Infertility, Holidays, & Coworkers: 3 Full-time Jobs (Friday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. This week is all about co-workers. You may want to forward some of the posts to them...or maybe not... Well at least look them over before forwarding with the subject line: "Read this and thought of you."  And if you so desire, please subscribe to this blog. You get nifty weekly insider updates and get to hear what I really think of my own posts...not as boring as it sounds..geez I hope not anyway.) So, what were we talking about? Oh right. How the fertility-challenged among us are reluctant to go to the company holiday party, and, lo and are most people.

As we've discussed this week, the reason most of us are nervous about going to these parties, according to me anyway, is because at work you're expected to talk about work. The company party is the one time a year when there are (supposedly) no managers, supervisors or employees...No back stabbing,  no letters from the boss saying: "Bonus?! You're lucky you have a job."  No favoritism. No sht list. It's almost like a religious retreat. Just chums, buddies, comrades, and friends.  And friends talk to each other about their families...and introduce you to them.

And let's face it: If your buddy/chum/friend who also happens to be your manager every other day of the year shoves her new baby in your face it's not so easy to say: "I'm sorry, but I'm really not comfortable with this." and just walk away. On the other hand, never underestimate the power of imperfection. What I mean is: She's your boss and she has this new baby, but you have no idea what else may be going on there.

Years ago, my husband and I went to his company party at his boss's house. I'd heard he had not only a beautiful new baby, but a beautiful wife, and a beautiful home (and it was a beautiful home from what I could tell from the roped-off area the employees were restricted to).

My husband pointed out the suspects from across the room: "That's him. That's his baby. That's his wife. And that's his girlfriend. Get it? Did you catch what I just said?"

So there I was all evening, turning from chartreuse to lime to forest green, and I shouldn't have been because true, we didn't live in a mansion on a mountain top and we didn't have a new baby; My husband didn't have his own company or a million dollars-- but he also didn't have a girlfriend. And you know how I know he didn't have a girlfriend? Not only are we still married, but he's still living.

Personally, I think it's okay to just be cordial to the "big" bosses at these functions and keep it moving. Meet their kids, their wives, their husbands, their lover/caterer and move along. Forget how ill-at-ease you are around their kids, who wants to hang out with your boss? The longer you schmooze the greater the chance you're going to talk.

Maybe this is just me and you're more discreet and less paranoid than I, but I always assume that the more I talk, the more words are going to come out of my mouth. And the more words that come out of my mouth, the more words the boss will be able to string together and, in one way or another, use against me for the rest of my employment.     

I don't know. You and your boss may be soul mates.  But most of the "big" bosses I've had in my life come over and shake my hand at the annual party: "Nice to see you" but truth be told, they couldn't pick me out of a three person line-up. One December I swear they're going to come over with their handshake and their "Nice to see you" bit and I'm going to say: "Oh really? What's my name?"  Let's see them break eye contact to discreetly scan my clothing on the outside chance I pinned my ID badge to my little black dress.   

If you have another moment, please look into Psychologist Andrea Braverman's article in Health Experts on the theme of the month: "Get Through the Holidays Anyway You Can". She's an amazing asset to the infertility community.

I'll talk with ya again on Monday.