The best part about working in an office is where your colleagues bring in their children’s fundraising projects and ask you to chip in, acting as if you have any choice in the matter. What are you going to say, no? Are you going to say, “Listen, your kid is an nearly 100-degree assemblage of DNA that is very important to you, as evolution has dictated. But he’s not my kid, and frankly, sponsoring him to run around a track so he can get money to see dinosaur skeletons at a museum that serves eight-dollar hot dogs really isn’t something I have budgeted. I’m super happy you love him, though. Hope he runs like the wind.”
Of course not. You’re going to say yes to appear the amiable co-working professional, and you’re going to scratch something stupid down on the sponsor pad — something about how you’re committing to $1/lap or whatever. Then you’re going to smile at your coworker who’s asking you about all of this so he leaves your office and you can go back to playing Intruded again.
A month later, the same guy will pop into your office and lean his shoulder against your door jamb, because he too saw Office Space and now thinks every conversation should be an offshot from the movie. So he’ll go, ‘So, yeeaah, Peter, I’m gonna have to ask you to give me the monnneeyy you said you’d contribute to my son’s Fun Run.” Your name is not Peter and you don’t find his impersonation of Bill Lumbergh funny, but you’ll look up from your PowerPoint and go, “Sure, how much?”, and he’ll say, “Thirty-nine dollars.”
And it will dawn on you that (a) you are a total wimp for not saying no, and (2) you are out $39 like it or not. Turns out his kid ran around a track that is apparently run-aroundable 39 times, and, boom, the math does itself and you need to write a check soon, please.
Now, to get an annual picture of what this all means and solve this as a function of time, use this formula:
(x * y)/z = LOL
X is the amount of charities per year each colleague will ask you to sponsor, and
Y is the number of colleagues with kids you have flitting about your office, and
Z is your ability to say no to any single one of these, which is a constant ZERO, and
LOL is how much will be coming out of your family budget for the year. An alternate definition is to take your St. Lucia getaway and downgrade it mildly to two nights in a tent on soggy pinecones at that campground ten minutes from your house. We call that value realization here in the business.
All I’m laying out here is a solid dose of truthiness. I’ve been nailed by these before, and now that my son is in grade school, I’m doing some karmic nailing-back of my own. Some will argue that that karmic rotation is the point, that it’s the Circle of Kid Fundraising Life, and that’s cool, but it’s wrong. The only real solution is to work from home, each and every day, which has the decided downside of making you an antisocial muttering degenerate who talks to bagels and the mailbox as if they’re animate objects. So you really don’t win there, either.
So what’s my point, you ask, some 500 words into this? The point is twofold:
- Next week I will show you how to write an email asking your sucker co-workers into sponsoring something for your homegrown assemblage of progenital DNA, and
- There are some links below you should read.
50 documentaries you must see before you die. Great list. I especially agree with the winner.
Slate’s has two slideshows of amazing photographs from Warren Faidley and Roger Coulam, who are professional storm chasers. ‘Professional’ and ‘storm chasers’ in the same sentence? You bet — and you’ll quickly see why.
The Waffle House index — when Waffle House is closed, you know the storm is serious.
Have a good weekend, everyone.
MIPRO Consulting main website.