holiday parties

Why Holiday Parties at Work Don't Work for Infertile People

holiday party at work.jpg

"At This Company, We’re Really Like Family" 

Why do people think that's a selling point at a job interview? So you're telling me that you get on each other's nerves, push each other's buttons, talk behind each other's backs, and hold grudges for generations?

Mercifully, most of our extended real family, the ones with whom we spend holidays, are people we don't see that often. So whatever idiocies are said at the big family gathering at holidays…

"I really think you should start having children. You're not getting any younger."

Or our response:

"I really think you should stop talking. You're not getting any smarter."

...are said and then we all get into our respective cars, gripe to anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped in there with us for the long & getting-longer-by-the-minute-ride-home, or a BFF on the other end of the hands-free. Then we rehash the emotional leftovers in our minds and to our spouses for the next 12 months. It's different after the company holiday event.

Infertility at Work: The Company Holiday Party: (Gd help us all... everyone.)

If someone you've confided in at work about your fertility struggles starts gabbing at the big company celebration, maybe opening up at the open bar, or maybe you yourself start sailing your secrets down the River Rum... unlike with your family, you won't have to deal with the backlash until.....Not next Thanksgiving. Not next Christmas..... Monday.

holiday office party guy.jpg

And since a juicy bit of gossip is often the best holiday bonus people can bring home nowadays- Any seeds of "news" employees start spreading at the holiday party 2018 (assuming they even remember the holiday party 2018) will grow and flourish until New Year's Day... 2020. When finally you'll be able to get up off the hot seat because at least one of the following will have taken place:

  1. You'll be pregnant (yeah!) and they'll switch from discussing how infertile you were to how fat you are.

  2. You'll be a parent and they'll switch to discussing how much time you're taking off.

  3. People will finally have grown as tired of your infertility as you have.

  4. A fair number of employees at the December 2018 holiday party won't even be at the December 2019 holiday party because those holiday parties are only for company employees— Something which, for one reason or other, many will no longer be a year later. Of course, the most likely thing to occur to get you off the hot seat:

  5. Something new and way more delicious than your humdrum infertility will emerge at the 2019 party as the new reigning scandal:

A good old-fashioned boisterous, public cursing out; The manager feeding appetizers to the assistant manager from her cleavage; The CFO going to get her coat to leave and throwing up in the cloak room window... The possibilities are endless.

(I really appreciate you taking time at this very busy time of year to stop by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like more laughter at infertility's expense, please check out my book Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility and consider subscribing to my not-overly-frequent newsletter. Both can be done at the bottom of my home page: http://laughingisconceivable.com (Amazon direct link: https://www.amazon.com//dp/B007G9X19A/)  

Laughing-Is-Conceivable-Finalfront-cover-small.jpg
Microblog_Mondays.png

Infertile Holidays at Work

Infertile Holidays at Work: The Interview "This company is really like a family."

office-of-angry-people

Why do people think when you're interviewing for a job, that that's a selling point? So you're telling me that you get on each other's nerves, push each other's buttons, talk behind each other's backs, and hold eternal grudges?

Mercifully, most of our extended real family, the ones with whom we spend holidays, are people we don't see that often. So whatever idiocies are said at the big family gathering...:

"I really think you should start having children. You're not getting any younger."

Or our response:

"I really think you should stop talking. You're not getting any smarter."

...are said and then we all get into our respective cars, gripe the entire long ride home to ourselves, anyone unfortunate enough to be trapped in there with us, or a BFF on the other end of the hands-free. Then, for the next 12 months, we rehash and badmouth in our minds and to our spouses from the comfort of our own homes, culminating in the next holiday gathering when, upon pulling into the host's driveway, we're still hoping that person won't be there and they are and we apologize simultaneously, hug it out, one of us says: "life's too short", the other agrees, and we both swear we never even gave it a second thought. It's not always as easy after the company holiday event.

woman-arguing-to-man-in-care

Infertile Holidays at Work: The Company Party: (Gd help us all... everyone.)

