Ava has just returned from a week long mega-meeting for her pharmaceutical company. The excitement is high from the top for the launch of a “novel medication with a disease state with very current options.”
Ava has lost count of the number of similar meetings she and her colleagues have participated in. The meeting planning is beyond gigantic, and she can’t help but appreciate the enormous level of logistics that go into this sort of event. No one outside of this environment would ever understand the refined science used to get 5,000 college-educated employees to herd from one meeting to the next dizzy in “stand and deliver” role-playing sales information with the promise of a guaranteed cheap wine open bar at 7pm sharp requiring a double dose of Excedrin Migraine the following morning.
The truth is, after more than a decade at her company, Ava still enters these meetings incredibly grateful for the income for her family and hopeful that the format will somehow evolve with the massive amounts of research and common sense that requiring your employees to work 18 hour days for a straight week just may not be the best plan for long-term retention.
Alas, there she was yet again and nope, no sign of change yet. She thinks to herself about the real irony that after how many mergers and lay-offs that the steadfast meeting-planning model is the one pillar of strength left rock solid, completely unaffected.
Friday finally arrived and a bleary eyed Ava, her brain exploding in selling wisdom (must be true, her CEO said so) somehow feels a false sense of elevated importance as she stumbles down the jet bridge to her Exit Row seat. This small victory of upgraded seating gives massive relief even though she knows 50% of the plane share at least the same or better Platinum Status she’s earned with badges of puffy under-eye bags for years of constant time changing.
Ava closes her eyes and knows that among the high pressure of selling requirements of the meeting she’s incredibly lucky to have her core network of working women she leans on with her full weight over and over. Her girls never buckle on her even though she deserves a Cher-like Moonstruck-like loud, “Snap out of it!” more than a few times during the week.
After her guaranteed bumpy re-entry into her actual real life, including games and plays to be rushed to, she decides to send not a text but an actual card to her small group of girlfriend colleagues. Ava is proud of her thoughtful idea.
Where else should Ava go but Hallmark, right? Isn’t that where her stay-at-home mom friends find heartfelt non-electronic forms of communication?
Ava scoured the aisles—up and down, back and forth. It’s been a while but it comes back to her quickly. Birthday—miles of it for everyone. Graduation (even though it’s November), Get Well, Sympathy, Funny (barely), and finally the cards she can hear but doesn’t want to turn the corner to further explore—the talking/singing versions that no one wants to open anywhere in public.
After spending her only free 30 minutes of the day searching, she realizes her working woman population is off the grid. Her needs for cards aren’t even close to being met and flat out don’t exist. Ava realizes she may have to resort to the same fall-back she lays on her kids. She leaves the store with her wheels turning, with aspirations of breaking open the Crayolas and making the card. And so she did.
Ava’s Top 5 Missing Working Woman Greeting Cards
Dear Working Girl…
Congratulations on surviving yet another full week of sales meetings with only two episodes of private tears and 1.5 hangovers. Seriously, nicely done!
In sympathy of the death of your organization as it exists today. Sorry to hear about the third merger you’re going to have to survive over the next six months. Don’t worry, your executive team will again play the best game of pretend and tell you it’s “Business as usual.”
Awesome strategizing on guilt management by immediately taking your daughter shopping on your first day back after a week away for $300 of clothing and Fro-Yo for two.
May you have a smooth Monday morning school drop-off navigating the “Where in the world have you been?” wicked looks of parking lot mom volunteers you’d prefer to gently knock over between the orange cones.
And finally, the most important card Ava needs:
To my most treasured work girlfriends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me laugh in the midst of unrealistic work expectations, listening when my mom guilt is completely overwhelming and drinking endless glasses of free bad wine at every work function for survival. I love you and you are the BEST!
About the Author
This post was written by Ava Michelle.