New Job, First Week

One of the big upsides to the whole Whoa, We’re Going to Georgia Incident of 2014 was that a job I’d only dreamed of opened up just as I found out. Chances like this don’t happen twice in an overseas tour so I went into high gear researching the position description and polishing my CV and making sure it matched every point (oh, Daily Muse, it was a textbook example if I say so myself). I talked to colleagues, lobbied for myself (and called in reinforcements) when a wrinkle with our orders threatened to undo the whole thing, and rounded up recommendations. I procrastinated writing my writing sample then enjoyed a brainwave and hammered the thing out; jittered my way through the day of my interview, then sat down, made some notes about relevant experiences and then proceeded to remember them AND to ask an intelligent couple of questions at the end. Then I went back to being jittery while I waited for a result. I’m not sure much productive happened at The Job I Actually Had (up until then The Job I Really Loved) after I got the call that I got the call that I got The Job That I Really Wanted; I was just so happy.

Then came of a couple of months of doing all that stuff I wrote about already and then came actually moving to Georgia before beginning the Waiting For All The HR Stuff To Happen phase. Finally, last Monday I got up, put on my big girl clothes, and went to The Job I Have Been Waiting For. And here is how that went:

1. Wake up and discover the cold that seemed to be going away has come back with a vengeance.

2. Be very grumpy because this is the first cold I have had in over three years. What?! I thought I was cured of this – and I get sick for my first day of work at The Job I Really Want? No one calls in sick on their first day.

3. Really, no one calls in sick for work on the first day. GO TO WORK!!!

4. Arrive at work to discover that the only other person working on the same issues as me – also known as The One Who Knows Everything – has had to start maternity leave a little bit early and there is no overlap.

5. Discover that not only do we have seven hundred projects we are working on before Christmas, one of them is happening Right. NOW. And I am The One Who Knows Nothing At All. And who is stupid with a cold.

6. Fortunately there is Wonder-Intern who is more than able to tie on her cape and save the day all while graciously pretending I’ve added something meaningful to the process.

7. Not that I could have if I wanted to since computer access is not one of the things you are provided with on the first day.

8. Neither is a working phone.

9. By the end of Day One I have to restrain myself from audibly whimpering because I want to go home and burrow in my covers so badly.

10. Day Two brings more of the same only by this time my colleagues are mentally referring to me as Typhoid Mary and I am given the green light to take myself home in the early afternoon.

11. I do not get home in the early afternoon because I made the ill-advised decision to drive myself home. Several hours later, I finally got unlost and crawled under those covers again.

12. A two Benadryl night happily results in a return to The Land of the Living. I show up for work but cannot remember anything about Day Three. I suspect I spent it trying to figure out how you fit seven THOUSAND projects into a six week calendar.

13. Day Four is the day I’ve been looking forward to for months: I get to accompany a guest speaker to a series of lectures in the city. turns out to not only be phenomenally talented (one of his pieces is exhibited in The Chicago Art Institute! And I sat next to him in the car! And talked about my mom!) and hyper-intelligent, but also patient, humble, and immeasurably kind. He was the perfect visitor for a Person Who Does Not Know Her Job Yet to support. He deserved better but honestly was far to patient to ever mention it. Thank you, Michael!

14. Day Four is also when I learned what I figure will be the defining lesson of my tenure: Wash Your Hair Or Else One of the Most Popular TV Stations Will Ask You to Give Them a Surprise Interview. Ask me how I learned this one…

15. Relax, this one has a happy ending: I did not give the interview. I wisely found someone who knew what they were talking about and got them in front of the camera, and I called it good judgment and a job well-done.

16. Day Five was even better than Day Four – we got out of town to take our guest to visit a local development project: reWoven. It was a beautiful sunny day after lots of rain. Alas, typically, I recognized the sun and promptly forgot the rain and chose to wear regular professional shoes. Lesson Two: Rubber Wellies Are Your Friends; Do Not Neglect Them in the Closet. Still, mud washes off and we enjoyed a truly informative look at the traditional Caucasus rug weaving process.

A new carpet is born!

A new carpet is born!

17. Four Day Weekend! I needed all four to process what happened during the previous five days. Clearly if this threw me for a loop, my future as a Wall Street Floor Trader is bleak.

Today I returned from my weekend and happily got a handle on my schedule including all 70 THOUSAND projects looming over my head. I had a couple of conversations and got a good feeling for what my job is when we are not at panic stations, and left with a feeling that it is as I dreamed – an exciting mix of some of the best aspects of my last two jobs. Got a new project for us? No worries – I got this (just let me go wash my hair now).