Where do you see yourself in five years?

by Meredith on May 6, 2015

I’ve been writing this blog for about five-and-a-half years (which equates to 38-and-a-half blog years).

ME: Will you help me start a blog and somehow teach me how to turn this into a career? I think I’m going to get downsized. 

BRITTANY: Of course! But I want to be straight-up with you, if you think this is going to replace your income, you’re probably wrong. Over 80% of blogs fail, and it’s hard to make money. But I’ll help you as long as you listen to me. 

I can’t believe it’s still running, either.

About Three Years Ago

I remember the first time I ever spoke to Tony Lake. It was a cold call. As usual, I was nervous. I always get nervous before a cold call.

Hey Tony, this is Meredith. I’m the HR Director at this big car dealership on the other side of town. I found you on Facebook, and I would like to talk to you about a Used Car Sales position. 

He took the job.

19 Months (and 17 Days) Ago

19 months (and 17 days) ago, I guess you could say, I had a bad day.

I decided I was never meant to be an HR Director. I quit my job – that I was never downsized from – without notice. Looking back, that was extremely risky and totally insane and not very professional. Classic case of Career Suicide.

I knew this meant I would probably never stand on stages and speak to audiences beside companies like Facebook and Nike, and I certainly knew I would never be featured on talk shows or ABC’s 20/20 again.

19 months (and 17 days) ago, I had an established name in the HR field… so I went on ahead and burned every bridge of that career to the ground.

19 Months (and Five Days) Ago

19 months (and five days) ago, Tony Lake became my boss. This time he recruited me and gave me a job in Car Sales.

He dusted me off, told me to get over myself, and pushed me to get out there and sell some damn cars.

So I did.


A Year, A Month, and 22 Days Ago

This happened.


Last Month

Last month, I made more money than I have ever made in my life. I hired, Ashley (Tony Lake’s fiancée). And I took my family on a much needed vacation.

Five Years Ago

Five years ago, I didn’t think this old blog would spark a social media agency. But it did. Thank you, Brittany Gibbons. Click here to buy her book – Fat Girl Walking.

Five years ago, I didn’t know Tony Lake, his fiancée, or anyone at The Thayer Family Dealerships. But now I do. Thank you for helping me get here, and thank you for being one of my first and largest clients.

A lot of you pick your careers in your early twenties. I did that, and I didn’t know shit about life in my early twenties. Did you? I made SO MANY mistakes! HR was one of them.

Oh well. Fixed it.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Cross this five-year plan BS out of your mind.

Where don’t you see yourself in five years?


I get it.

I’m a mother of three children, and trust me, my kids are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. So let’s begin with that.

But here’s the thing, today I landed two more accounts, and THAT is a pretty major financial success for my little start-up social media agency. It was a big day, full emotions.

1. Nervous. SO NERVOUS! What if they turn me down? What if I say the wrong thing? I’ve been waiting for this meeting for a month. 

2. Rehearsing, redrafting, and rewriting this pitch two more times… After all, they have 11 locations, this would make three that I manage, and I eventually want every single one. 

3. Presented the pitch. BOOM! They signed up for not one, but two locations. I was starting immediately. YASSSSSSSS!

4. My first call was to my husband, who says, “This calls for wine and your favorite steak! I’ll get a babysitter! I’m so proud of you. Great job.”

You see, even though it’s just a Monday for you, this was a pretty major day for my career. Did you know I had a business plan written for this for three years before I finally got the courage to pull the trigger and own my own company? No, you probably didn’t.


You can see where this is going… I went out to eat, some kids were going crazy, and it ruined our babysitter-night-out as a couple.

I actually represent bars and restaurants, and I was a waitress and bartender through college. So I want to tell you why I truly despise you and your parenting abilities during times like these. And don’t think I’m alone on this. I asked my friends. They had a lot to say about kids in restaurants, too.

1. This was a really special day for me. And your misbehaving kids ruined it.

Let’s start there.

We probably go out to eat more than most people, because it is my JOB. However, date nights are few and far between. We need them like we need air.

Also, I have a client/human ratio. I will have to hire more people to be able to handle more clients. So this is a celebration of growth and prosperity for us.

Maybe someone else was celebrating a birthday or anniversary.

Why do your kids get to ruin that moment by climbing all over the stools at the bar, where I asked to be seated, so we could AVOID your children?

And yeah, maybe it’s just a small local tavern, but this place is special to me. They have that pinot noir I like… and those steaks! OMG! THOSE STEAKS!

Tara Miller: Ever since Mike and I have been able to go out alone, we always get put next to the screaming kids. It never fails! Yeah, your kid is cute. Now make them go away!

2. It’s expensive.

Our bill was $70 for two steaks and a bottle of wine (before the tip). We were only there for 45 minutes because of your rowdy children. Plus, we were paying a babysitter. Add another $20, for the sitter, for driving all the way over to my house, on a Monday night, just to be sent home way early. #CheckPlease

Lucretia Pruitt: There is nothing more annoying as a parent than paying for a babysitter so you can have an ‘adult night out’ and finding yourself with the people who not only don’t have a babysitter, but also take their kids someplace inappropriate and then expect everyone else to look after them.

Bernadette Meyer: My biggest pet peeve! We only get date nights once in a great while and it never fails that we get put right next to the table of kids with parents who don’t control them. We have left many restaurants with take out, bc if we go somewhere and they misbehave we are not going to ruin it for others. I have also been at family dinners at restaurants and have taken my daughter and went and sat out in the car until she was done throwing a tantrum and would sit down quietly. It is not fair to others!

3. When my kids are bad, we get boxes and leave. Because RESPECT. So I assume you just don’t care about anyone besides your selfish-self. 

