I was lucky enough to find a position as a proofreader for a respectable company. I'll admit I was pretty nervous about returning to an office environment. What if they didn't appreciate my keen fashion sense or somewhat off-color sense of humor? What if I went in the first day and they all laughed at (not with) me? What if the office coffee gave me gas?
My first challenge was the commute. Not only was it long (and keep in mind, I've been used to driving about 8 miles to the bookstore) but I had to face a lot of Connecticut and Massachusetts drivers. As you may be aware, these are two states not known for their considerate and respectful driving habits. Traffic was horrible, one guy drove all the way from Hartford to Marlborough with no lights on at night during a snow squall, and the pot holes threatened to eat my tires alive. I now have significantly less patience and more gray hairs.
I noticed those new gray hairs under the fluorescent lighting of the huge bathroom at work. What a nice change from the last office I worked in, which had one toilet and some people who didn't always lock the door when they were in there! My new place has at least eight stalls, and scented hand lotion right near the sink. I was getting spoiled. Fast.
In the kitchen (and to my former co-workers, let me report that there are three refrigerators and three microwaves just for one department!) I found what was clearly the holy grail of office perks: Pop Tarts™ . A variety of flavors, a toaster to heat them in, and a little donation jar if you want to contribute to the tart fund! Why did I bring oatmeal for breakfast? No worries, though: I threw out my salad and ate brown sugar and cinnamon toaster pastries for lunch instead.
I was assigned my own cubicle, and told I could decorate it any way I saw fit. The only drawback was that if I valued my life, I should probably stay away from New York Yankees pennants and memorabilia. Sadly, I was in Red Sox country, and I'm too new to start stirring up trouble. (Yet.) I worked around it, though, and now I have a bright, cheery cubicle decorated with pictures of Duran Duran, Freddy Kreuger, my family, and Richard Hatch. I love this place!
Nobody interrogates me when I get up to use the bathroom, I don't have to send anyone a list of what I'm working on as soon as I come in for the day, and I haven't once gotten in trouble for wishing a fellow co-worker good morning. It's been quite a refreshing change from my last position. The only downside is that my entire first week's paycheck has found its way into the Pop Tart™ fund. Plus I've already gained ten pounds. And the office coffee does, in fact, make me a little gassy. But since it's just me and Duran Duran in my cubicle, who cares?
Next week, I'll probably explore how to do my job. But for now, so far, so good!