A Spoonful of Sugar

December 16, 2009 at 9:38 am 26 comments

A few nights ago, Stephen and I were working on our computers and we had the television on. (I use the term “working” very loosely as I’m sure I was blogging and he was randomly calling people on Skype.) In the background, Mary Poppins was on. They began singing the ever-so-popular “Spoonful of Sugar” song and as it was nearing it’s end, Stephen looked at me and said, “Wow. I never know that that song wasn’t actually talking about a spoon full of actual sugar. It’s a metaphor.” My husband is the King of Metaphors. Seriously. I often have to say, “No, don’t tell me a metaphor, just tell me what you’re trying to say.” So it put my in stitches when he said that. It’s happened to all of us though. You hear something as an adult that you haven’t heard since you were a child and all of a sudden, a lightbulb goes off. THAT’S what that means! 

What does that song actually mean then? Clearly they aren’t singing a song just to tell you that if you have something sweet with your meds, they are easier to take. (Although I think it should be noted that I once heard that if you swallow a spoonful of sugar, it helps your hiccups and I have yet to be proven wrong on that rumor.) The song actually means that a little bit of “good stuff” makes the “bad stuff” a bit more bearable.

Like work.

Work isn’t fun. There are very few people in this world who wake up every morning and are thrilled about going to their jobs. I really wish they’d emphasize this in college. “Major in something that you love to do!” Yeah, like that helps.

Anyways, we’ve talked about this before. I don’t hate my job. I used to, when I worked at the bank. But I don’t hate it anymore. I don’t enjoy waking up early. And I think I should get to go home when my work is complete. But other than that, I think my job is just fine and I’m thankful that someone wants to have me as an employee.

Last night we had our company Christmas party. That’s a spoonful of sugar. “I know you practically live at this office and you don’t have much vacation time, but we’d like to let you out a bit early today so you can go home and get dressed up for a nice dinner tonight. And here are two drink tickets.” And you know what? It was nice. We enjoyed ourselves. We happened to sit at a table with a few people I knew, and two employees I’d never actually had a conversation with. It was enjoyable. It was… sweet.

Employers need to do this every now and then. That’s why bonuses are so great. Not only do we get money, but we get to experience this random “sweetness” that is so different from the norm, and makes us appreciate our job so much more. (I say “we” and “us” but I don’t actually get a bonus. Which is another story for another day. A day that will never come… because I don’t think that’s blog material.)

But I do get my own bit of sweetness at my job. Every now and then, something will happen that will bring a smile to my face. It’ll make me forget that this is “work”… even if for a moment. Yesterday I was working on a report that dealt with how the man hours on a certain project were being allotted. (I work in construction, remember?) The idea is that if we can figure out the appropriate amount of man hours needed for this job, we’ll be able to bid future jobs more accurately. So I was working on the report that breaks up those numbers and makes them more manageable. This involved going through each individual time sheet.

Oh sugar. Oh heaping tablespoon full of sugary goodness.

I was working on a particular week that had a holiday. Two days worth of holiday pay, which is 16 hours. The men never know how to report a holiday on their time sheet. They can’t say that they spent those 16 hours on a specific task, because that messes up the overall projections. But they all feel the need to write on their sheet “HOLIDAY” in some way, shape, or form. That’s where the sugar came in.

I like that guy. He made sure that the word “HOLIDAY” took up both days. There was no confusion. It was straight forward. Not all of them were that straight forward. Some of them chose a more creative way to write the word “holiday.”


(Holady. Spell check doesn’t like this very much.)

(Holly Day. But what I really appreciate is that they whited out whatever was there and wrote “holly day” in festive green ink.) ( It’s the little things in life.)

(Holy Day. It wasn’t Christmas, Easter, or Good Friday. But this fella has it right on. Every day should be God’s day.)

(Oliday. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean I have heard about Noel (no “L”) but not Noach (no “H”))

(Man. That was knee-slapping hilarity.)

(And I’m actually sort of ashamed of myself.)

Brace yourself, y’all. Here’s my favorite.

(Jaludey. Brilliance. We pronounce the word Hall-uh-dey… it only makes sense.)

It made me smile. It made me laugh. It made me taste the sweetness of my job. It’s those little things we need to look out for in life. Things that are unexpected and can bring a cheerful smile to our faces. Those are the things that keep us going through the daily monotony.

That and, you know, like… actual sugar. In the form of chocolate and shortbread. But whatever.

Entry filed under: Chelsea. Tags: , , .

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26 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kaitlynn  |  December 16, 2009 at 9:58 am

    This post totally made me laugh! My husband works in construction, too, so it reminds me of his stories. Actually, it’s kind of ironic….there a couple of young women who work in his office and the other day we were wondering “How does a young woman get to be in the construction industry?” (Like one who didn’t major in engineering or construction mgmt) Nothing against women obviously, just curious. Maybe you can enlighten us.

  • 2. Ginger  |  December 16, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Great post! Your blog is so easy to identify with. For me, the spoonful of sugar are the regular customers, who know me and actually come in to talk about games and not just buy stuff and ignore my questions. Retail, unfortunately, does not give bonuses :-(. Sometimes they even give less money (hours) than usual…but, there’s not much you can do about it!

