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May 21, 2015

Celebrating 90 Days

Well, I was back to work from maternity leave all of 20 minutes before I embarrassed myself. It was my first day back a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to give myself more than enough time to get ready,...

Well, I was back to work from maternity leave all of 20 minutes before I embarrassed myself.

It was my first day back a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to give myself more than enough time to get ready, get my little guy ready, and leave the house looking awesome so that all of my coworkers would think I was a total natural at this working mom thing. No one needed to know that I had no idea what I was doing and hadn’t worn pants that had an actual button in months.

I managed to make it through the new version of my morning routine and slip out of the door without spit-up on my clothes—which was a minor miracle in itself. But on my way to work, I realized that in an effort to keep my shirt clean as long as possible, I had forgotten to put on deodorant. Strike one.

No problem, I thought, because I don’t sweat very much. I can put some deodorant on when I go home for lunch anyway.

I got to our weekly staff meeting early and found my usual seat near the front right side. It felt so good to be back and a part of the team again, and I got to see people I hadn’t seen in months.

Dave kicked off the staff meeting, and everyone started giving their announcements and updates. I was following along and paying great attention until my publicist, Meg, announced that we had a new team member that would be replacing one of my old coworkers, Brittany. Apparently, Brittany had moved away in February while I was out.

This is the point at which you need to know that I checked out.

I did what I tell everyone not to do and got on my phone and texted Meg, “I can’t believe she left! I had no idea!”

Meg texted me back, “Sorry, I thought you knew! Her fiancé got a great job offer in Florida.”

Well, while Meg and I were texting, the next thing I heard was, “Stand and be recognized.”

So the 20% of my brain that was still listening to what was actually going on up front followed those instructions perfectly. I stood and clapped for whoever we were recognizing.

Then, as if in slow motion, I looked around and noticed something strange. The only people standing in this large room of 500 people other than me were just nine new team members that were celebrating completing their first 90 days at our organization.

My eyes scanned the crowd, trying to somehow piece together what was happening. Both my body and brain had deceived me simultaneously, and I was completely confused at why I was standing up with these people—and everyone in the room was looking at me equally confused.

I’ve never regretted forgetting deodorant more than I did in that exact moment.

I did an awkward homecoming queen half-wave in the general direction of anyone that might have noticed me, and then slowly sat down as if maybe no one would see me if I didn’t make any sudden movements.

But then I saw Dave looking at me from stage. He was 50% confused and 50% laughing hysterically, and I knew that there was no wriggling out of this one. This one would be relived many, many times. If by some miracle there were people in the audience that didn’t notice me standing with the new team members, he was about to make sure that they did.

After everyone that completed their 90 days (along with myself) were recognized and the applause died down, Dave was still laughing. Then he explained to everyone why he was laughing and asked me from stage what I was doing.

I responded with 100% honesty: I have no idea.

Maybe I was just so excited about our new team members that I wanted to give them a standing ovation.

Maybe it was my first day back and mommy brain kicked in and I was not in control of my actions.

Or maybe I just wanted my very own recognition for being off work for 90 days dangit!

Either way, lesson learned again. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times: Those phones can get us into trouble! I’ll be paying VERY close attention during staff meeting from now on—and you better believe I won’t forget deodorant.

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  • Christy! I love your authenticity and vulnerability in sharing! As a leader, I think its easy to give the advice, don’t use your phone.. but hard to follow ourselves sometimes. I recently had turned off my phone to avoid such a situation and wound up missing a very IMPORTANT call but I was fully PRESENT during the meeting which I know was necessary. Too often, we let urgent become important when its neither!

  • Heather says:

    BEST return to work after baby leave advice I received was to return on a Wednesday vs. a Monday. This way, if you need to rework or even completely scrap the new “routine”, you have a weekend built in fairly soon in which to do it. This was a life saver when it the “Nanny” that I had carefully screened and trained over two weeks before my return to work decided to quit the day of my planned return! Luckily, Nanny B resulted in a MUCH better choice and 19 years later is still a treasured family friend.

  • That is hilarious!!! I love that you are so relatable and unashamed to show us your most embarrassing moments. Lesson learned. Thanks for a light-hearted break from my busy day.

  • Kim says:

    That is exactly what would’ve happened to me, and I wouldn’t have needed a phone’s help! 😛
    I give you standing ovation for your 90 days off work 😀

  • Jim Krejci says:

    Oh my gosh you have join the club Christy. Now don’t make the same mistake I did after I said it wouldn’t happen again and let it happen again 🙂

  • DW says:

    A joke that I have done when a very senior person (been with the company much longer than me) returns from vacation. I will introduce myself and say, “You look new around here, can I show you around?” The typical reaction is a deer-in-headlights facial expression.