How to summon a Laura

I’ve never sat in an office for eight hours a day, five days a week.  I always forget to mention this quirk when I’m interviewing, but apparently no one assumes that I can sit in an office with any sort of consistency. It all works out fine.

Working with young folk has always been one of the favorite parts of my work, mainly because they tend to  slap me with wisdom so ancient I am left standing there looking like a fool. It strikes me as funny, though, that while my bosses are okay with my transient habits, the savvy young folk surrounding me are the least comfortable. Undoubtedly, some of them prefer me to be at my desk where they can see me.

Working offsite, even with the full understanding of my supervisor, is not a neutral prospect. Context collapse is more uncomfortable when working up the power hierarchy than down it. So I sent the following email:

Subject: Laura is here
Take a moment.
Close your eyes.
Take five deep breaths.
If you listen closely, you will hear the 80s music in the background.
Feel the emphatic and erratic keyboard typing and the occasional slamming of the computer mouse.
I am here, awaiting your (all of yall’s) questions. 


Of course, my brilliant Gen Z officemate had a response (and gave me permission to share it).


Five things to place in a pentagram to summon a Laura:
80’s music
A broken mouse / the Millhiser mouse (ya know, for a blood sacrifice)
Day room gift certificate
*If you don’t respond with haste, I’ll assume you really aren’t “HERE”Best,

I responded with haste, but not before laughing out loud in my daughter’s doctor’s office.  Note that the goal was to summon me, to bring me back to the office.  I’ll say it again – even when granted permission, working offsite is never a neutral prospect.
Featured Image: Priscilla Du Preez,

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