Office politics are never easy, and recently I was faced with yet another political challenge. An email went out about a co-workers baby shower and at the end it said, “Participation is voluntary.” Now THAT is always a lie. Everyone knows that most people are frowned upon if they skip the Holiday party or some potluck. I don’t want to eat someone’s beef stew that they brought from home, sorry, but not sorry. Even not joining the water club which is also supposed to be “voluntary” puts me at odds with people and I’m tired of it.
So last week after receiving the baby shower invitation I was somewhat relieved to discover the person having the baby doesn’t really like me all that much. She gives me dirty looks on a constant basis, and can be rude so I was like YES! I for sure don’t need to go to this event, and am actually doing her a favor by declining. But noooooooo.
So here I am thinking I am happy to be free till the next thing I know, I walk by the conference room, and a bunch of co-workers are sitting around the table and one of them says, “Hey Erica, come here.” I reluctantly walk in to find everyone sitting around the table and she says, “Come sit down. We’re planning the shower.”
I swear to God, I looked at everyone and flat out said, “I don’t do babies.” There I said it. It was like a bomb went off, and I turned around and walked straight to a friends cubicle and told them what I said, which he thought was funny. Then the next thing I hear is one of the people in the room whisper to someone, “Erica said she doesn’t do babies.” Like I am this horrible sinner or something. Would everyone rather me be more brutally honest and say so-and-so doesn’t really like me very much, so it’s best I don’t go to the party? But I didn’t say that, I didn’t go there. So now I am the jerk in to office that is anti-baby, and have to wonder is someone going to file a grievance against me? Several people have filled grievances on others which has been absurd, and it has resulted in people getting in trouble, and I just don’t need that in my life.
But I am NOT going to back down on my truth that I don’t do babies. I don’t do showers. I don’t do pot lucks. I don’t do Holiday parties. I don’t do birthday celebrations. I am not the office politically correct Queen. I’m 41, single, childless and happy about it so everyone needs to back off and relax, ok!