I Love My New Job

Let’s talk about my new job for a minute.  I’m pretty happy in my new digs.  I’m a pretty happy person overall, so it isn’t a surprise really, but it is very hard to leave your *people* and adjust to new surroundings.  If anyone can do it, I surely can mostly because I don’t meet strangers.  Also remember that I’ve done this before. 

When I came to Nashville lo those many years ago, it was for a job in an engineering firm.  I had been working in the insurance industry where you had to be “people-oriented” but was now ensconced in an engineering firm where “people-oriented” was more of a foreign language.  I learned quickly that I had made an excellent decision in choosing to work at this particular firm but I also learned quickly that engineers think differently than I do. 

I can hear some of you saying, “EVERYBODY thinks differently than you, Jimmie.  Not everyone wants all glitter, all the time, nor do we spend copious amounts of hours pondering the rigid, bulging muscles in Dwayne Johnson’s arms.”  I give you that although I really feel like my head is a nice place to be.  BUT here I’m talking about fundamental differences, the very core of our thought processes.  Let me explain.  Engineers think in waffles.  Their thought process is very structured and organized and everything has its place.  That’s how they think.  I, on the other hand, think in spaghetti.  On the surface it looks like a jumbled mass of goo but really it is very tasty and filling.  It gets the job done.  Often you have leftovers and those are even better the next day! That’s how I think.  

While working at my first engineering firm, I ran across a nice man, Chuck, who was a good engineer.   We chatted often, agreed that I was his favorite and eventually he moved away for a better opportunity.  Before he left, though, he gave me a parting gift.  Except I didn’t know it.  See, I came in to work one day, logged onto my computer and tried my very best to get down to business.  I kept having trouble with my mouse, though.  It wouldn’t track much and when it did it would fly wildly and jerkily all over the screen.  Because I am not technically inclined, I called our IT department to figure out what was going on.  (Let me say here that the first thing I do in any new job situation is to bake the IT department cookies.  I realize that I break an awful lot of stuff and ask an awful lot of stupid questions so to butter them up before I even get started, I feed them.  It works well.  You should try it.) 

Anyway, I was on the phone with my favorite IT guy and he kept saying, “Jimmie, it’s very hard to hear you.  Can you speak up?”  So I did, increasingly so as the conversation progressed because he was having great difficulty understanding me.  The louder I spoke the better it was but it was still a difficult conversation.  So now you have the picture: me, yelling into my phone for an inordinately long time about my stupid spastic mouse in a manner where everyone in the office could hear me, and trying to explain in Jimmie-terms what I thought was wrong with it.  Do you know how long it took for someone to kindly point out that my phone and mouse had been taped?  About ten minutes.  Do you know how long it would have taken me to figure that out on my own?  Forever.  Swift on the uptake, is what I am.  Anyway, Chuck fessed up to it and I was never more shocked in all my life.  Sweet little old waffle-thinking Chuck had played a practical joke on me.  Hahahahahahahahaaaa!

Then I moved over to the next engineering firm with Boss and that’s where someone played the Hall and Oates joke on me.  Sweet little old waffle-thinking Sean, I suspect, who is about the nerdiest/nicest person you will ever meet.  And sweet little old waffle-thinking Keith kept moving my pink sparkly dragon everywhere. Hahahahahahahahaaaaa!  Engineers.  A constant surprise.

Now I work with people in the corporate office of a home health agency.  A lot of my co-workers are of the accountant persuasion and I suspect that like engineers, they think in waffles.  Lovely people, really very nice, but I’m not so much of a numbers person as I am a words person and I can only imagine how they feel about the whirlwind that is me invading their very structured, very quiet space every day.

Last week the office manager sent out an email requesting people to clean out the fridge.  If you wanted to keep something you had to name it and date it as your own, otherwise it was going in the trash.  I launched myself to the kitchen to preserve my lone container of yogurt, and then later, she and I dumped everything else into the trash.  It was very liberating.  Kind of like throwing a planned hissy fit with food.  Afterwards, I lovingly placed my named and dated yogurt on the empty shelf in the empty fridge for a later time.

Monday afternoon was the perfect time for my yogurt, I decided, but when I went to retrieve it, it was gone.  I scoured the three items left in the fridge to no avail.  Someone took my yogurt.  I immediately emailed my friends about it with the question, “What is wrong with people?!”  I never suspected that any of my nice new co-workers would steal my yogurt and I was really quite offended.    Steal my chocolate cake?  Yes, I get that.  Steal my sugar-free, fat-free yogurt?  Not so much.

Do you know on Wednesday afternoon I rummaged around in the now fuller fridge and found my named and dated yogurt?  Y’all, I promise you it was not there Monday or Tuesday.  There is no way I could have missed it amongst the three items that were in there.  Yet there it sat.  So I immediately emailed all my friends about it.  Lynnette, smart cookie that she is, suggested sweetly that someone had played a trick on me?  And now that I’ve thought about it, I think she may be right.  Once again, I was blinded by waffles which should really just become the euphemism for my life.  I now have a strange and growing respect for these accountant-type people, much like I did for the engineer-type people.  Who knew that numbers and words could get along so well!

A final note about why I love my new job.  Two Thursdays ago I had a meltdown.  A bad one.  I’m thrilled beyond belief to have a job that I enjoy, a paycheck, and to find that things are getting back on track. But I’ve had a rough couple of months and I guess the relief combined with lingering worry and my squealing brakes (another story) just took over.  I threw the mother of all tantrums, then cleaned up my wonky eyes and went to work.  I guess that my 40-year-old face does not recover as quickly as my 20-year-old face used to and all day, co-workers kept checking on me, asking if I was alright.  I didn’t take my tantrum to work but the evidence was still there apparently.  So on Friday, two of the nicest co-workers evah played another trick on me.  One of them walked me down the hall to “talk” while the other put this on my desk: 

How nice is that?  I think that like me, they too think in spaghetti and I must say, it’s nice to find some kindred spirits. 

I’m kind of hongry now.  Italian, anyone?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Madre
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 09:14:51

    What’s not to love, you are eyeryones Favorite. I remember (was it Middle School days) when Martie looked at me and said: “You love Jimmie more
    than you love me” and I could only reply: “Of course I do, I’ve known her longer”
    Hugs, you are both awesome young ladies !!!


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