From the Womb to the Workplace
A: People always ask me what it’s like working with my mom. The truth is, I’ve been following this woman around for her entire professional career.
When she was a waitress I was a hungry customer. When she was a teacher I was a student in her school (I still remember the first time I got office detention, I walked into the room it was being held and– surprise– there was my mother watching over the other offending students.) Even when she quit teaching and found work in a crunchy little grocery store, I managed to pick up an odd job that would allow me to walk over and annoy ol’ mommo.
R: I work with my daughter. Years ago I was a teacher in the same school she attended, so it isn’t all that unusual to share space with her in a “professional” atmosphere. Oh sure, she used to come to my classroom to see if I had candy when she was supposed to be going to the bathroom but that was hardly criminal.
After graduating college with a degree in journalism and a minor in English writing, you’d think I’d finally be ready to branch out on my own (or not, because neither career pays any money). But instead I found a job in ad sales at a rapidly growing online health network, with the help of none-other than my mom who works in the customer service department.
Now that we are two adults in a work environment it is all business. Angela operates in a different department so we generally communicate through our work AIM. We are chained (I mean dependant) on our computers and headsets so it isn’t always easy to go over to each other’s desks.
Even though we don’t sit together, I have this uncanny ability to hear my mother no matter where she is. Usually it’s on the phone empathizing with customers or in the kitchen telling a coworker a story (I can almost hear the massive gesticulations from my desk).
Occasionally, we recognize the other’s shoes under the bathroom stall and have a love out:
And, alright, maybe at times my lunch seems to be missing a few things, and often the first IM of the day is, “hungry- any food?” But for the most part Angela is too damn busy to be my “little girl” at work.
Sure, sometimes I get annoyed when mom tells me that my shirt is wrinkly, or comments on the disheveled state of my desk, or asks me if I’ve “taken care of that loan thing” or called the eye doctor or switched my insurance or filled my prescription or called my grandma or vacuumed my room or scooped the cat litter.
I doubt you would even be able to tell we were related if you watched us throughout the day…
But in the end, I can’t think of a person I’d rather gripe with at work than the one who knows best– mommy.