Thursday, August 21, 2008

how to have a successful business meeting at your boss' house, a primer

1. When your boss suggests that you can bring your daughter with you, politely say no.

Do not readily agree, excited that you are now putting in place some of the plans the two of you had when he first offered you the job. The fact that you would be able to bring the baby with you when you met was a perk - and even though he is totally sincere in his offer, he is also living in FANTASY LAND thinking that you will get actual work done with a 5-month-old baby in the house. And a full grown dog (his).

2. Find a sitter for the baby. Really.

Do not create an elaborate strategy for moving the baby's sleeping time/nap times just slightly to the left so that you can have her dressed, fed, and packed in the car for your epic trip to Boss' House.

3. Find a sitter for the baby. I'm not kidding.

Do not pack TWO bags (including three blankets, various toys, ice pack for bottle of breast milk, change of clothes for baby, and many diapers and wipes that may be needed).

4. Check on the highway traffic before you leave.

Do not sit in INEXPLICABLE MASS OF CARS ON HIGHWAY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY, telling the baby (that you were supposed to leave at home) that "it's okay, it's okay, we're almost there!".

5. Double check your boss' address, and repeat it several times to make sure you heard "42nd Street" clearly.

Do not jot it down, print off the mapquest directions, and then jump in the car. Do not, after sitting in inexplicable traffic jam, mindlessly drive up and down 42nd street wondering how an entire BLOCK of house numbers have up and disappeared.

6. If you get lost, call your boss immediately, and kindly let him know that there must have been a misunderstanding because you cannot find the house number.


7. If you get lost, call your boss immediately to clarify the address.

Do not finally breakdown and call him after you have been rounding the same block for 25 minutes. Do not leave this message on his voicemail: HI. I MUST BE CRAZY BECAUSE I CLEARLY CAN'T FIND YOUR HOUSE. PLEASE CALL ME.

8. When your boss calls you to lead you in to his (easily found) house, offer a generous "thank you" when he states that he lives on 47TH STREET.


9. Enter your boss' house with an air of confidence and professionalism. Greet him warmly. Shake his hand. Agree to sit down at his dining room table and go through his stack of correspondence and other miscellaneous bills.

Do not offer him a sweaty and shaking hand and then quickly leave him standing in his dining room with the baby (in her carrier) as you dash outside for your other TWO bags.

10. Bring something nice for your boss' dog. Treat him as a member of the family, because he is sweet and beloved and will be spending this afternoon with you.

Do not silently wonder how you're going to possibly put the baby on the floor (on two of her blankets) with a large dog trotting around the living room, fearful that he will be trotting ON HER HEAD.

11. You should have left the baby with a sitter.


12. When your boss begins to discuss his plans for your time together, take notes in your (very businesslike) notebook - or even better, quietly tap away on your laptop.

Do not rustle around in a cavernous bag, muttering quietly I know I packed some writing things in here somewhere. Maybe I can use a napkin?

13. As your boss takes a phone call from a client, quietly go through the files on his computer. Be glad that you left the baby with a sitter because she would have been pretty startled by the barking dog.

Do not mutter in a tragic stage whisper I'M SO SORRY while trying to comfort the crying baby (that you should have left with a sitter) while your boss tells his client - Oh don't mind the barking and crying, we're sort of the Brady Bunch over here today.

14. Because you left the baby with a sitter, you don't need to worry about her falling off anything, like, say A COUCH. But if the phantom baby does nearly fall off the couch (because you have stupidly propped her there for a second while you rummage in the diaper bag), be calm - collected. Be concerned about the baby. Let your boss see how confident and competent you are!

Do not put your baby on the couch. Do not sheepishly stutter to Boss: wow - that was close!

15. As the afternoon wears on, work efficiently and maximize your time. This is a golden opportunity to discuss your work with your boss face-to-face. Do as much as you can. Remain calm. Exude confidence. Ignore the 90-degree heat.

Do not wrestle with baby. Do not sweat.

16. When your boss offers some white noise to help you get the baby to sleep (the baby that you didn't bring, remember?) - gladly accept. You might also try suggesting that you set the baby up in another room, where things will be quieter.

Do not laugh nervously at the mention of ENYA. Do not spend 15 minutes rocking and cooing with baby in an insane attempt to get her to nap, all the while sweating sweating sweating.

