I’m usually pretty good at keeping my private life private and my professional life professional. Yes I’ll admit I’m out to a few co workers who are also close friends and that I may or may not have had a few relationships with people from the same industry as mine (Swinger types I hang with at parties… mostly). The same industry is like saying we swam in the same ocean at the same time, you might be in Florida and I might be in Maine, it’s a huge pool.
One thing I suck at and you can ask the Blonde or my mother is remembering birthdays. So I cheat and use reminders. Add to that that my entire life is run by my outlook, Google, and i calendar which are synced in a bizarre mix of technology. Meetings, flights, calls, hotel info, dates and then there are certain things private things I code with initials or vague descriptions, after all a number of people can look at the outlook version and the associated details in order to book my time.
So what I cheat and use technology to remember things and the one personal thing I don’t code is Birthday’s. If I’m having a business dinner it will say when, where, and with who, if I’m going out with the Blonde it will have her name, time and place, and if I’m meeting with someone perhaps the world doesn’t need to know about like a competitor, friends, recruiter, miss Last Night or whatever I use initials and a vague description or code of where. Birthdays however always go in the same spot 8am Eastern, and are blocked for 30 minutes with name and year (if appropriate). I do it for friends, family, lovers, co workers, customers, suppliers, old band mates, fraternity brothers, the little sisters of the poor, ex girlfriends, etc. Something somewhere in my fucked up mind makes me feel good about wishing people a happy birthday, anniversary, etc.
This morning as I log in my IM pops up before I can get my calendar open “Are you free for a call @ 8:15” he asks. “Sure unless someone added something since 5am”. I know my first schedule meeting is at 9.
I can tell he’s typing. I’m expecting a novel since the reply is taking so long. Quietly thinking to myself this is no way to start the week and whatever is wrong soon I’ll be out of pocket for 4 hours on a flight a little later in the day and have to deal with it over email and IM.
The reply comes back across. “it says you’re with Jade M.” Nothing more nothing less, what about that line took so long to type. He must have been typing, deleting and retyping before hitting enter. I quickly look at the calendar on my mobile phone to see what it’s about, though I think I know. Typing back “it’s just a reminder, I’m free for a call.”
I can see him doing the same thing as his response doesn’t come across it just reads “typing”. I’m dreading having to explain who my friend is, I’m uncaffeinated at this point just taking my first sips, deciding the answer is going to be easy “she’s a friend of mine”, after all it’s true. I’m a lucky man I have lots of friends. Then he hits me with a question I didn’t expect.
“Why does her birthday reminder show a picture of a piece of cake with a candle and mine doesn’t?” Really? One of my top guys has his panties in a bunch because he’s looking at a birthday reminder that for all he knows is for my great aunt, first grade teacher, or some other person who is not part of his life and he’s worried about the fact her reminder hers has a digital piece of cake and candle on it and what’s even scarier is he knows that his doesn’t.
Now I could have called him and explained that the reminder came across from my Google account when synced, and he’s native to my MS calendar so it’s just a program thing, I could have reminded him that I fly in for the holidays every year to take him and his wife out, that I make an extra call on his birthday, wife’s birthday, their anniversary, etc. I could have just apologized for the oversight. But in true Malflic fashion answered with an IM that read
“Yeah she gets, cake and a candle and anything else she wants because she’s fucking hot as hell and you’ve got a dick and are at least as ugly as me”
His reply was almost instant this time “Yeah I kind of figured it was because she’s a girl, I looked ahead and saw that your friends D and N have a birthday later this week and they didn’t have an icon either”.
Moments later I got the scheduler with the info for the call, and then I spent the next 30 minute debating going through all recurring annual events and syncing them in Google so that birthdays would all have the piece of cake with a candle icon; except for one of course; his.
in the event you happen to catch this post. Happy Birthday once again and perhaps you’ll smile a little extra knowing a guy half the country away was jealous of your reminder on my calendar.