that by the end of the day I’m simply too emotionally exhausted from creating such extensive lists or mentally performing daunting tasks to even consider following through with any of them. Yes, I’d done nothing physically demanding all day, chair-laden for upwards of eight straight hours, but in my mind I’d been vacuuming my apartment and scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees, or perhaps I’d even been running a marathon in support of children in impoverished countries before coming home to call my grandmother to discuss the direction my life is headed in and whether or not I might consider blessing her with some grandchildren – a far more taxing endeavor than the Iron Man itself.

And so, by the time I arrive home I’m simply too spent to do anything other than lay on the floor and stare blankly at the ceiling, whimpering with exhaustion. An outsider peering through the window might be concerned that I’ve been given a lobotomy or that I’ve suffered a stroke, but no, I’m alive as can be. It is soothing and necessary to be kind to oneself after a full day of tedium so that one’s brain can be up and running the next business day. Recuperating is a responsibility not to be taken lightly by those who hold such important positions as me. I suppose then, one could say after all that I do, in fact, take my job very, very seriously.

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Comments
One Response to “And the award for Employee of the Month goes to…”
  1. Amy, this is hilarious and so witty. I want to read it again!!! xo

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