Friday, August 13, 2010

Learning the ropes

My mom’s friend told me this week that some people stay in their jobs for years even if they hate it, because starting a new job is really EFFING STRESSFUL.

I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I believe it. Starting a new job IS super effing stressful.
And super awkward.

First, you meet a small army of new people and hear all sorts of names that you forget instantly (unless they are fun name like “Coco” and “Pewter.” Seriously.) and you make what you hope is appropriate small talk, but thankfully, you can always just talk about the Saints here in New Orleans.

Then, you must figure out other people’s personalities and gauge how you’re going to interact with them.
Will it be a more professional “business only” relationship?
Or will it be a “Hey I just got an email with a list of DUI checkpoint locations, and do you want me to forward it to you?”

Then, you must figure out the work dress code. But it's NOT the debate over if you’re too causal or something is inappropriate.
I'm talking about the dress code for when the Saints are playing.

I arrived at the office on Thursday wearing a dress and everyone was wearing jeans and a Saints jersey.
What?? I thought jeans day was Friday!!! I was confused and felt left out.

I was then told that when the Saints play, jeans and WHO DAT paraphernalia are required, and HELLO??? It's pre-season!!
(Thank God my dress was black).

Figuring out lunchtime at a new job is also a challenge.
At my old job in South Carolina, I left the office almost everyday to eat because I liked having ME MYSELF and I time, and I was also too lazy busy in the mornings to pack a lunch.

But a new job, a new routine. Do people leave the building for lunch? Do they bring lunch to the office?
Do they go to the café on the first floor?

Or maybe they bring lunch from home and sit in the conference room and watch the Food Network. (Barefoot Contessa anyone??)

Ehhhh..I’ll learn to get into cooking shows. Maybe...not.

Once these pesky social issues at a new job are worked out (or fumbled through) you then must deal with the actual work and job expectations.

(You can only go so long getting a free pass to be an idiot because you’re new.)

All week long -- and for some reason this first week of work has been a very, very long week – I’ve spent hours and hours trying to figure out how to be on top of news in the city, since I’m working at paper here.

I spent HOURS online searching city council minutes (I don’t recognize the council members’ names! …yet) and reading agendas and newswires that I’ve been so sick of looking at the computer screen that I could barely stomach Facebook when I got home from work.

But, I am pleased to say that after a week of awkward moments, filled with counting to ten in my head slowly and biting the inside of my cheeks and picking my fingers, I got a reprieve.

I got TWO COMPLIMENTS on my work today (YAAAY!!!) and for the first time, I stopped counting to ten and stopped biting my cheeks and was able to take a full breath. (Oh calm, deep breaths how I've missed you!!!)

It was then that I could return text messages and emails from dear friends in South Carolina about how I’m doing.
YES! IT'S GOING WELL! I’M "PLEASING PEOPLE WITH MY WORK!"

To make it even better, it’s about to be my first real weekend in New Orleans. Finally!!!

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go buy a Saints jersey.

-Jenny

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