My children are 12, 7, and 5-years-old. There was a time when we would order food, boxes, and then check all at the same time. Why? Because if they couldn’t hack it, they knew we would box it up and LEAVE.

It doesn’t matter how they felt about it. They are children. The rest of the diners deserve respect. I’m in charge.

We also have zero qualms about handing them iPads or our phones in a time of need. If they absolutely cannot sit still, I have Minecraft on my phone. It holds them over until the food arrives. Or we just leave.

Mandy Fishburn: I have never understood people who are outraged with kids on electronics at restaurants. Kids with headphones are blissfully quiet.

4. The bar is no place for children.

For real, though.


We specifically ask to sit at the bar on “date nights” to avoid children. We eat dinner there. We split a bottle of wine there. Why? Because there aren’t any children.

But besides us, have you ever actually sat at a bar and listened to people talk? It can become an alcohol fueled assembly of potty-mouthed sailors, drunken liars, and singles on the prowl.

The bar, my friends, is an exciting place, but it is no place for children. Get your kids AWAY from the barstools! Never would I ever allow my child to sit at the bar.

And that Megatouch game in the corner? It has inappropriate games for your little cupcakes. Do you really want them photo hunting through nude photos?

Marypoppins Inheels: No matter where you’re seated, you shouldn’t have to deal with loud, all over the place kids. Really. What the fuck. Teach your kids how to be in public. It’s good for them and for everyone else.

Traci Robinette: It’s on the parents for being dicks, but it’s also kinda on the bartender. It’s their job to tell kids to scram and not be in the bar area.

Brie Godfrey: I would never let my kids sit at a bar!

Exactly, bartenders! I never ever allowed children to sit at the bar back in my day. The patrons DESPISE it. You should have full control of that bar at all times. If the parents won’t control their children, unfortunately, it is now your job.

5. Get your elbows off of my table.

Manners. Find them.

This isn’t about your children putting elbows on the table. It’s about your children putting their elbows on MY table.

It’s about them crying so loudly that we can’t even hold a conversation. It’s about them running around like tiny drunk toddlers. It’s about you saying, “One more time, and we are going to the bathroom!”

TAKE THEM TO THE DAMN BATHROOM, ALREADY! We’re all done with your empty threats.

Anja Mottern: I don’t go to Chuck-e-cheese and drink, so don’t bring your kids to the bar!!

Meghan Biggs: Biggest pet peeve is when oblivious parents let their kids turn around in the seat and stare at you. Hate that. HATE. IT. I usually make a scary face and growl at them. Works like a charm. I also correct my children if they try this shit. If they keep being dicks we leave. End of story.

6. It’s late. Take them home.

Just. Take. Them. Home.

You’re a horribly selfish parent. Kids aren’t perfect. They are tiny people, who can’t hang. And you just keep pushing them beyond what they can handle.

Why have I hired a babysitter at this hour and you didn’t? Can’t afford one? STAY THE F*CK HOME.

Joli Crow: Our rule for our kids is – If you can’t use your manners and respect the other patrons, you don’t get to join the Moms for a dinner out. They aren’t always perfect, but we try to take them to kid friendly places and save the nicer stuff for when they are older. Nothing works my nerves faster than parents who won’t parent.

7. They are going to get trampled, and the business is going to have to file a Workers’ Compensation Claim, and you’ll end up suing them. 

The aisle between our tables is no place to whip out cars and trucks. I cannot tell you the number of times I have tripped over a small child with a tray full of food. Do you even realize how much these trays weigh? Or the type of balance it takes to hold it up above your head?

Nuala Reilly: We had that happen not too long ago. The parents were letting their TODDLERS play in the aisle with a bunch of small toys they brought. Two waitresses almost fell over or tripped over them. One of the kids walked to our table and stood there staring at us until we asked the parent to please get her. An the parents called us rude when we made a comment about the mess on the floor. My kids have always known that a restaurant is a treat. They are all teens and older but we still get comments on how well behaved they are. So sorry you guys had to sit through that.

Heidi Herbster: I work in a bar/restaurant and its unbelievable how parents just let their kids run around. I had to tell a young kid to stop running a few months ago and the dad gave me attitude. I told him fine let him run around and if one of my waitresses drops anything because of him that its his responsibility to pay for the loss. He didn’t make him sit down!

Traci Robinette: I used to waitress at a Rainforest Cafe, and one of the biggest problems was parents letting kids go rolling around the restaurant on those sneakers that have wheels in the heels. Like, just rolling around corners as fast as they can go, where servers are trying to navigate with trays of drinks and such. Like, seriously? What the fuck, parents? I get that it was a family restaurant, but it’s also a place of business and I can’t work with that shit happening. A co-worker of mine actually had one run into her and she spilled some stuff on the family of the kid. They demanded that their meal be comped because of it and the manager told them no, because it was their fault the drinks were spilled and they shouldn’t let their kid roll around the restaurant. Watching him tell them no was one of the greatest moments of my waitressing career.

8. It’s beyond rude. Period. Wrangle your little brats. 


That was harsh.

The truth hurts! They are being brats. B-R-A-T-S.

You are the boss of the small people in your house. Act like it. You’re a damn mess as a parent, and the entire place is judging you for it. We’re all looking at each other and saying, “Some people just shouldn’t be allowed to have kids.”

It’s true. We’re all saying that under our breath. BECAUSE WE ARE SPENDING A FORTUNE AND PISSED OFF. You’re making your family’s namesake look awful.

Try to defend this, and I’ll explain, in detail, why you suck.

Anyway, it was my special day. And your little brats ruined it. I didn’t say anything because I am far too pretty for bar fights and jail. So we left.

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Now you know. #SorryNotSorry #WrangleYourBrats



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