“Sarah, what do you think about the numbers?”

Boring Bob is staring at me from his place at the front of the conference room, and as I hesitate to reply, so is everyone else at the tedious Monday morning staff meeting.

I clear my throat and say, “Um…they’re good.” I know my voice has a little bit of a question mark at the end because frankly, I have no freaking idea what he’s talking about.

I didn’t nickname him Boring Bob for nothing.

Bob is the head number cruncher here at Basic Batteries, and he just gave a presentation (I think) about the sales of AA vs. AAA during the holiday season, and what’s going on with the Lithium market.

See…I was sort of listening.

But if my life depended on it I couldn’t tell you if we sold ten batteries or ten million.

Bob rolls his eyes at my lame response and Micromanaging Mike (our boss) says, “Sarah, since you seem so keen on sharing your insights this morning, would you like to tell us about the hiring so far this month?”

I am the lead recruiter here at Basic Batteries and my job is to convince otherwise happy, functional adults that this is a fun and rewarding place to work.
And no, I have no super powers.

Therefore, I am screwed. My nickname should be Screwed Sarah.

“Sure Mike, I’d love to.”

As I stand up and walk to the chart I see all eyes on me, and I try my best to summon some enthusiasm for my talk on how hard it is to find people who want to work at a company that has a 1.75 review average on the hottest job board.

I point at the Power Point slide that I made over the weekend, which Nice Nelly, Mike’s admin, has pulled up on the screen.

“So, this month we are a bit behind on our goals because…“

“Why is your chart purple and green?”

Annoying Al in Engineering is squinting and looks like he’s in pain.

“I don’t know. I thought the colors were nice and they helped to…never mind…so the challenge I’m facing is…”

“Sarah, can you talk louder? The battery in my hearing aid is broken. It’s one of ours, so you know…”

Now Al is scowling at Complaining Carl because he was probably the one that designed the defective product.

I think most of our engineers forged their degrees and we might as well be selling people two cans and a string.

Mike’s phone rings loudly and he answers it in the middle of my sentence.

“I told you to tell that supplier to ram it up his you know what if he can’t work with our price!”

He yells into the phone and everyone shrinks in their seats. Who takes calls during meetings and yells at employees in front of other employees?

And this is the Monday Morning Morale meeting. MMM. More like Monday Miserable Mayhem.

You’d think our head of HR would advise our leader on his behavior, but you know where she is? Anxiety Anna is out on stress leave. Gee, I wonder how that happened?

Mike seems to be heavily invested in yelling at the purchasing guy, and I have lost complete control of the room. I am getting ready for someone to yell “food fight” and start tossing the stale muffins across the table.

Nice Nelly sighs and says, “Okay, I think this is enough for today. If Mike wants to reconvene later, I’ll let you know.”

Everyone gathers their things and makes a beeline for the door.

I slowly walk back to the table to grab my laptop and Yeti cup as Nice Nelly appears at my side, touching my arm.

“I’m sorry you didn’t get a chance to talk. Are you okay? You look so sad today.”

“I’m fine. Thanks, Nelly.”

My phone pings in my pocket and I’m grateful for the interruption.

It’s my best friend, Hannah, asking how the meeting went, and where I’d like to meet her for lunch.

Maybe she’ll help me get into a better mood. I can’t wait to tell her about the meeting, but then I always complain about work and I hate to be a whiner.
Actually, Hannah often comments that I look sad, too.

Great. Now I’m Sad Sarah. People are probably calling me that behind my back.

But how in the hell could I be happy working at this place? Happy Hannah has her own business and she’s loving life.. But I’m a single mother and I can’t just quit my job to do…

I wouldn’t even know what.

I sneak back to my desk before Boring Bob can corner me and tell me a battery joke, such as “I’m energetic and positive, but I have a negative side.”

At least Smelly Sam is out sick today. Maybe I’ll be able to breathe in my cubicle.

What am I doing here???

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