Dooh! I’ve done it more than a few times.
Confessions from a writer. I’ve done this, not on purpose mind you. Sometimes I don’t find out until months later, like recently, when I went back to read an old email from a new boss I’ve only met over zoom.
My first boss as a writer. I wrote a bunch of children’s books for his company and get this, I got paid for it! I was more excited to make 5cents a word for creations birthed from my mind than my old 6 figure income working for NASA.
How crazy is that? I miss the income and security and intellectual stimulation, and friends and excitement and the friggin spacecraft, but I’ve discovered something better to replace it. Joy.
I could sit and write myself into a coma sometimes. I love telling stories. And getting paid to do it? I’m working on that as I ease into my midlife career change that life flung me into.
I’m out here dancing the wild fandango and trying to make it look like I’m hanging 10.
That leads me to this hot tip:
Watch what you say in front of kids
When I was in pre-school my new stepdad took me to work to meet his boss, the president of the company. He ushered me into a large room with a big brown desk that had a phone with lots of lights on it and huge bookcase behind the desk.
As far as I knew this was just some old man my Dad wanted me to say “Hi” to.
Well, that man bent down low from his 6 foot plus height, got right down to my eye level and said, “Well, what do you think of your new Daddy?”
All nearby adults turned to look at me. The spotlight struck me and I needed to shine. I didn’t know what I thought of my new Dad. Four- or Five-year old’s don’t usually contemplate that.
So, my panicked mind improvised. “Let’s make them laugh,” I thought. I know! “I’ll say something he says that makes people laugh.”
I puffed out my chest and confidently blurted, “I think he’s a turkey farmer who eats his shorts!”
I don’t think that’s what the boss, or my new Dad, or the hovering secretary thought I would ever say in a billion gazillion million years. I got the laughter I sought, so I thought I had done good and made him proud.
When we got home, I remember him telling my mom the story. She furrowed her brows and scolded him, “I told you to watch what you say in front of her! You deserved that.”
That’s the moment I thought I might have said something wrong. But what the hello does that mean anyway? Turkey farmers don’t eat their shorts, do they? I’m a little city girl and know not these ways. I shrugged it off and moved on with life.
This brings me back to the present. I’m old friends with shrugging off embarrassment. Me? Who cares? Not me.
And yet I cringe when I think about it, saying or writing “love you” to a boss or a stranger or a person you don’t actually love. At least it’s a nice sentiment. It’s not like I said, “You’re a turkey farmer who eats his shorts.”
Tell me your “Oh Gawd, did I really just do that moment” in the comments below. It can’t be all that bad and if it is, just shrug it off. Who cares? Everyone needs to laugh.