For sure the best part about getting a new job is that you can stop looking for a new job. Just ceasing the obsessive checking of LinkedIn to see ‘who’s viewed your profile?!’ like a reality star counting Twitter followers, is a relief. I’m telling you right off the top that I am both grateful for this opportunity and proud of the company I work for – this is just in case that message gets lost in my little narrative below.
I am also purposefully not using the name of the company, nor any of my co-workers because I’m pretty sure I vowed not to under penalty of tremendous fines and possible imprisonment somewhere in the stack of forms I skimmed and e-signed on my first day of work. I suspect I may have also committed to donating my organs prior to my death and/or bringing my children up in the church of the company’s choosing. There were just so. many. forms…
There are many benefits to this gig. I really like my boss, who shows zero signs of being a sadist or an idiot or a pervert. That’s so nice. And I have an almost Girl Crush on the VP of Sales, who is intelligent and personable, hard working and successful – and also acts perfectly normal when you bump into her in the bathroom. The company is established and reputable. Everyone has been very warm and welcoming. There’s plenty of parking. And there are seat protectors in the already clean restrooms.
But also -
The commute is just torture, if torture was both stressful and mind-numbingly dull at the same time. I live in the northern suburbs and work is sort of downtown--ish. It’s like the difference between Earth and Mars but with terrifically terrible Texas drivers thrown in, of which I am one of the worst. If there were some way to read or nap or blow out your hair on the road, it wouldn’t feel like such a colossal (and maddening and tedious) waste of time. During work hours I use the time to make calls, which feels vaguely virtuous (if not a bit hazardous). But if it’s really early? Or very late? My go-to’s are wildly enthusiastic karaoke style sing-alongs to Pink and Taylor Swift (don’t judge), long nonessential Bluetooth conversations with my sister or my bestie, and minor grooming (not in the eye area).
Meanwhile, it has been a long time since I officed in a cubicle. It is a nice cube, as they go – roomy with all working parts, but (typical of cubes everywhere) there is no door to close and discourage uninvited entry, nor a ceiling to protect you from the fluorescent elements. Initially, I thought I would have anxiety about people touching/moving/taking my stuff, but instead my biggest adjustment has been TRYING NOT TO TALK SO LOUD. I’m also hyper-aware of how ridiculous my end of some phone conversations may sound: “Just press Control then ‘P’ Mom – no, not at the same time – well, yes, at the same time – but the Control button first – I mean keep the Control button pressed down and then press the ‘P’ button also – you know what? Never mind, I’ll come over and do it after work” or “I can’t wait to get home and take off these pants.” Apparently, I also utter somewhat amusing mild expletives when I hang up the phone with rude people.
Also taking some getting used to is being the only female on a team of Business Developers, or ‘Hunters’ as they’re referred to in Sales. And, I represent a quite different age demographic than the men on my team. These guys drink a cup of testosterone for breakfast, have lively CrossFit discussions daily, and are going to ‘Kill It!’ at most everything. This is all good and fine except my excellent Marcia Brady imitation is going completely unappreciated and when someone referred to a ‘George Michaels’ at a meeting, and I blurted out, “George Michael?!? From Wham!?!” they just stared at me blankly.
It is sweet though, that they already depend on me to have a safety pin, or stain stick, or Tylenol at all times.
All in all, change is weird and difficult and good and healthy. And I don’t feel as guilty when I go to Starbuck’s.