If someone you've confided in about your infertility starts gabbing at the big celebration, maybe after confusing the open bar with the buffet two or twelve times, or maybe you yourself imbibed more than you should have and, mistaking catty coworkers for friends, sailed your own secrets down the River Rum... you won't have to deal with the backlash until.....Not next Thanksgiving. Not next Christmas..... Monday.

1920_hero_too_drunk_holiday_party

And since a juicy bit of gossip is often the best holiday bonus people can bring home nowadays- Any seeds of "news" employees start spreading at the holiday party 2016 (assuming they even remember the holiday party 2016) will grow and flourish until New Year's Day... 2018. When finally you'll be able to get up off the hot seat because at least one of the following will have taken place:

  1. You'll be pregnant (yeah!) and they'll switch from discussing how infertile you were to how fat you are.
  2. People will finally have grown as tired of your infertility as you have.
  3. A fair number of employees at the December 2016 holiday party won't even be at the December 2017 holiday party because those holiday parties are only for company employees: Something which, for one reason or other, many will no longer be a year later. Of course, the most likely thing to occur:
  4. Something new and way more salacious than your humdrum infertility was unveiled at the most recent company holiday party and will take its place as the new reigning scandal. Almost anything will do for the overworked, underpaid, and entertainment-deprived:

A good old-fashioned loud, public cursing out; The manager feeding appetizers to the assistant manager from her cleavage; The CFO going to get her coat to leave and throwing up in the cloak room window... The possibilities are endless.

(I really appreciate you taking time at this busy time of year to stop by. I hope you feel even just a little bit better than you did when you got here. If you'd like more laughter at infertility's expense, please think about: Subscribing to my occasional newsletter / Checking out my eBook above: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. http://laughingisconceivable.com)

 

Microblog_Mondays

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

Sorry for the late post. Power/Internet outages as far as the eye can see. (Start with "Monday" if you can. There's another snowstorm in the forecast for this afternoon for a good part of the Country. It could be a blizzard. You'd better just curl up in front of the computer in your jammies with bunny slippers and cocoa. Nothing else would be advisable.) 

So, what were we talking about? Oh right. Our coworkers who show their true hoochie selves at the company holiday party. Yeah, those who look like they just came in off the street on their way to work... at the corner.

Truthfully, there's a positive side to the nose-diving economy: It's made attending company holiday parties easier for us. 

I remember every December, my company used to have a big holiday shindig for all of the employees and their families. It was extremely hard to see all of the little cuties running around all dressed up. But that was then.

The company went from a big evening blow out at a hotel ballroom for the entire family to a dinner with the employees and their spouses at a nice restaurant to coffee cake in the conference room. (I remember thinking one year: "Savor every bite of that coffee cake, Lori. I have a feeling this is not only your holiday party...it's also your bonus.)  

So now, the only thing even remotely child-related that I hear at these "functions" is everyone complaining that, due to company cutbacks,they couldn't bring their toddler who eats about thirty cents worth of food.

People dealing with infertility usually dread company holiday events. Someone who just announced her engagement at last year's party, will be pregnant at this one. What if people bring their kids and I'm left to think about another year of that not being me?

In all of our breath-holding before the event, I think we fail to realize that most people, not just the pregnancy-challenged, don't look forward to going--for many good reasons, all of which can be traced back to the beverage being served: Whine made with very sour grapes.

There might be some dopy achievement awards given out.  Somehow the person who does the least work and disappears for ten minute breaks every twenty minutes  always wins.    

The dreaded "Secret Santa". First nobody can agree on whether or not to take the word "Secret" literally. Half the people sign their name on the gift, the other half write "Santa" in a disguised handwriting. Life was simpler when we just called the stinking thing a "grab bag".

