Office Lingo, Office Shmingo

Things that I hate: office lingo.

1. “…and so I reached out to Jodi…” I’m sorry you did what? You reached out to her? Did you touch her? Did you spin around in your rollie chair and physically reach out and touch her? No. No you didn’t. This phrase grates on my ears like nails on a chalk board. My coworkers use this phrase like it’s water. They “reach out” to the angry mom who has a questions about her daughter’s bill; “reach out” to the person who submitted a report; “reach out” to the IT Director for an answer to a tech question. Knock it off, people. You “reach out” to a sick neighbor or a person in crisis or need. You don’t reach out to a coworker for an answer to a question.

2. “Can you circle back with Stacey?” You mean can I respond to her email? Yes, I can do that. No, I cannot circle back with her. We are not on aplayground or a carousel or a roller rink.

 3. Thanks Now I’m all for a polite work space. But with my coworkers, this is overkill. Send a report that’s part of your job: thank you! Answer a question: thank you! If they ask you a question: thank you! Literally. Everything is signed with “thank you.” WHAT ARE YOU THANKING THEM FOR? For letting you ask them a question? For letting you submit a requested time sheet or report? For being able to request their attendance at a meeting? For being able to notify them that something they did was wrong? People, THIS IS YOUR JOB. Stop thanking me and everyone else for everything! It is a report! It is my job to submit this! I am not doing you a favor or going above and beyond or paying you a compliment…I am answering your question or request. So thank YOU for not saying thank you.

4. “I would encourage you to…” Apparently, it is no longer possible to give a direct instruction to someone. Please stop encouraging me. Just tell me what to do.

And just in case you didn’t get my point…here’s an example of a typical email I see every day at work:

Hi Autumn,

Could you reach out to this mother about her questions? Circle back with the volunteer lead as well. I would encoruage you to consult [my coworker] about best practices for these types of situations. 


Your Boss

OR…I get this.

Hi Autumn,

I wanted to reach out to you about a question I had. Could you find the Risk Audit report for XYZ Group and circle back with me? I’m looking for it, but can’t locate it. 

Thank you! Love, your coworker.

Why can’t we just be DIRECT? Why not just say:

Hi Autumn: Please respond to this mother. Ask Ashley if you need help. Or: Hi Autumn, Do you have the Risk Audit report; or know where I could find it?

Thanks [for reading]!

**(linking up with Random Wednesdays at Because Shanna Said So…check it out and meet some new fellow bloggers!)



Modern Love and the Death of the Joint Bank Account

Joint bank accounts have gone the way of the wind…or at least, they have in Missouri (or have they just not made it here yet…? Sorry, lame Missouri-is-Misery joke). The common trend here is that couples do not have a joint bank account. A 2005 study by Radon Financial Group, reported in the Wall Street Journal, found that 48% of married couples have separate accounts. So I have a hard time believing this is just a Missouri practice. 


Case Study A: I was at lunch with some of my female coworkers, and the topic of budgets, boyfriends, and bills came up. Coworker A mentioned that her boyfriend ‘generously’ paid the rent, and they split the utilities. Did I mention that they’ve been living together for 7 years? 7 years and you still split utilities? Coworker B agreed that her and her HUSBAND did the same thing, and thus began a long discussion of the intimate details of their financial arrangements. Essentially, the majority of the table (and the people they knew) all had separate bank accounts from their spouses (or long term boyfriends, I’m talkin…civil marriage long term…) and that they all split the bills. When the one person at the table fessed up to the fact that her and her husband did have a joint bank account, it was met with rapid silence and a chorus of “oh. how does that work”‘s. She blushed. 


Case Study B: Another female coworker of mine keeps her paycheck as her “fun money.” Now I’ve heard of this before, women working part-time jobs just to get out of the house and have some extra fun money. That’s normal. Until she starts complaining about how she has to use her paycheck for her speeding ticket, which may be over the amount of her paycheck (umm, slow down) and she (direct quote) “doesn’t want to have to ask [her husband] for extra money.” I’m sorry…what? And then she goes “I don’t want to have to take money from him. Plus, he has to pay for his dental surgery this week.” Hold the phone (the rotary phone, in Missouri’s case…wink wink). Isn’t it your money too? I mean you are…married. For twenty years. And your husband has to pay his own dental bills? Do you pay your own dental bills? What if your car breaks, do you pay that too? What do you guys pay for together? How much time and anxiety do you add to your life by having this separate system that requires you talk over who will be paying for what before every decision? Do you split dinners, groceries, and vacation prices? What if you pick up a razor for him on the way home, or a pack of socks? Do you turn in a reimbursement slip? You’ve been married 20 years! What happened to “what’s mine is yours to have and hold” and “two becoming one.” Is it now in sickness and health, but not in my wallet? 


