Mom’s Opinion of My New Job
Last spring I joined a growing tech startup in an exciting emerging industry. I’ve always loved working for startups because I really enjoy the frantic pace, the frustrating-yet-rewarding growing pains, and growing my professional skills by having to assume multiple roles. This startup is actually one of the more promising I’ve worked for — we have strong leadership, smart, passionate employees, and are establishing ourselves as a major contender in our industry.
There’s one small detail that makes my job especially interesting: it’s in the cannabis space. In May, I joined a company called Leafly, which is a leading cannabis information resource. I hear all sorts of groan-worthy, eye-rolling comments whenever I tell people where I work; lots of “Do you guys all get high at work?” (no), “So is there like a huge bowl of weed at the reception desk instead of candy?” (no), “Man, how do you get anything done there?” (because it’s a real job with real responsibilities? What’s not to get?). I serve as the company’s Content, Community, and Engagement Manager and have built a small but growing team to handle all of the projects that have a content component to them, plus we manage the site’s News & Culture and Knowledge Center sections and our brand’s social media presence.
Honestly, it’s a great company and my fellow employees and I work very hard to grow Leafly into a fantastic resource for recreational consumers and medical patients alike. I’m happy in what I do for the company and am really excited at the possibility of growing my role as Leafly grows. (And, let’s face it, it’s a job that guarantees there will never be a dull moment or boring day at work.)
My friends were overwhelmingly supportive and most of my family didn’t seem to care when I told them about my new job. (Jason’s grandmother is one exception, and my oldest brother was a bit “WTF” but he was more amused than disapproving.) I was, however, a bit hesitant to tell my mom because I was a little worried about how she’d react. I don’t really know what her stance is on cannabis so I wasn’t sure whether she’d think I was doing something dangerous or fret that I was throwing my life or career away.
Eventually, though, I had to break the news to Mom that her daughter was working for a “weed” company. So I mustered up the courage to ring her up and let her know.
Me: “Hey Mom.”
Mom: “Hi honeyyyyyy! Whatchoo doin?”
Me: “I got a new job.”
Mom: “Oh really? Doing what?”
Me: “Uhhhh…..do you know what a ‘startup’ is?”
Me: “Well, a startup is like a new, small company that can grow quickly. Usually Internet-based.”
Me: “Do you know what a directory is?”
Me: “Well, I work for a startup that has created a directory for, uh…marijuana.”
Mom: “My gahhhh.”
Then more silence.
I chewed on my lip, waiting for the inevitable rapid-fire interrogation of “Rebecca, why you take this job?! What’s the matter with you? You pothead??!! I thought you smarter than that!! You gonna get arrested! You no think!!!” that would eventually spiral into half-English, half-Korean ragerish (rage-gibberish).
Okay, here it comes. Brace yourself, Becca, this is gonna hurt.
Mom: “You get pah-king?”
Wait, what? Did she just ask me if there was available parking at my building?
Mom: “Pah-king. You get pah-king there?”
Yes. She did indeed just ask me about the parking situation at my new cannabis job. Because that’s clearly the first question that springs to mind when someone tells you, “I work for a startup in the marijuana industry.”
Me: “Uh, yeah.”
Mom: “Das good. Free?”
Me: “Yes, I get free parking.”
WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING HERE I DON’T EVEN KNOW
Mom: “Oh, nice!”
Me: “…That’s it?”
Mom: “How far from you house?”
Really, Mom? Don’t get me wrong, this line of questioning is amazing, but still, really?
Me: “Like two miles.”
I was bewildered.
Mom: “Well you know, Rebecca! You smart and you know better than Mommy, so you do what’s best.”
That was it. That was Mom’s opinion of my new job. Amazing. We wrapped up our call and that was that. I have the weirdest yet best mom in the world.