Then, to throw further irritation into the joyous tradition, there's a price limit set: Say, twenty dollars. Somebody will throw in a six hundred dollar silver tea set for no apparent reason, someone will toss in an unwrapped plastic mug with a bank logo on it that was handed out at the street fair and call it a day, and somebody won't be bothered bringing in anything and leave someone feeling like Charlie Brown when the presents are open.    

The raffle: There will be no bonus this year but there will be one two-day trip to Disney raffled off among the two hundred employees. The employee unofficially voted "The coworker we'd all rather not work with" always wins.   

Listen, I gotta go. I've got to see and hear every possible list of the job closings due to the weather. I'll watch and listen until 5PM if I have to...just to be sure.  I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.

Infertility, Holidays, & Coworkers: 3 Full-Time Jobs (Wednesday)

(Start with "Monday" if you can. Did you see "It's a Wonderful Life" the other night? No, I'm not sure there's a connection either.)  So, what were we talking about? Oh right. The pitfalls of attending the company holiday party. Specifically: The dangers of bringing along a gabby-when-drunk spouse who, when he throws up in front of your coworkers, might accidentally let some of your intimate infertility secrets slip out with the scotch.

I mentioned yesterday that I'm not a drinker. Have no interest in it. Couldn't be bothered. My motto has always been "When people start getting stupid it's time to go." I'm starting to rethink my motto. Because when people start getting stupid, the company holiday party finally starts getting good.

We walk into these company soirees fearing the worst. What if somebody brings up our not having kids issue? Or one of our coworker acquaintances will ask in a pseudo-caring way: "You're not drinking are you? Aren't you still doing IVF?" and mouth the "IVF" part.

The beauty of many infertility-related terms is that they don't mouth well. What I mean is: Let's say this woman at the party is pretending to be discreet. She doesn't want to shout out the words through the party noise: "Hormones!" or "Fertility!" or "IVF!", so instead of saying it out loud, she just mouths the word. It's almost impossible to figure out any of those words, (Give it a go, you'll see) unlike curse words which are clear to everyone. So, this gives us the option of playing dumb for a long time. Especially if there's loud music playing and a fun DJ who keeps yelling "Paaartyyyy!" into the microphone.

"What?! Aren't I still doing what? Yoga?! Did you say yoga?! Yes I'm still doing yoga! So let her go on and on mouthing, trying different words to get her point across: "In-vitro?" "Fertility drugs?" "What Celine Dion did."

Just promise me that when, in desperation, she gets to "Assisted Reproductive Technologies" you'll just walk away. For chrissake, show the woman some mercy.        

I once was at a holiday party where a few of my female coworkers clustered. They didn't even have the decency to stop talking about me as I approached. In their buzzed state, they just slipped into their second language: "Ixnay on the Abybay Alktay." The odd thing is: They all know my degree is in Foreign Languages.  Did they think that in my pursuit to master the romance languages, I somehow lost my proficiency of pig latin?

So all of this fear of the unknown: "What will somebody say?" "Will I be put in an awkward situation?" "Will I feel forced into saying more than I want?" "What if I start crying?"...These are the pre-10:30 P.M. fears. Circa 10:30 P.M., the first signs of inebriation start to show from the first wave of party arrivees. Now the fun starts.

First there will be the mention of the unfortunate clothing choices. Your size 16 general manager perhaps should not have worn a size 6 purple sequined mini skirt and a tube top (in December).     

At about 11 PM, the twenty year old shy guy from accounting will be talking both sht and poetry into her cleavage. By 11:30, he'll be setting his drinks in there. Nobody will have any recollection of seeing either of them after that. Around midnight, people will start leaving and a few might note that his car is gone yet her car is still in the parking lot.

And you and your humdrum infertility issues are off the hook for another year.

Listen, I gotta go. There are ten more shopping days before Christmas and I have to "Mapquest" the furthest point from any mall in the state.  

I'll talk with ya again tomorrow.