If I Hadn't Had An Office Mum, I'd Probably Have Died Of A Headache

I make lists, and then lose the note pads. I write REALLY IMPORTANT things on my hand, and then wash them off by accident. I rip off post-its full of bullet points from meetings and then chuck them away with my lunch rubbish.

Mar 28, 2013 at 9:00am | Leave a comment

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Working really hard in Jane's office.

Just a warning -- that headline is a massive exaggeration, so please don't get annoyed at the end when it turns out I never ACTUALLY nearly died of a headache. Although you never know! It could have happened! Stranger things have happened at sea!

I am a complete nightmare 80% of the time in the office, in that I am ridiculously disorganized. I make lists, and then lose the note pads. I write REALLY IMPORTANT things on my hand, and then wash them off by accident. I rip off Post-its full of bullet points from meetings and then chuck them away with my lunch rubbish.

I am currently trying out Toodle-Doo, an online time management system that you put all of your tasks into and list them in order of priority and sit and panic because there are more things on "HIGH Priority!" than anything else but still you can't quite start any of them because New Look are having a sale and you NEED more socks with stegosauruses (stegosauri?) on. All hypothetical, of course.

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Sorry, but these socks are EVERYTHING.

I am also terrible for forgetting my painkillers, and I generally need them quite often what with having shot-to-bits intestines and teeth that are having a mid-20s crisis and deciding to all break at the same time, like some cruel joke.

I just have a terrible memory! It's definitely one of my downfalls, along with being THE most indecisive human being on the planet.

I am constantly walking to work and then, halfway there, remembering that I forgot my umbrella, and that we are forecast torrential, biblical rain for the next 7 hours. Oh and forgetting my purse, that happens a lot, too. 

I am therefore ever so thankful for the "Office Mums," those among our office lives who are always on hand with ibuprofen, a spare umbrella and some kind words if you're feeling delicate. You know the ones, the matriarchs of the corporate world, the ones who will always offer a shoulder to cry on and who absolutely KNOW when you've had a row with your significant other but don't want to talk about it, so will just sidle past, subtly, and leave a sweet treat or two by your keyboard.

I've known a couple of really great Office Mums in my time. One in particular really helped me out when I was working in a job where my manager really didn't like me. To be fair, I did spend a lot of my time hungover and on various social networking sites arranging with my friends what time we were going to meet to do The £6 Challenge (drink as much as you can by only spending £6) but I was in my first job in marketing and pretty much had no idea how to conduct myself in a corporate environment.

This manager gave me a disciplinary for poor attendance on the day I returned to the office after spending the time between Christmas and New Year in hospital after a nasty Crohns flare up, which was not only devastating but also completely unfair.

This Office Mum gave me lovely, cushiony, bosomy hugs and made me feel better and offered to come into the hearing as my witness -- as a senior member of staff, she was well respected in the office and I felt supported and ready to fight my corner. 

As it transpired, HR threw it out as a waste of time, but I don't know how strong I'd have felt if it hadn't been for my Office Mum. When the same manager made a list of reasons I was bad at my job, printed it out and then left it on the printer for the 25-strong department to see, it was the Office Mum who took it off the printer and threw it away.

She must have doled me out hundreds of paracetamol for headaches, and loaned me money to go lunch shopping when I was counting down until payday. 

As I got older and more experienced in the ways of office life, I thankfully didn't need to rely on anyone quite so heavily, but it's still obvious in every office I've worked in who the OM is. Now I'm not the youngest in the office any more I can see the OM looking after her when she needs something, and keeping a close eye just in case.

Do you have an Office Mum in your office? Or are YOU the Office Mum? Has it annoyed you that I've said "Mum" the whole time and not "Mom"? Got any tips on how to not forget EVERYTHING? Ever had a really shitty manager? Appreciate/Hate below!

Definitely not Tweeting during office hours: @Natalie_KateM.