Mandatory

This prompt is inspired by the good people at Sunday Scribblings 2! Head over there to see how other bloggers have written based on this week’s prompt!

As a school counselor, I had the wonderful opportunity to take my summer off from work. Sure, we have a summer program that I could have easily volunteered for, which would have earned me a little extra pay every other week for about a month and a half. But I feel that a huge part of the draw of working inside the public school system (unless you happen to be one of those year-round schools) is the ability to have a summer vacation. The kids get to enjoy it. Why can’t the grown-ups?

Grown Up Summer VacationDespite taking off this summer, I’ve continued to receive emails from my illustrious employers. Even though I’m not working I’m, technically, supposed to continue checking my email on a regular basis. Now, for most of these emails I can read the subject line and know for certain that opening and reading in detail is unnecessary. But there have been a few that have rocked my relaxing summer break.

One required a little bit of the dreaded paperwork. There are many reasons for me to like my job. The paperwork is not one of them. Another email informed me that I would need to show up one day in late July in order to be recertified for something or other… We have to be certified for a lot of things since we work with kids. I can deal with that.

The most recent email that I’ve paid attention to is the one that really inspired this post. I’d have probably written something about it even if Sunday Scribblings had not suggested the “Mandatory” prompt. That part was just serendipity. That most recent email contained instructions for an upcoming, day-before-the-new-school-year-starts, team-building get together. Ugh…Parks and Rec - April Talking to PeopleThe idea behind this is to pull together the various people within the different areas of our company and throw us together for some mandatory fun time. No one likes to use the term mandatory fun, and this email is no exception. Nowhere in the body of my site director’s message did the words mandatory and fun appear side by side. But she sure did beat around the mandatory fun bush just enough to let us all know that it was mandatory for each of us to be there and that we would, without question, have fun.

In my experience, mandatory fun means that about 83% of the people involved will not, in fact, have fun. When one is forced to be somewhere they would rather not be and participate in an activity that they would rather not participate in, it can make one feel uncomfortable. On a more personal level, it’s made that much more difficult by the fact that I’m extremely uncomfortable around people I don’t know very well. So mixing me in with people who work in other areas of the company with whom I have had little to no contact in my life will only make me dread the coming mandatory fun day, while hoping and praying with all my might that the day will pass by quickly.

They say time flies when you’re having fun. But does time fly when you’re having mandatory fun?Star Trek - Worf Merry Man.gif

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