Plus, how do these separate bank accounts work once they have children? Does one cover the medical, and the other the clothes? 


If my fiance asked me to have separate bank accounts, my first question would be “And just where do you plan on going?” and then I would promptly hand the ring back. Marriage should be entered into with the idea that it is forever (obviously, shit happens, I get it, and plans might change). But you shouldn’t go into a lifelong commitment with an escape plan on the ready. Plus, once even the idea of separation comes up, think how much easier separate accounts would make it. Done. 


Besides my obvious issue with this in regards to how very un-marriage-y it is, I also have a problem with the way it pertains to female empowerment. These women talked about separate bank accounts as their source of empowerment  equality, and independence. Having control of their own money made them feel empowered, they cited it as a huge step forward for women. I cite that as a huge step backward. For explanation, let’s just go back to Case Study B. She had to ask her husband for help to pay her ticket. And right there women, we are right back to where we started. Right back to sitting below them and asking for their assistance and benevolence. They can say yes, or no…and we are dependent on their answer. They grant us permission. Isn’t escaping that what feminism was all about? You shouldn’t have to ask your husband for extra money to pay your parking ticket or your dentist bill or your groceries. Your husband should trust you to use the money in a responsible, mature way for what you need. You shouldn’t need his permission. And, shouldn’t your husband be putting you above his money? Shouldn’t he love you enough that money is not an issue and that if you need it, it’s yours to have? 


So no, ladies, separate bank accounts are not empowerment. In my opinion, they are the exact opposite. Your husband should be your number one partner. You greatest support emotionally, physically, mentally, and financially. 


And of course…I want to hear your opinions. Is this a common practice outside of Missouri? Do you think it’s a good idea? Am I just crazy?

America’s Secret Drug War: Killing Us Softly

Yeah, it’s an intense title. Because this is an intense topic.

This drug war isn’t on cocaine, or meth, or ecstasy, or heroine. It doesn’t come from Columbia, or Mexico, or Vietnam. The drug that’s secretly killing our American youth? The real “gateway” drug? The real addiction that affects 80% of females?

Bad boys.

Yes, ladies, it’s time to face it. And talk about it. Because America’s biggest problem isn’t the drug war in Mexico or Obama’s plan for medicare, it’s American females’ addiction to dating assholes. I guarantee dating an asshole is more of a gateway drug than marijuana has ever been. It probably leads to marijuana use, 6 out of 10 times. And obamacare.

We’re standing at a party, and a nice, nice boy comes up and talks to us, and who are we paying attention to? Not that boy. The asshole over his shoulder who has been stringing us along all night? Yeah, that boy. That’s the boy we devote our time and energy to in constantly worrying, analyzing, and planning how to first get his attention and then second convert him from a bad boy to a good boy.

So why are American women obsessed with bad boys? I’m not sure I’d even point to the media on this one (though they did give us Chuck Bass). I think it stems from the new message young girls are receiving that now they can have everything. More and more, our young women are growing up to pursue the challenge. The challenge of beating their peers in sports, intramurals, ACT scores, college acceptance letters, number of best friends, number of boyfriends, number of Saturday night plans. We teach them that the glass wall is no longer there, and now they can have everything. And better yet, if they don’t have everything, they’re nothing. No longer is it acceptable to just be a career woman or a stay-at-home mom. Now, you have to do both. And if you don’t do both…well, why not? You can have it all, and since you can, you better go get it. Get it for your mother and your grandmother and your great-grandmother, who never had the chance. That’s what we’re teaching.

Young women get hooked on the adrenaline thrill or the chase, and have become the new men. They simply like the challenge. They want the asshole. Because they’ve conquered everything else. They’ve flown past their friends, gotten into their colleges, their sororities, and their internships. But there’s only one last thing they haven’t gotten–the asshole standing at the bar.

But once they’ve tried it, what keeps them perpetually making the same mistake over and over? Well, ladies and gents, that’s when biology kicks in. The underlying motherly instinct kicks in full force and we just can’t help but want to save them and coddle them and protect them and even reprimand them for their poor choices.

It’s just like drugs. You take the first hit for the initial thrill, challenge, social appeal. But you take the second, the third, and the fourth because you just can’t help but do it over and over. You’re addicted, you want to prove them wrong, and you want to conquer the world. But ultimately, it conquers you.

Ladies, just say no. Bowing out of the game is the only way to ultimately win.