Theme. We have a theme. Gosh darn it, Ange.

Before I begin, because I do have a theme today, I need to tell you this little story about my inevitable climb up the corporate ladder.

We have this feature at work called Teams, where there is no “i.” In Teams, we can chat, call each other, have large video meetings, etc. During meetings and calls, we can turn on our video camera or just use the photo of ourselves that we chose.

Teams is also tied to our email, so if we, for example, put down on the email calendar that we are out, everything on Teams will also know we’re out and offer a polite but brief message re our outness should anyone message us.

In other words, every method of communication we have at work is tied to Teams.

I offer this information because last week I had a series of migraines, which is how migraines usually work for me. If I get one on Monday, I will take a pill, feel better, then on Tuesday get another one. This usually lasts a few days till I (a) run out of pills or (b) reach the threshold of how many I’m allowed before overdosing like Karen Ann Quinlan or some other current overdoser or (c) take a pill but the pill no longer works.

No matter which of these I get to, eventually I have to give up and go to bed and be miserable for 12 to 24 hours.

I was in the go-to-bed part of my cycle last week when I got on Teams and said, “Hey, other copy editors, I am dying and need to go lie down for the rest of today.” Then I added the line I use often, because you know how I am when I get a line, about how if I could remove my own head and replace it with the corpse of Don Knotts’s, I would. Then to further drive my point home, I replaced my Teams picture with Don Knotts’s.

I adored myself for this added emphasis, and went to bed. The next day I returned to work and replaced that hilarious Don Knotts photo with one of, you know, myself.

I don’t even particularly like this picture of myself that much but it was on a folder on my desktop so I used it. My coworkers know what I look like so why does my Teams/email picture have to be lovely like one of the stars of Petticoat Junction or another current overdoser?

So today I got right to work. I had much to do, so I messaged a vice president of our company, and my boss, and even someone in HR. So furious was my exchange of work messages. See June work. Work, work, June. Oh! Oh, oh!

It was midmorning before The Poet said, “Wow! You really did have a head transplant, June!”

“…What?” I asked. At this point I’d also messaged several editors and project managers.

“Don Knotts! You really had your head replaced.”


I saw me.

Me and my giant enormous bulbous nose, and if you loved me you’d get a group to chip in for a nose job for me.

But Poet did not see me. She saw Don Knotts.

I tried uploading my image again. Just when I finished I got a message about work from a creative director. “Love your avatar,” he said.


My boss, the VP, HR, all the project managers and creative directors and GOD KNOWS WHO ELSE all got Don Knotts all of yesterday and this morning when they wrote me. Every time I sent a serious, worky message,

DON KNOTTS WAS SENDING THEM! And not even Mr. Furley Don Knotts. Goofy, bow-tied, purse-lipped Barney FIFE Don Knotts. With his one bullet and his passionate affair with Thelma Lou.

I shut Teams down and tried again. I restarted my computer.

“How about now?” I asked copy edit, a group that was over my shenanigans circa 2013.

“Still Don Knotts.”

Eventually, Don and his Knott had to contact IT, and I THINK we have it solved but I can’t be certain because I had to get some stuff done that involved me trying KNOTT to think of how every message I sent was sent by

Click and subscribe for more corporate ladder tips. Thank you for coming to my Knott talk.


49 thoughts on “Theme. We have a theme. Gosh darn it, Ange.

  1. This is hilarious. How convenient that Don’s last name is Knott – worked out great for this post. Love the commenters work -related stories.


  2. Oh Joob. I’m dead. Glass ceiling?? What glass ceiling? You’ll soon be on the corner Office, with a haint blue ceiling, if you keep this up.


  3. Oh Lord. What are teams. I actually posted a photo of Oscar the grouch behind me in our team meeting.


  4. We use Teams too. It came in handy for this, our pandemic-work-from-home situation.

    I think that is actually a Microsoft bug. I just love that you were Don Knotts the whole time. I laughed through this post.

    My company won’t let us have fun with our avatars so mine is just my dumb face.


