Work is making me want to pull my hair out. That’s both good and bad. Good – because it means things are happening and that I am fortunate enough to have a job that helps pay the bills and offers the added bonus of challenging me. Bad- because I don’t think I’d look good without hair.
My brain has no chance of rotting in the currently challenging environment, although at the end of many days, it does feel like it has turned to mush.
I’m not really complaining about my job. It’s just that sometimes it stresses me out and I’ve had more than my share of headaches lately and I have to remember to take a few deep breaths and just carry on and that everything will be fine.
One thing – or rather – one person who keeps me going is Joe. Joe has quickly become one of my most favorite coworkers. Joe is the calm and confident yet modest one. Joe is the smart one who is able to think things through and figure out the difficult details when the rest of us think there’s no clear answer.
And Joe gets me. I may have told him one too many times that sometimes, when the discussion becomes too technological or the subject is simply beyond my knowledge, or something just doesn’t make sense, my brain just shuts down.
So yesterday, during a team discussion, Brenda posed the question, “So, when I’m in the document, am I actually in the document?”
I just so happened to catch Joe’s eye at that moment and he was looking at me with eyebrows raised, and I knew it. He was fully aware that the conversation at that very moment was moving forward without me. He knew it. I knew he knew it. It was a bonding moment.
What kind of question is that anyway? “When I’m in the document, am I actually in the document?” What the hell?
Joe says he’s a geek at heart and he’s proud of it. Today he told us he was glowing because he knew the meaning behind a particular acronym.
“Glowing,” I asked? “Over an acronym? Brenda and I complimented your new haircut this morning and you didn’t glow over that, but now you’re glowing over an acronym?”
Joe takes our teasing in stride. He’s a good egg.
But the best thing about Joe is his subtle sense of humor. He slips in these quiet little remarks and a split second passes before you realize that he’s just made a joke.
Today was a particularly pressure-filled day. We ended up eating our lunches in the conference room while continuing work on our project with the very near deadline. Joe was explaining about the clementines he’d been eating today and all week long. Some of them were very tasty, he said, but some of them were just awful.
“What brand are they,” I asked?
“I don’t know, but they’re not Cuties,” he replied.
“I was just going to ask that,” I said. “I don’t like Cuties. I’ve had bad luck with Cuties. I can’t remember the name of the brand that I do like.”
“I’ve never had trouble with the Cuties,” Joe said.
For a moment, I thought that was the end of the conversation, and then the humor in his statement struck me and I looked over at him, unable to hide the smile on my face.
“Tell your friends,” Joe said with a smile.
That’s exactly the kind of remark that keeps me from getting too overwhelmed at work! I don’t know what I’d do without Joe. He helps me remember that nothing is impossible and when we work as a team, we can accomplish all of these challenging tasks we have on our plates.
Everyone should have a Joe in their office!