  • 3. Jen  |  December 16, 2009 at 10:26 am

    This made me laugh out loud … And then a woman in my office said “what is so funny?” yes, I’m catching up on blogs at work!

  • 4. Taryn M. Peine  |  December 16, 2009 at 10:42 am

    OH MY GOSH I am crying Chelsea. Oh man I didn’t think it could keep getting worse, but it did. I’m an editor, and a bunch of misspelled words usually doesn’t make my day, but this is an exception!! Happy Olidays!

  • 5. Clare  |  December 16, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Jaludey! that’s awesome!!!

  • 6. fritz  |  December 16, 2009 at 10:55 am

    i come across the same little bits of sugar every other week working on payroll!!

  • 7. mediumcrazy  |  December 16, 2009 at 10:55 am


  • 8. scrapper al  |  December 16, 2009 at 10:56 am

    As an editor who can’t spell (oh my gosh, I’m admitting that in public?!!?), I enjoyed this post. Thanks!

  • 9. Donna  |  December 16, 2009 at 11:03 am

    loved this message of a “spoonful of sugar”! The timesheet “sweetness” that you took note of and stopped and blogged about it with pictures. So enjoyable and yup…I got the message. Very well presented.

    from cold and snowy Canada.

  • 10. Jimbo  |  December 16, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Love it! I especially enjoy it when these “sweet moments” happen on a Wednesday…sometimes you need the push!

  • 11. Samantha  |  December 16, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I never stopped to think about the whole “spoonful of sugar” metaphor, but it definitely can be applied to so many things in life.

    Oh gosh, the timesheets were hilarious! I needed a good laugh today.

  • 12. Kim  |  December 16, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Haha. I process disabiilty claims and while I can’t share any of the items on them, sometimes my coworkers and I have to stop what we’re doing and just giggle for a bit at what’s written.

  • 13. Alyssa  |  December 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I’m with Stephen-I never knew what that song was about!?! One movie that I watched my freshmen year of college and went, “WHAT!?! It’s about WHAT?!?! Oh, that’s dirty…” was Dirty Dancing…this whole time, I just thought Penny had the flu and was too tired to dance!?!

  • 14. Lyndsey  |  December 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    THis hilarious.

  • 15. Lyndsey  |  December 16, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    I meant… This IS hilarious.

  • 16. HoustonGurly  |  December 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I like your way of thinking, Chelsea! It is the little things that make this big, beautiful world of ours bearable!

  • 17. Rachel  |  December 16, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    LOLOLOL… Things like that get me through my day. High school spelling/grammar is always fun to laugh about. Or when they ask me questions like, “How many weeks are in October? I mean, isn’t it different than the rest of the months?”

  • 18. jill  |  December 16, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    The spelling on those timesheets cracked me up! I’ve been swallowing a lot of sugar lately…but I think my medicine will end up being better than before 🙂 That probably makes no sense.

    Anyway now I have Mary Poppins in my head….

  • 19. Molly  |  December 16, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    this is totally unrelated…but your comment about hearing something as an adult and thinking, “so that’s what it means!” reminded me of this:

    when I was younger, I thought the Reba McIntyre (is that how you spell it?) song, “Fancy” was about a girl going to the prom.

    Um. Just in case you were wondering, it is so NOT.

  • 20. Maureen (MIL)  |  December 16, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I happen to be one of those people who loves her job. Of course, I don’t make a ton of money, I don’t make much money at all. However, I get those spoonful of sugars all day long from my little 4 year olds. Like the other day when I was asking one of the kids a question. I said “Nicholas, did you paint a Christmas tree yet?” and Nicholas said “my name isn’t Nicholas anymore.” “Oh?, What is it?” “It’s Mr. Hottie now.” “Mr. Hottie?, Do you want me to start calling you Mr. Hottie?” “Yep!” he said… Or little Paul, who looked at me one day and said “Miss Maureen?”, “yes, Paul?” “I love you Miss Maureen.” Oh, I do love my job…

  • 21. John Campbell  |  December 16, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    One Word: WOW.

  • 22. Emily Jane  |  December 16, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Yep, this made me laugh out loud. Love it 🙂

  • 23. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair  |  December 16, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Isn’t it interesting all of the things we hear as adults that we heard ALL THE TIME as kids and then we have this epiphany of what they actually mean, too funny.

    I’m really fortunate to have a job that I love, most days. There are very few days that I actually dread going in to work!

  • 24. Jessica  |  December 17, 2009 at 12:40 am

    That is absolutely amazing.

  • 25. Diane  |  December 17, 2009 at 11:34 am

    you’re so right – there is a little bit of sweetness at work that makes it ever so worthwhile and brings a smile to the day. Those timesheets are priceless, I love that those people applied a little bit of creativity and humor to something as dry as tracking billable hours. Sounds like your colleagues make the job a little sweeter too – I know mine do.

  • 26. Mom  |  December 17, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    OH MY GOSH! Two, oops, too funny – at least these people at your work can give you a chuckle or too, opps, two… 🙂

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