  5. We use Teams and all I can think about during meetings is how dumb I look. Everyone’s sitting different in front of their laptop, desktop, big monitor, little monitor, etc., so no one can actually be looking At their camera in the same way, you know what I mean? It’s just weird but I’m getting used to it.


  6. I think the former office manager of a buttoned-down law firm I worked for back in the 1990s could totally relate to your predicament. Carol (a pseudonym) was in her early 40’s and very professional. Her husband, a no-nonsense man about the same age, was a career military officer. One day, a few weeks after the firm had upgraded its phone system and everyone was learning the intricacies of the new voicemail feature, everyone in the firm simultaneously received a voicemail message from this woman. I expected it to be a reminder to the attorneys and secretaries to make sure that all the client billing for the month had been entered into the computer system so that monthly invoices could be generated. Instead, I heard her husband’s excited voice. “Carol! I’ve got some great news about my promotion. How would you like to come home right now and f#&! a Captain?” The entire office exploded with laughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Funniest post and comments. Thanks for providing the silent laughter where my shoulders go up and down and my eyes tear up so much I can hardly finish reading. I’ll never see the Andy Griffin reruns with Barney again without thinking of June and her corporate ladder.


  8. Hilarious post, Barney. I was trying to read this to my husband, but laughing so hard he couldn’t understand a word I was saying and now he has declared me nuts.


    1. Sorry about the double post. I thought the first one has disappeared into the black hole. Kind of like your appropriate photo.


      1. Tee , the part where he declared you nuts needed to be said though.
        This one had me giggling the whole read and then the comments. Had a good laugh today , thanks June.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. So a couple years ago, I thought I would be really funny and teach my husband’s iPhone to call him “Dumbass.” I figured he would one day say “hey Siri, what is the weather like?” And she would say “it’s 70 degrees Dumbass.” I knew I would have to wait because he doesn’t ask Siri things every day. So I did it, and waited. Well, what I didn’t know, is that Siri then changes your email signature to your “name.” So he sent multiple work emails to his boss and such signed “Dumbass.” Someone finally asked him about it, and while I laughed so hard I cried, he did NOT think it was funny.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Oh my God – I had to reply to this – I cannot stop laughing! About the Dumbass….. Oh boy….


  10. That Don Knotts looks like his character Luther from the greatest movie ever made: The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. Atta boy, Luther!

    I don’t use Teams because well, self-employed but if I did, I would use my standard avatar of the blue eyes of my Gracie Lou because nobody needs to see a current picture of the real me. It’s just better that way.


      1. She’s a white Border Collie/Aussie mix. She’s very pretty and sweet and I love her so much.


  11. Don Knotts, Petticoat Junction… you are too young for these references. Was Nickelodeon showing these when you were a little kid?


  12. We use Teams too. I think your coworkers have to close down Teams, then re-open to see your new profile picture. The reason I think this is that at my work, the trend was for everyone to use their high school graduation picture for their profile. I was mad because I couldn’t see them! Then someone told me to close Teams and reopen and lo, 80s hair all over the place!


  13. I feel your pain/ I was about to send a coworker a Janet Leigh screaming in the shower GIF when I realized it landed in my managers box. Only option was to send or so I thought. But I found a way out of it thank god !


  14. Lovely post, Coot.
    I am giggling and giggling over Don Knotts.
    I hope you get your head fixed.
    I have been foggy headed post surgery and having a new type of migraine. I wrote my Dad a text and went to sleep off the Kaleidoscope headache. When I got up I checked my messages and I had sent the aforementioned text to a subcontractor. My test read and I quote “boobs are healing fine, thanks for asking” to which he answered “Didnt know your boobs were ailing ” Um yeah glad the drywaller how knows my boobs were ailing.

    Liked by 5 people

  15. I die.

    We use Teams, too, and I hate it. Why can’t we just email like 2019?

    I don’t change my name or avatar bc I fear this — I will forget to change it back and then… my 28-plus years at my job will end, with a THUD.

    (I hope you’re feeling better this week!)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. We use Teams as well. That’s hilarious. Since I’m currently on a Teams meeting as we speak, I best get back to it.


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