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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Of Course That’s My Picture!

We have pictures of ourselves, here at work, posted near our respective doors – or, in my and my fellow cube mates’ cases, near the exercise wheel, over by the shredded paper we use now that our corporate overlords have done away with bathroom breaks.

I keed!  I keed!  Bathroom breaks are clearly scheduled.  I can send you the memo if you’ve lost it.

The pictures we supplied HR have been laminated.  Next to the photo are two columns:  Work and Life.

What do you do here at Acme Grommets and Gravel?  What kinds of questions can I answer for you?

What do you do when you’re not at work?  What are your interests?

Can I help it that I found it funny?

“Ask me about my Amway business!” I wrote.  “My interests include yoga, home trepanning, and long walks on the beach.  My pet peeves include hypocrites and people who frown when they could be smiling!”

Needless to say, my little laminated autobiography did not stay affixed to my cubicle for long.

Still, following the acquisition of Acme Grommets and Gravel by Global Tentacles (a Worldwide Octopus Company), those little cards served a purpose: The straights learned what each other did for a living through walking the halls, reading the biographies.

And the smart-alecks used that same time to leave tiny, penciled comments on them.

But the acquisition is old now, and one by one, the “Who Are You?”s have come down.

All but a handful.

I pass one of these lonely little placards on a regular basis. 

There is it, on my way to the bathroom.

There’s little to mock in the way of what she does, either at work or away.  The photo, though –

Frankly, it took a while for me to recognize the woman in the photo as the woman who occupies the office. 

It is clear that she likes this picture, and why wouldn’t she?  In it, she is 15 years younger, a good 40 pounds lighter.  She looks like her own niece, I imagine. 

I keep walking, step into the bathroom where I take a look at myself in the mirror over the double sinks. 


Do any of us see ourselves as we really are?

29 comments:

The Geezers said...

Almost nobody sees themselves as they really are, I think—either our self perceptions are overly inflated, or deflated, or just plain inaaccurate.

My wife and I have a game we play when we're out and about. Whenever anybody of highly unusual dress appears—a 260 pound woman with skin-tight transparent leggings, or a weasley looking fellow with 30 pounds of gold chains and jewelry—one of us will simply say "No mirrors in their house."

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Yes we do. That's where photoshop comes in... YAM xx

Delores said...

I'm afraid I definitely see myself the way I am...that's why I never allow my photo to be taken.
We should do something like you 'get to know me' thingie on blogger..maybe some boring Thursday when nothing comes to mind except bringing in the garbage pails. Could be fun.

Leenie B said...

Yamini is right. Photoshop is so much easier and cheaper than botox and doesn't leave scars. I do wonder who's reflection I keep seeing on the glass of my cell phone. Some creepy old lady has possessed it.

Patricia said...

Me? I'm a LOT more attractive than I look!

Pearl said...

I saw a woman downtown yesterday wearing leggings that matched the skin on her face -- which meant that she looked naked from the waist down. Frightening. :-)

Marion Bulmer said...

Yes, The Husband takes photos of me and never waits for me to gather my thoughts, lift my chins, smile or even dislodge the spinach from between my teeth (WOT spinach, you HATE spinach!).

Oh I know all right. I just ain't telling.

jenny_o said...

If there's no photo, it's not real :)

Geo. said...

I think a tendency to see myself as I wish I was keeps me from getting stronger glasses.

Douglas said...

Odd, no boss ever wanted my picture posted anywhere (except maybe at the post office). And one co-worker thought I would scare off muggers...

To me, Pearl, you are even more beautiful than you look.

Joanne Noragon said...

I wonder if I would know myself if I met me, I check up so infrequently.
Back in the day I worked for a newly international company i went to a corporate headquarters meeting. All the young divisional pups were putting up overheads (remember those?), touting themselves as the "world headquarters of bla bla bla division." I went last. The earth had just been photographed from the moon, Time had published the photo, and I had scored a sheet of transparency film to rub over a color photo and lift it to the transparency. I was last. And, I announced my division as universal headquarters. Take that, young whippersnappers.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Who in their right mind would want to see themselves 100% accurately?

Home trepanning gives me a headache.

Ian Lidster said...

In answer to your query, I choose to not see myself as I really am. I see myself as 20 years younger and even more dashing looking than I currently do.

Glen said...

Some days I see me - mostly I see George Clooney -- I'm like that

Daisy said...

Ah well. I can't say as I blame her. Younger, thinner versions of ourselves are how we hope people will remember us even if we are nothing like that now.

vanilla said...

Dad used to say, Would the Fates the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us, We'd take one long, deep breath, and straightway laugh ourselves to death.

Juli said...

I can tell you I in now way resemble my federal id taken 10 years ago. Nor does the woman two "cubes" down from me who has her initial picture from 1982.

Clearly, no one ever looks at our employee ids and no dog has ever checked mine out to see if I'm a legit mail person before trying to bite.

River said...

This is why eyesight fades as we age, so we can't see the small changes taking place. Then comes the day when you visit someone who has 100 watt globes surrounding their mirror and you get the shock of your life seeing an elderly woman where you used to be.

Lin said...

Ugh. So how does one in HR tactfully turn down the photo of a person 20 years ago and 100 lbs lighter? I don't think there is a good way.

Ditch the photos. That was a dumb idea.

I made everyone name cards for our cubes...but I gave everyone one of Snow White's dwarfs.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

And even stranger when one passes their own reflection and thinks, "Huh. Who's that?"

Launna said...

I see myself as I am... that took years to achieve but I didn't let people take pictures of me for years... Most people don't see themselves as they really are though :)

HermanTurnip said...

It's a constant struggle to remain forever young. We do the best we can with the time we have, and if we have to rely on old photos to get us through the day then I say "Why not?" That's why all of the photo frames in my house still have the original model photographs in 'em. I like to think that I come from a long line of beautiful people...

Linda O'Connell said...

I hear they hang much younger photos of Alzheimer's patients on their doors so they still recognize themselves.

Perhaps it's a way for the poor dear to find her way back to her cubicle.

Kymbo Whitford said...

Now let me get this right...youre allowed to do OTHER stuff when not at work?

Indigo Roth said...

Honey, I'm a sixty-something grandfather with a toupée and fallen arches. Can I help it if people prefer the pictures of me at 45 in a suit?

Mitchell is Moving said...

I'd never use a photo in which I looked that much different (better). Reality would be much too disappointing.

the walking man said...

Best you can do is try either that or stop looking inward.

Daisy said...

I have NO idea who that wrinkley old lady in my bathroom mirror is. I am agile, beautiful, fit and thin, etc.

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

I don't think we do. I've always wandered if that would be a blessing or a curse. Incidentally, my Linked in photo is a younger, brighter, pre menopausal version of myself.