Saturday, July 12, 2008

Technophobe in a Techno World - FIVE ALIVE!!

I want to thank everyone who put up with my crap when I started working at my new job (well it has been almost 6 months so “new” is stretched a bit). The transition from being unemployed to hauling my ass to a 9-to-5 gig was almost catastrophic. By the end of the first month I was ready to pack up my pictures and split. I wagered selling my house (in a dead market) and working at Starbucks (for the benefits).

Thankfully I made it through and now, though I would prefer to work from home and do my own thing, I actually like my job. Right off the bat I, of course, love it since it gives me money to stay in my home, have a pretty good life and a peace of mind when it comes to security and finances. Just next time I am released from Corporate America, I will do more than worry about the albatross of “what-if” around my neck.

Here are the top nine reasons I like my job (in no particular order):

  • In order to really enjoy Happy Hour you need to have something to get away from. Happy Hours without working were OK, but with working they are a relief, a pardon from the prison of the daily grind. To meet up with other sorts at Georgies, have a martini or two and stroll out when the sun is still shining and I am all dark is a surreal joy in its own right. I love sharing anecdotes with friends who work at my old place of business or other jobs and find out it is all the same everywhere. At Happy Hour even the marrieds and the parents become just people again and bask in the camaraderie of just being a poor working-class sap.
    This can also be doubled as “Weekends.”
  • New fodder for stories. My old job had quite a few characters from the persnickety “I will argue any grammar question to death” editor to the half-witted blonde Republican bimbo “I voted for Bush because he’s cuter” to the paranoid sociopath who was sure the government was plugged directly into his brain and watching all his actions, but that never stopped him from spending all day in chatroom rants and yelling into the phone about the price of gold. Now there are new stories, though no one seems quite as weird. There is the drama queen who I hear walk by and explosively express her latest tragedy. Plus the new sagas of dates and love lives that I missed before (I used to work with a lot of marrieds). The stories now are more dynamic and full of heart, like the woman who told us that her husband’s first wife died of an aneurism the day after giving birth to their daughter. Heart felt and real.
  • Learning new skills. Before I used to put out fires all day and deal with prima donna sob stories. Now I am learning more about print media, honing my writing skills and becoming a better writer, as well as getting a touch of insight into designing. I research and write articles for a magazine that is sent out to over 50,000 subscribers, I create brochures and newsletters for big companies and small mom-and-pop shops, I develop creative ad ideas and work on new initiatives that are constantly in demand in the tech world. It is giving me quite a portfolio.
  • Going to the gym. I was spending my lunch times at the gym and that repetitive dynamo is partially to blame for my poor ankle. The debate rages on about going back since I wasn’t very pleased with it before. Especially in the weight-training area. The buffoons that entertain the masses with their Andrew Dice Clay humor annoy my sensibilities. Plus it is full of skinny people who give me glare that I don’t belong, or maybe that is just an old feeling I need to drop. Either way, it is a nice option to have.
  • Renewing old friendships. Twenty years ago Effie and I worked together at Ross. We were both in college and living at home using our wages for discounted clothes and going out. Now we share a large cube, are around the 40 range with homes, budgets and a new perspective. It was a great joy to see her and by day 2 we recognized one another making that part of my assimilation easier. There is also a guy here who I used to date about nine years ago. He wasn’t such a great find, and even too boring to pluke, but every now and then we say “Hi” in the hall. What a small world.
  • Making new friends. I am all about being social and developing friendships. Renee has become my newest friend. We seemed to have hit it off pretty easily and I really appreciate her wisdom, her sense of humor and her outlook on life. Some say “You never have friends like you did when you were a kid” which may be true. The friendships I have now are deeper, more spiritual and some that I believe will last for the rest of my life.
  • Commuting time gives me an opportunity to knit. Don’t worry I am not one of those multi-tasking bitches putting on makeup, texting and talking to the kid in the back seat as I drive. I knit, and sometimes read, when I am at a stand still. I drive a straight shot from work to home, and it is a city road so there are a plethora of lights. The swarm of traffic makes my exit take a while waiting for sometimes the third round of “Green Red” to run its course. So instead of getting angry I knit. Usually I work on headbands or belts, things that are simple. I feel more at ease when I get home and appreciate that I am allowed to be a bit more creative during the day.
  • I get a week of chances to be girly. Lately I have had to tone down my wardrobe wearing pants and flats due to my crippleness. But when I wasn’t working I lived in shorts and tees and melting makeup. I dressed up when we went out, but that was only once or twice a week. I like the option of going through my wardrobe and being pretty all day. Though I really would like to do more, but it’s flats from now on, at least most of the time. Plus I get to see a fashion show every day from the perfect business suits to the cheapest ho dresses all up and down the halls. I absorb the fashions and makeup tips as I see them and weigh their options when it comes to me. I really missed that.
  • Finally, I am just pleased with the fact that people work as a team here. At my last job I worked around, and with, back-stabbers, nags and just downright evil people. Not all of them, but there were one or two that spoiled it for everyone. There was the spoiled princess who tried to sabotage her co-workers and withhold information causing panic in her team. Then there was the clique of “Mean Girls” who played the role of sweet things from the Type-A mom to the stylish, but not too smart bimbette to the learned scholar and religious zealot who formed a club to terrorize a team mate because they were jealous of her looks and confidence. Lastly the smattering of negative wordsmiths could bring even the most optimistic person down. At my new job, we work as a team, there are no apparent jealousies and lots of laughter, even when we are all slammed. It’s such a better environment to be a part of.

So that is my list. Lengthy, but true and from the heart. It isn’t a permanent 10 year gig or even 5 for that matter, but for now it works for me. You never know, by next year, I could be my own boss. But for now it is better for me to like and appreciate where I am than to fight it. And that isn’t too hard to do.