Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Now Accepting Applications

I want to start this by saying that while I'm a person who thrives on structure, schedules, and guidelines as far as my professional life goes, my personal life is best described as the epitome of a cluster fuck. Chalk it up to a lack of responsible decision making on my part. "I should...but I don't really feel like it right now. Ooh! New episode of Kortney & Kim is on tonight! Looks like the laundry's gonna have to wait!"

If I were as organized and productive at home as I try to be at work, I'm fairly certain that I could give Martha Stewart a run for her money. I'm not though, and that's why my car smells like there's a dead raccoon under a seat, Marlee still sleeps with a pacifier, and I consistently forget to pay the car payment before the 3rd of each month.

Whose fault is it when things don't get taken care of at home? Mine, because I'm the one who broke the rules. It's tricky though - abiding by the home rules - because I'm the one who makes the rules. Surely if I make the rules, I can break the rules occasionally, right? And that's where the cluster fuck begins...

Yesterday, my employer implemented a new policy that strictly prohibits employees from using their cell phones while driving any vehicle (both personal or company car) during regular working hours. You can still use your phone, but only if you pull over first.

My work-related driving consists of trips that are less than a quarter of a mile away from my office. That's not even enough time for me to get a salutation in, the way that I ramble. So basically, it's not that big of a deal for me - I can just wait to call who ever it is. Plus, I kind of hate talking on the phone so there's an added bonus right there.

Anyway... I signed off on the notice saying that I understood the policy was in effect and that if the rules were broken, I would face reprecussions. As I said, I wasn't too concerned with the new rules and went about the rest of my day reassured that I wouldn't put myself in a situation where I would get in trouble for violating company policy.

During my morning commute today, I put my phone in the cup holder as I always do - just in case. About half way to work, the thought occurred to me that occasionally my boss calls on my way in and asks me to stop at the main building before heading over to my office. "If it rings, do I answer or do I wait to call back when I get to work? If I answer, I'm in trouble. If I wait to call the boss back, I may still get in trouble if it's something important. I can pull over, but it really freaks me out to pull over on the highway shoulder..."

By the time I actually got to work, my anxiety level was through the roof because I was so worried about getting in trouble for something that hadn't even happened. Inside, I began to tell one of my coworkers about my fear of the boss calling on my way to work, and asking if she were me, what would she do? Would she answer and risk getting into trouble, or would she wait the extra 5 minutes and call him back?

"Jennifer... when you're on your way in to work, you're not on the clock yet. You don't start working until you've actually arrived at work... You're not going to get in trouble - don't freak yourself out."

Moral of the story: I need a boss at home to keep me in line, just as I do at work. Don't suggest my husband, please. He'll never be the boss'a me.