Strange title, I know. But you will hear this phrase often if you work with me or are part of my family. It has become the universal term when you do something incredibly stupid yet extremely funny.
Since I am a master at the art of these kind of things, my friends started referring to them as “Debbie’s”. In fact, when they do something exceptionally noteworthy, they call me and tell me that they, “did a Debbie today.” So at the behest of my friends who have begged me to feature a few of my “Debbie moments” in my blog, I offer you this brief and embarrassing glimpse into my world.
(My apologies to all the Deb, Debbie, Debra and Deborah’s out there).
I am an administrative assistant or administrative professional if you prefer and am a fairly intelligent and competent person. I manage a great deal of tasks, and have become proficient at multi tasking, but sometimes my brain shorts and – well, the result is “I do a Debbie.”
My first documented Debbie: It was 1993 and my boss was traveling internationally. He sent me an email asking me to listen to all his voicemail messages and email them to him. This was a VERY long task because he had a lot of voice messages awaiting his response. AND to make matters worse, I could not slow down the speed, or pause the message. I had to listen and in some cases re-listen to the messages until I got all the information captured. It took me over forty-five minutes to retrieve his messages.
At this point, I noticed that my own message light was on, so I redialed into the system and captured my voice message and hung up. (Another fifteen minutes spent listening to messages.)
As I hung up, my phone rang, and I picked it up. Before I could even say hello, the gentleman on the other end went into a long involved explanation of what he needed from me. As I listened, my brain short circuited and somehow I thought I was listening to voicemail again. I kept thinking to myself, “get to the point, and I will call you back.” I didn’t want to hang up in case there was something important I needed to hear so I continued to half listen as he rambled on. Finally the man asked me a question.
Remember, in my mind I am listening to voice mail. I remember thinking to myself, “He’s crazy. He just asked my voice mail a question.” It was so funny to me.
Then a few seconds pass and I heard him say, “Hello?” and I lost it. As I started giggling out loud , to my horror, I heard him say, “Oh, you ARE there.” Reality crashed in and I was so embarrassed that I mumbled something about there being a problem with my phone and I hung up on him. I was so mortified!
A few minutes later, I typed out what happened and sent it to the man who I had hung up on and explained all that had happened. (Coward that I was, I didn’t want to face him and tell the truth.) Soon, I could hear him laughing from his office a few cubes away. He came over and thanked me for telling him, and that it was the best laugh he’d had all day. (Oh, and I did complete the task he wanted help with.)
After that there were several other incidents ranging from wearing my pants inside out all day to work, detaining a poor fellow employee on the elevator, losing my underwear at the office, running away from myself (I thought someone was chasing me), and so many more.
At one point, my admin team created a “Ding Bell” award that we reviewed every month in my admin team meeting. During the month, my team would either email the “holder of the book” their version of a “Debbie” or come and write it in the book. During the meeting, we would read them aloud, laugh and then vote on who was the winner of the month. The winner had the honored task of being the “holder of the book” until the next vote. It was fun and even though I don’t work with a lot of these people anymore, when I do run into them, they ask about the book. I found that this process drew us together more as a team than anything else.
So, this is today’s entry. I promise in the future to go into depth on some of the other moments. If you would like me to cover one in particular, let me know.
By the way, if you didn’t already guess, my motto is “Laugh, and the whole world laughs with you.”