Miles run yesterday: 4.5
Words written in my novel so far: 62,326
Times I have revised my resume since September: 12
Looking for a job back in corporate America of course makes me recall my early experiences with corporate America. I was in my mid-twenties, and my career stretched out in front of me with promise.
My first job after college was as a public relations assistant for the city schools. I loved it. But I was ready for something bigger; something where I could spread my wings and fly. So I applied for a new job.
Some jobs, like relationships, are doomed.
The fact that my car wouldn’t start as I left for the job interview should have been a huge red flag.
But I borrowed a generous friend’s car for the 40-minute drive, got the job, and went on to eventually wish I hadn’t.
On my second day of work, Hurricane Fran struck the Triangle. Our entire tri-city area was shut down. Trees lay across major highways, the power was out everywhere, and the newscasters were telling everyone to stay home.
But I had to go to work… I didn’t know my boss’s cell number (or, geez, if she even had a cell phone), and I didn’t yet know the protocol for what to do in an emergency situation.
So I drove through fallen limbs and debris, downed power lines and crushed cars to get to my new job.
Which was dark.
I tried going to HR to ask if they knew my boss’s number. But no one was there.
After waiting for a while to see if the power would come back on or people (any people!) would show up, I went home.
The job didn’t get much better after that.
One time, when my computer wasn’t working, I called in the IT help desk guy from next door.
“It would help if you plugged it in,” he said.
We did not have a close and meaningful relationship after that. In fact, I think he and his cohorts giggled every time they saw me.
My boss took a job at corporate about a month after I started and told me to move into her office immediately.
“I am telling you this to help you learn about the corporate world; I am helping you,” she said. “Move into my office now, and get situated. They won’t have the balls to move you out. Remember: possession is nine-tenths of the law.”
I moved in. It was a terrific office, especially for an almost-25-year-old. I had a big credenza, large desk, two nice “company” chairs and a fantastic swiveling desk chair. The office was freezing cold in both winter and summer, and I acquired a space heater from someone in HR that I had to hide when the office was inspected for fire safety. One time, I started getting weird burn marks on my legs, and I eventually figured out it was my heater.
The good news: there were Hershey’s kisses in a bowl on one of the secretary’s desks. I went to visit her when things got bad. I never could figure out why I put on five pounds that year.
One day, about a year and a half into the job, I was so tired. I was planning a wedding and working and couldn’t seem to get anywhere in the building without it taking supreme amounts of energy.
I looked down, and I was wearing TWO DIFFERENT SHOES.
They were both black pumps, but distinctly different heights. All day, I had been schlumping around the building, clomp-CLOMP, clomp-CLOMP.
When I had gotten ready for work that morning, I was trying not to wake up my almost-husband. I reached into the dark closet and pulled out two shoes. Not then and not until hours later did it occur to me that they could be two very different shoes.
When I left that job, I moved to a very similar job at another company… in a cubicle. It was the best cubicle I ever had. It was the best job I ever had. And every single thing about it was easier than the broken-down car/hurricane/great office/Hershey kiss job.
You better bet I appreciated it. Every day.
I donated one of my pairs of black pumps to Goodwill. And bought some navy blue ones with a wildly different texture. Lesson learned.