17. Be glad that you set baby up in another room to nap.

Do not put the baby in her car seat and spend the next 45 minutes rocking it crazily with your foot. Ignore the cramp.

18. Laugh and then politely accept when your boss offers you a cushion to sit at his desk.

Do not kindly decline and then spend the next two hours craning your neck until its muscles have hardened beyond reason.

19. Nurse the baby.

Do not feel so weird about nursing there in your boss' living room that you wind up bringing a bottle of breast milk. A bottle your baby is about to reject.

20. Bring an extra nipple for the baby's bottle.

Do not try to enlarge the nipple hole with one of your boss' knives. Knives that can most likely cut through CANS, they are so sharp. (See #19)

21. Before you leave, nurse the baby and check a TRAFFIC report.

Do not insist that you'll be able to take the express lanes and will be home in no time flat. Do not insist that you'll be okay and there's no need to feed the baby before you go.

22. As the car slows to a snail's pace due to the extreme TRAFFIC, pull off at the nearest highway exit to nurse the baby and wait out the drive time.

Do not madly insist that you WILL get home, and you WILL NOT stop. Do not sing Popcorn Popping 337 times during the 70 minute drive home in a vain attempt to distract the baby. The baby that is now crying.

23. Plan on another successful business meeting for the following week, knowing that you were absolutely on top of your game.

Do not have a heart attack when your boss asks you to come back next week.


Fiona Picklebottom said...

Ack! At least he wants you to come back. :)

artemisia said...

oh, oh, oh, OH! This sounds - DIFFICULT.

I am glad he asked you back; sounds like a good guy.

P.S. LOVE the "thought" post to the right.

The Importance of being Allen said...

HA HA HA HA HA!!!!! I just can't stop laughing because I can see it all oh so clearly :) :)

I agree, at least he asked to have you come back. I would have been worried had he not said anything and left it at that!

Good idea, to find a sitter. I wish I was closer because I would do it for of charge for family you know :)

Funny! Funny Story! I almost thought it was true.... oh yeah, it was true :)

Eleanor Q. said...

So funny! I especially liked the part about not feeding the baby before you left his house- I can't tell you the number of times I say "oh, we'll be home in a minute, he'll eat then" and am then stuck with a screaming baby in traffic. It feels like DAILY.

Pickles and Dimes said...

Wow. Seems like you had quite the day there. But YAY for getting called back!

emily said...

oh. me. oh. my. what time next week should i expect you to drop alice off?? we'd LOVE to play with her for a few hours!!

(still chuckling to myself about: "Do not wrestle with baby. Do not sweat." you're so brave!)

Swistle said...

This is so, so, SO funny and terrible! I almost want your boss to read it.

Susie Q said...

Bahahaha! That is funny.....ahh the joys of parenthood and bad decision making that seem to happen daily to me and to you too it seems. The last one I made was taking a 2 and 3 year old to our local library without a stroller and no way to corral them or keep them quiet. Poor decision amking at it's best!

angelalois said...

oh my gosh. awful. awfulawful poor whimsy. maybe you and I should get together since I was considering taking the baby for a work meeting in early october? no, you say? no I should not even consider it? then let's work out a swap?

tearese said...

omgoodness, I know exactly what you're talking about! People really have no concept how stressfull it is to take the baby anywhere out of the ordinary, for any amount of time over a half hour. Even taking baby Elora to YW presidency meetings and trying to do my calling was a nightmare!

wandering nana said...

I'm so sorry... I had to laugh, because I could see you doing this and know that it has happened to most people with babies rather work related or just going somewhere. I gave a lesson one time about this "they come with bags, blankets, toys, bottles, change of clothes, diapers, everything but the kitchen sink. These are the mothers of babies." I used a picture of a mother kangaroo that had at least 8 baby kanga's hanging out of her pouch, all of them with some type of toy in their hand. The mother Kanga was holding an umbrella as it was raining and had she had a slight smile on her face with a glazed look on her face. I had copied and enlarged it. It was from a Mothers Day card that my mom had sent me. It said it all. You have officially become a multi-tasking mother. "D

Anonymous said...

dying with laughter over here .... just DYING. I remember this, but never heard the glorious DETAIL you described. So sorry for your pain, but thank you SOOOOO much for sharing :-) K8