There are thousands of organizations that aim to transcend racial and ethnic boundaries and get people to bond as human beings, as citizens of planet Earth. Yet, none of these organizations seem to accomplish their goal because quite frankly, we all don’t like each other much. The fact that we share the same biology doesn’t change the fact that we don’t share the same language, habits, beliefs, values, fashion sense or food preferences.
Nevertheless, there is one topic that does bring women from all cultures together, one bond that can make a room full of diverse women with absolutely nothing in common nod at one another in a rare moment of solidarity. That topic is men – and our shared frustration with their bad habits and crazy ways.
Case in point: Last week, I was sitting in the dentist office waiting room and there was a girl sitting across from me. She had freckles, a pony tail in her hair, and she was wearing jeans and t-shirt. She could have been the poster child for “All American twenty-something.”
As we sat there, a woman walked in wearing a traditional headscarf and spoke to the receptionist in broken English. Just as she sat down near us, the freckle faced girl’s phone rang. She answered it and I could hear a guy yelling at her. She argued with him and it became clear that she was dating the guy. When she hung up the phone, the woman wearing the headscarf turned to her and in perfect English said “What a jerk. Dear, don’t waste your time on that man.”
All three of us laughed in a special moment of inter-cultural female bonding that the United Nations can only dream about.
So, today, I would like to thank men for their bad behavior for a change. It is the crazy glue that bonds all women together regardless of where we live, what color our skin is or what clothes we wear.
Does your mother get all of her information from email forwards? Does she stay up at night worrying about missing children who aren’t actually missing, or cologne that can be used by criminals to knock people out in parking lots just because she read about these things in emails from her friends?
Has she replaced whatever notion of U.S. history she learned in school with information she pieced together from emails forwarded to her by people you only know as snookie3522@aol and grammylove2000@hotmail?
If so, you are probably distraught by your mom’s bizarre information sources, but don’t worry. You can stop her from being indoctrinated further by spam in one easy step: Just tell her that every time she opens an email forward, a random stranger at an offshore bank can access her credit card information and take a picture of her. Make sure she knows that this invasion of her privacy can happen even if the email comes from her very best friend.
Before you know it, she won’t be spamming anyone anymore, including you.
As the year draws to an end, many people are preparing to leave their job behind and move on to bigger and better things. Whether you’re leaving your job voluntarily or you are a casualty of someone’s brilliant restructuring project, you don’t want to burn any bridges so it’s time to write a pleasant, diplomatic goodbye email to your beloved colleagues.
As you contemplate what to write, there are lots of important questions you’ll need to answer like “Should I tell them I’m going to miss them all even though I’m definitely not going to miss that creepy guy Jerry who sits in the cubicle near the window? Should I leave them my contact information knowing they might email me with work-related questions six months down the road? If I don’t have a job lined up, should I make it sound like I do to save face?”
If you are looking for inspiration, here is a goodbye email that is one of my personal favorites (edited to protect the anonymity of the sender):
I just wanted to reach out to all of you and say what a fantastic ride the last 10 years have been for me. It’s truly been something special, and I have many fond memories of this company that I’ll always take with me.
I’ve also taken with me 7 computers, 3 fax machines, 12 toner cartridges, all of the phones on our floor (no one’s using them anymore, right?), a suitcase full of staplers, scissors, and scotch tape, a color Xerox machine (which was a bitch to get past security I’ll have you know) and a box of white-out from Michelle’s office (which explains why her computer screen is almost completely white…) As a matter of fact, I’m in the process of opening up a little office supplies shop out of my home, so I hope you all wish me well in my new venture!
In all seriousness though, it doesn’t seem possible that I’m saying goodbye to everyone here. Though I’m leaving behind a job, what I’m leaving with is something that will always stay with me. The friendships that I’ve made over the last decade will never be forgotten, and I want to thank each and every one of you for touching my life the way you have.
Please take care, and thank you for being the absolute best group of people a guy could ever have the privilege of working with.
All the best,
Did you ever put laundry or other items on the stairs expecting your guy to carry them up, only to find that hours later, they are still there? I put a towel on the stairs and it did not move for two days. I started thinking “What would happen if I wasn’t around?” So, I turned the problem over to the FBI and they used age progression photo techniques to determine what the scene might look like if men were left to their own devices and women were no longer in the picture.
The Towel on the Stairs – Present Day (Year: 2009)
The Scene 200 Years After Women (Year: 2209)
The Scene 1,000 Years After Women (Year: 3009)
The Scene 100,000 Years After Women (Year: 102, 009)
Copyright © 2009 Alison James
Scientists believe CFC-containing aerosol sprays damage the ozone layer and consequently, contribute to global climate change. CFC production was phased out completely by 1996, but they were about 10 years too late. 1986 to 1996 were “The Aqua Net Years,” a time of big hair and “the wall of bangs.” And when I review old photos of myself from those years, I realize that I might be solely responsible for the giant hole in the Ozone Layer that is causing this whacky weather all around the world. Think I’m kidding? You decide….
Copyright © 2009 Alison James