Well, damn-it, if Hilda is going to Blog for NaBloPoMo, then I shall not be left in the cold. I'll blog, too. I'm not quite sure what I'll blog about as I am afraid to post my real thoughts for world consumption. I guess since I'm no longer able to keep my email, FB, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts separate from the each other and thus me, I'll take the plunge and hope I don't get fired or end-up the scourge of the online world for being an ass. Personally, I've always liked to sit back and observe for a while. I like to hover around the surface of things until I've known you for a few months. It makes me feel more comfortable about things. I am not a shy person, I'm just cautious - a bit superficial until I've know you for a while. Blogging is contrary to my theory of initial superficiality so I start this with a bit of trepidation.
This all makes me think of my first job right out of college. I was completely traumatized by the culture that is Corporate America. Everyone talks about each other non-stop and I was not prepared. This was 1992 and people could still smoke into those vacuum cleaner ashtrays that did nothing. My immediate co-worker was near retirement, no one liked her, she was a museum docent with limited skills, a grown daughter who was a former pageant star. She was a woman with an arsenal of polyester dresses that held-on to her body odor who taught me how to write an inner-office memo and how to cc:, and to document everything. There is not a day that goes by that I do think of her, either. So there I was, college graduate, with her first job that she may have gotten because the original hire might have died or been put on a container ship to South America. I had a salary and I worked with people who were quickly turning out to be Republican, middle-aged, corporate-shills. I didn't know how to handle myself so I decided not to make any real friends at work and keep to myself. I kind of hid-out in my office and took walks on my lunch hour and chatted about the weather in an effort to avoid people. It worked for a month or two. However, one particular man kept inviting me to lunch with "the gang," an offer I always refused. They'd go for Chinese, a big group of them, Marta from accounting goes. It's fun to get out, he told me. So after a few months, he wore me down and caught me at a weak moment and I joined the big group for lunch much to the screams of my inner-voice telling me to run away. (Don't worry - this is not the kind of story that involves Brenda Star being lead to a hotel room with a sleazy snatch-hound.) This is a story that ends with me at a Chinese restaurant with the "lunch gang" - a group of four. The gang it turns out, were the basement dwelling computer programmers who weren't allowed to leave the building. That department alone fulfilled the company ADA due to personality issues, and their supervisor might have been an evil dictator. They were all men. They were all old. They were all quirky, and they did not talk to others. It was not a good lunch. It was an awkward lunch that involved excessive quantities of tea being poured into my cup and on the tablecloth. It did, however, allow me to make my first friends at work because when I told my supervisor, she told her friend, and we all laughed until my supervisor nearly cried. It forced me out of my hiding place.
I do hope this blog goes better and does not become my second Chinese lunch. Excuse my punctuation and welcome to 123 3rd Street. I promise not to hide.