A good rule of thumb that I’ve always followed is “don’t blog about work”. Traditionally I’ve only ever shared the most minor details about my job, and only ever positive remarks, because you never know how these things will bite you on the ass. Certainly never mention negativity about coworkers or your company. It’s unprofessional to start and ultimately can get you in big time trouble if the wrong person sees it. I still maintain this is a good rule so I’m not going to divulge too much here except to say: my company is getting acquired and I’m scared. It’s been a pretty crazy few weeks as many of my friends know by my late hours and rambling mutters about excel spreadsheets. Now we all know why: Amgen strikes $10.4 Billion Deal for Onyx – one of the top 5 biggest buyouts in the biotech industry to date. It’s a huge deal. In some ways it’s pretty damn impressive because it means we’re doing really good work here. On the other hand…I just want to know I’ll have a job at the end of the year. I do actually enjoy what I do, I’m good at it and I really like the little Onyx family I’ve got here so far.
More frustrating than the uncertainty though is the support I get from friends and family. Yes I know, complaining about support? Seriously bitca? No no okay let me explain this. I quite genuinely have no idea what any of this stuff means. I’ve never been through a merger or acquisition before except through second hand experiences of my parents and they worked in radically different industries. The problem is that people who care about me naturally have questions and want to know what’s going to happen but I don’t do well when confronted by questions I don’t have answers to. Hence the very thing they do to show they care, to provide me with acknowledgement of their love, ends up turning me into an even more tightly bundled wad of anxiety than I would be under these circumstances. I’ve asked for a general quiet on all fronts on this topic—let me initiate the conversation and for the love of Joss don’t ask me any questions.
This is how I know I have awesome friends: upon communicating this it all stopped. I’m so grateful to have folks in my life who listen when I ask them basically not to do the very thing that is so natural. I usually need a way to release steam but I rarely am looking for feedback when I do. It’s not because I don’t think anyone has valid thoughts or feelings but because I just can’t manage those on top of my own. Questions always fall into one of two categories: 1) I’ve been asked them already a dozen times and am sick of answering or 2) I am asking the same question, have no answer, and hearing others look to me for it just makes me feel even sicker. I’m a problem solver by nature and I’m always examining any situation to find a possible solution. When I don’t have one…that’s what makes me go totally sideways. For me the best thing to do is be left alone, to be allowed to research options, make checklists, find other roads to walk down…I often tunnel vision until I get to a place where I feel satisfied that I have a course charted. Instead of leaning on friends I tend to shut them out. Of course that whole time I also start having this creeping fear that when I do finally come out of my think tank—all my friends will be pissed that I operate this way.
Since I can’t do anything about my current work situation except plan for the worst (a frustrating passive action at best) I need to ramp up on smaller projects to focus on since they will both serve as a distraction and way to feel some sense of accomplishment. Finding ways to feel like you have succeeded, even small things like improving your mile time, are the best way to fight the depression that comes with life changing uncertainty like this. I’ve been hearing a lot of “sounds like you need a drink” the last 48 hours. Well….I don’t like to drink when I’m upset but I do like to bake—so how about we split the difference? This is one of my favorite boozy pies that I make each year usually around St. Patrick’s Day when Girl Scout cookies are plentiful and whiskey is especially popular. Since it’s such a delicious recipe though I usually squirrel away a box of Thin Mints in the freezer for special occasions—and whichever way this turns out, it certainly seems like an appropriate time. After all even better than drowning sorrows in a bottle of whisky–why not a pie of Baileys? Just be glad I’m not serving it out of a shoe…..
I should warn you this recipe uses raw egg whites. The risk of salmonella, especially in the eggs I buy, is pretty low but be aware that this is still a risk and I take no responsibility for you if you use this recipe as given. If you want to make this but eliminate that risk substitute a pasteurized meringue powder (sold in jars with instructions on how to use) in place of the whipped egg whites for this recipe. Another option is to use irradiated eggs (which many people find spooky) which are safe for raw consumption.
Irish Cream Pie