Wednesday, April 09, 2008


When you start a new job, learning how to do the actual job is the least of your worries. You also have to know where the bathroom is, how long a break you can take, where to grab a quick lunch, what to do if the fire alarm goes off (especially if the safety vest and clipboard hanging on the wall in your cubicle give a strong indication that you are the new emergency coordinator), and a myriad other secondary, yet vitally important details.

Also, you have to make friends.

I like my next-door cube neighbor a lot. She's got a pretty cool sense of humor, but she's also not somebody you want to tangle with; as you know, one of the downfalls of standard cubicle life is that I'm intimately privy to most of her phone conversations. Which are necessary, work-related, and no louder than they need to be - don't get me wrong - but I can't escape hearing them.

She'd hear me, too, when I record certain information for our agency's 1-800 number. I go into a conference room to do it. I'm shy.

Today she needed to set up a Google account for some purpose, but was very leery about doing so. The new division is almost infinitely less idiotic about internet use than my old one. It's still idiotic, which is a fine illustration of a point you may have already gotten. She called over a woman from our IT department to ask if it was okay.

"Oh, do whatever you need to do," says the IT chick. "They can ask me if they have questions, but it's fine. Just don't start emailing all your boyfriends from your gmail account!" She walked off.

I couldn't let it go. "You can use GroupWise for that," I said, but it turned out that the IT woman wasn't out of earshot, and she came back, laughing. "But that would mean your boyfriends would have to be in this agency!" she exclaimed. "Eeeeeeeewwwwwwwww!"

I like her, too.

So I'm learning to fit in; I'm making friends and finding my niche. Someone came and played with the magnetic letters today. With any luck, "XMAS RABIES SAXOPHONE" is just the beginning. The homesickness is fading fast.

I can't figure out where I'm supposed to wash out my coffee cup, though.

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