watch your words

My boss pulled me to one side
to talk about some things
she had overheard.
She wanted me to know that
she was there if I needed to talk
about anything;
work or otherwise.
She tells me that
I need to be careful
who I say things in front of
because she’s concerned
I might upset people
and she doesn’t want me to get in trouble.
I try and bite my tongue
but every morning when my colleagues ask
“how are you today, Less?”
my mouth fills with acid
and I want to claw my throat out
because I don’t know how to answer
while staying in my authority
to not tell anyone what’s going on.

family values

If there is one trait
I inherited from my mother,
it is my stubbornness.
Once I decide on something,
it is incredibly difficult
to talk me out of it.
More often than not,
I know full well
that I am being stupid
and I’m only going through with it
because I enjoy
people being concerned,
seeing as it is
a new concept to me.

If there is one trait
I inherited from my father,
it is my work ethic.
But is making my employer happy
worth it
when I do nothing
but disappoint and frustrate
my friends?

it’s been a long day

Step one in my new life:
starting my new job.
I arrived half an hour early
(because on time is late)
dressed in my smartest clothes
and a cheery expression painted on my face.
In my brand new bag
is a brand new pencil case
filled with brand new stationery
which makes me think of the first day of a new school year
but worse,
because school couldn’t fire you.

“What were you most concerned about?”,
my desk buddy asks.
I fiddle with my lanyard
and security pass
and look around the room for an acceptable answer.
I notice her unicorn mug
and crocheted duck
tucked under her monitor.
“I don’t know,
I suppose I was nervous
that everyone was going to be
a bit stuffy and formal.”
She laughs heartily,
pulling smiles from those around us.
A gentle peace washes over me
and I get the feeling
I’m going to like it here.

a guide to answering interview questions

“What’s your biggest flaw?”

A very common interview question
with no obvious answer.

The easy way out is answering
with a flaw that is actually a positive –
I work too hard!
I’m a perfectionist!
I’m too dedicated!

Maybe a cliché is the way to go,
as I doubt a potential employer
wants to hear about
how every morning, when I look in the mirror
I want to rip my skin off my body
or how I don’t have a personality of my own
so I just hijack other people’s interests
to make myself more likeable
or how I give my heart away so easily
knowing full well I’ll end up hurt
and yet I do it anyway
because I think I like the pain.

I could answer with
I’m stubborn –
if I decide I’m doing something,
I’m sticking with it until the bitter end.
I struggle to say no to people –
which means I get overwhelmed
and can’t manage my workload and
I don’t know how to ask for help.

I do not answer with
I’m stubborn –
if I decide I’m doing something,
I’m doing it
even if I know I will get hurt
because it means I am more likely to receive sympathy.
I struggle to say no to people –
which means I am easy to take advantage of
because I can’t deal with anyone being mad at me.
I don’t know how to ask for help,
so I let myself drown without a second thought.

– to JP. I hope I am like you when I grow up.

the joys of 9 to 5.30

“Monday again…
the weekend always seems to go so fast!”
This is a very common conversation
I overhear at work in the corridors.
I tend to laugh along,
join in the fantasies of
what we would do if we won the lottery,
but secretly I am glad to be here.

I feel normal at work,
I am with people who know me well –
my friends –
and I know exactly where I stand.
At work, I am not alone.
I am surrounded by people and files
and enough hustle and bustle
to keep my mind of certain topics
that I am in no state to think about.

We laugh and make dumb jokes
about stuff that ultimately does not matter.
We have work wives and work husbands
and so much work love that
for eight and a half hours a day,
we can forget all the garbage
that is going on at home.

The weekend always goes so fast,
and yet I wish it would go a little faster.

– to my work family. I love you all.