12.11.2008

Starting a New Job

We McBlogger sisters are moving up in the world – Meg is this close to finding a job and moving into my apartment so she can experience DC life first-hand and I can shack up with the BF in VA (but that’s another post) and I got a new job 3 weeks ago! That’s right, who’s got two thumbs and no longer gets to read Go Fug Yourself for hours at a time? This guy!

Starting a new job is kind of like transferring to a new high school mid-way through the year. I’ve never done that mind you, but I can just imagine that’s what its like. Cliques are already formed, people already have their lunch buddies, and everyone knows that at this particular work place it’s just so totally uncool to put pics of your friends out on your desk – they just never told you.

Inevitably you’ll have like, two friends – the one kid who lives in your neighborhood that you met when your parents forced you to go introduce yourself and the guidance counselor, because it’s her job to make sure you’re doing fine and you got to know each other during the transfer process. In my case, my two friends are the Executive Chef because he and I worked together at a previous job and the HR lady because, well, it’s her job to make sure I’m doing fine and we got to know each other during the hiring process. Being friends with the Chef is kinda cool – I always know what we’re having for lunch in the employee cafeteria (I TOLD you its like high school!) but I think that’s kinda backfired since a large part of his and my shared job is to buy new platters and china for the catering department and to decorate the restaurant and bar for the holidays. So I guess its like I happened to luck out and the one kid in my neighborhood just happens to be the coolest kid in school therefore making everyone jealous – while they’re trying to book rooms for inauguration so they don’t get yelled at by the owners I am taking field trips to Crate + Barrel and debating the merits of glass platters vs. bamboo.

The HR lady, well, what can I say. She’s lovely, really. Slightly out of touch with pop culture but very sweet and kind and caring, just like an HR professional should be. [Editors note – she just came into my office and asked for my key to something. I, because I am a hilarious human being, made a Ghostbusters gate-keeper, key-master reference. She thought I made it up. Oy.] The downside of that is when she suggests doing things like volunteering at a homeless shelter as a company-wide activity her enthusiasm is all contagious and shit and the next thing I know I’m all “ok that would be great!” and sign up. And then I look at the posted sign-up sheet and its like, me, her, and a few other managers, mostly the ones I hear at lunch talking about Jesus and which pastor is their favorite. Oops. I kinda feel like I just joined the AV Club because one of the members told me I would get to miss a lot of class but then realized too late that, oh crap, I just joined the AV Club. You know who’s definitely not going to the homeless shelter? The only two co-workers who are my age.

Actually, I take that back. They are not my age, as they were so eager to point out. Ladies, this is one of the more obnoxious things ever said to me; if you’re over 27 you may feel me, if you’re under 27, don’t say I didn’t warn you: on day 2 of employment I am chatting with female co-worker about working out. We’re discussing how, the older you get, the harder it is to get in shape. I innocently mention that my goal is to be in the best shape I can be before I turn 30 so it’ll be easier to get back to after I have kids (I can’t believe that’s a viable thought of mine - another post). I point out that this leaves me 1.5 years to get there. “Oh I guess I owe Billy a coffee!” she exclaimed. Um, come again? Turns out she and male co-worker had a bet – a fucking bet about how old I was. She thought 24 (I love her), he said there was no way I was under 28. What??? And she, being all of 26, told me this all matter-of-factly, clearly unaware of how upsetting this would be to a 28 year old. I saw him later in the cafeteria and tried to hide my humiliation/rage by making a joke about he owed me coffee since he won the bet. “Yeah” he said, “I knew there was no way you were under 28, you just don’t look it.” OH. MY. GOD. Aarogant prick. I am beginning to think they’re doin’ it and that’s why they never invite me to get coffee/eat lunch/chat casually/make eye contact (sniff) – I’ll just be over here with my walker and my Geritol.

Remember when you were in middle school and wearing pinch-rolled jeans and rugby shirts from Britches was cool? And then you got to high school and that was definitely NOT COOL? That’s sort of what I’m working with here. For the past 6 years I’ve had jobs where funky creative outfits were expected of me. I would have been ripped on hardcore for wearing a two-piece suit unless one piece was made of leather and the other was hot pink. I practically lived in skinny jeans and oversized sweaters last winter. So imagine my surprise when we get to the “Maintaining the Proper Dress Code” section at my new employee orientation. Let me tell you what is mandatory: name tag; closed toe shoe; jacket. My bracelets may not jangle, my haircut must follow the natural contour of my head (huh?) and I may only wear one ring per hand. I can wear neither denim nor corduroy; apparently my shoulders are offensive. Thankfully I was going through this process with another new employee who happened to be a sassy black lady. Poor HR lady didn’t even know what we were talking about as we demanded to know if “closed toe” applied to peep toe shoes, and what the policy was on patterned tights and tall boots. I’ve never argued for anything so eloquently in my life as I did for the inclusion of peep toe shoes. I can no longer dress myself in the morning. I have no clue what looks professional and what will make me look like a total goober. I try on, conservatively, three outfits a morning. I’ve made some serious missteps trying to incorporate old favorites such as a great cowl neck sweater dress: in case you were wondering it does NOT look good with a blazer and pumps. I spend most days running out the door in what I know is a substandard outfit and then silently hating everyone else who looks put together with their cool blazers and fun necklaces. Ass hats.

Oh and you know what else is tough at the new job - I have no clue what people are talking about. The new job is in a hotel and there is some serious hotel lingo that is way beyond me. I will literally sit in meetings and not have any of idea of what is going on. The first time this happened someone pointed to a hand out in front of me that was a pie chart showing the same thing being spoken about; well, not only was it really embarrassing that I didn’t even know the pie chart and the discussion were about the same damn thing, looking at the pie chart didn’t help me follow along at all. NOT AT ALL! People ask me about the rev max of the pick-up and how it will affect the +3 and I just look at them all slack-jawed and confused. We have an Executive Committee meeting once a week – and I’m on it, which is so bizarre – and I have to read a fairly large report and I sound retarded. Like, the kid who’s in special ed but gets to take normal kid math or something but everyone in the normal kid class knows I really belong in special ed so they just kind of look sympathetically at me while I stutter and then immediately ignore me once I am done. The other day the GM of the hotel came up to me to tell me I was doing a really good job and she had that look on her face where I KNOW she would have donated money to my Special Olympics team had I asked her.

So to sum up, at this point I have no friends except dorks, the people I want to be friends with think I’m old, I dress poorly, and I appear to be mildly retarded. And the worst part – I just signed an HR document promising to not read or write blogs at work. SHIT.

3 comments:

CK said...

becca. congrats on the job, which sounds pretty primo actually. i have one piece of advice, however, if you want to make more friends. maybe don't talk about your love of the snuggie.

just a thought.

2 Birds, 1 Blog: The sardonic voice of 20-somethings everywhere, Monday through Friday. said...

OH SHIT! OH SHIT! you just got served!

although your co-workers sound like real a*holes, so maybe they'd respect you more as a snuggie-lover.

James Lackey said...

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