Monday, March 17, 2008

Job Update - Two weeks down...

It has been a busy couple of weeks around here and I'm sorry I haven't updated you all on my job situation. Things are getting better every day. I have read more in the past two weeks than I have probably read in the past year. When I look bored or ask if there is anything I can look at, I get something new to read. Yippee. I realize that is the only way to get background information but I find it rather boring. I'm not much for sitting still and when you are reading that is about all you are doing.

But last week I did have a few tasks and I was taken to a few meetings... so things are looking up. Most people would find the tasks rather mundane and boring... but I was just happy to have ANYTHING real and tangible to work on. I have no clue what tasks I will have this week and hopefully that doesn't mean there is nothing for me to do. I knew from the start that I was coming in at a slow time but I don't think I have ever been this un-busy at a job in about ten years.

Oh well. The people are still great... the subject matter is interesting and I know that eventually they will give me more to do. They did hire me for a reason right? :-) In all seriousness, my boss told me that there is going to be some shuffling of duties around the first of April and after that I will have more responsibilities. So until then I just have to keep trying to impress him and make sure he realizes I can do it and would really like something to do. :-)

On the other side of things... this is going to be a busy week. I closed on my new house in my new town last Friday and I will be moving in this Friday. I am getting more excited (and stressed) about it... but I will share more about that as it gets closer to the end of the week.

Monday, March 3, 2008

First Day

Do you remember your first day of college? I do. I know it hasn't been that long ago (only 10.5 years ago) but I remember it vividly. I remember what I wore. I remember the car I drove to class. I remember where I parked my car and walking to my 8 AM Chemistry class. I remember breaking into a sweat and starting to panic when I could not find the building for my Chemistry class. I remember stopping someone on the quad and asking them which building it was (I am sure they thought I was a moron). I remember losing my footing on the stairs and sliding down about five stairs in my sandals. I remember being so glad that I did not fall on my rear end when I did that.

I made it through my Chemistry class and as soon as class was over I went back to my grandmother's house (where I was living and where my parents were still were helping me get settled). I went to my room crying because I wanted to go back home. I had changed my mind... I didn't want to go college... I wanted to go back home. I couldn't do it. Fortunately my parents did not let me do that and I adjusted... and I loved college so much.

Well today I felt a little bit like that. I was not late and I did not get lost (well not really... I did overshoot and go down the wrong hall on my way to the bathroom). I made it through the day without crying and I did tell my boss that I would be back when he jokingly asked if I was coming back tomorrow. But there is some part of me that wanted to run back to my old job and see if they would take me back. Nothing went wrong particularly, in fact the day really went okay. I just don't like change.

For the better part of ten years I had become the expert in my office on everything. Well not everything... but I did know most everything that was going on in the office. And today I walked into a world where I know nothing. I mean absolutely nothing. There is not a single thing about my old job that translates to my new job... except my ability to use a telephone and a computer. Seriously. I guess I should feel flattered that they think I can learn the new information... but for today, I am a bit overwhelmed.

And I'm not going to run back to my old job. The people in my new job are very, very nice and they don't expect me to know things yet. They are going to help me learn them but for now I am just going to have to accept being the dumb blond who is lost in a fog.

Fortunately I do have a friend from church and from graduate school who has worked with this group for about two years. He came in my office/cubicle this afternoon and said "has anyone even explained what we do?" I just smiled and just shook my head no. He took me to his office and for about 45 minutes I felt like I was not a moron. He explained things so that I understood them and while I am sure I did not retain all of the terms he threw at me, I was very thankful for him taking the time to explain some things to me.

So I made it through the first day. I am going back for day two and hopefully I will make it to day three. :-) I will keep you posted.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The End of an Era

Well "era" is probably too strong of a word... but Friday was my last day at my job. I have been there for four and a half years and almost ten years if you count the time I worked as a student. It has been a great experience for me but I have decided to move on. There are some parts of me that thought yesterday would never happen and I know that many of my family and friends were not sure I would ever leave... but I did leave... and Monday starts a new phase in my life.

But let's back up to Friday first. Friday was time for my going away party! I really do not like being the center of attention, so I was a little nervous about the party. I got even more nervous when people started asking me what I was going to say in my speech (you mean I have to give a speech?!?!). And my nerves reached a new level when they closed me in my office and said, "wait here until we come and get you."

When they did come and get me I was brought into a room filled with people who I knew and who I had worked with over the past ten years. Most were faces from my immediate office area, others had traveled several hours to be there. I was blown away!! I was expecting a small party with a few people, maybe a cake and maybe a small gift. They totally exceeded my expectations.
This was the most unexpected face that I saw.

I'm not sure if anyone remembers this post from last December but this is my retired trooper friend, Captain K, who I was so surprised to see at the conference last year. I did not squeal this time... but only because I had a room full of people staring at me. He traveled several hours just to be there yesterday, just for me. That made me feel very special. It was so thoughtful of the people who organized the party to think to invite him and it was so sweet of him to make the effort to be there.

My best friend Leslie was of course there...

I know I will see her plenty even after I move, so yesterday is certainly not going to be the last time I see her.

Over the past year or so, I have gotten to be very good friends with our Administrative Assistant Elizabeth.

I am going to miss her a lot and I think she is going to miss me as well. We are right about the same age and so we have had no trouble finding things to talk about and laugh about at work. I am sure we will stay in touch after I move as well.

I don't have pictures of everyone but I do have one more to share. This is one of my professors from undergrad, Dr. Dan. I have known him since I was a little kid and he was friends with my grandparents. Whether he knows it or not, he has been a big influence on my life over the years.

The folks that organized the party totally outdid themselves. Here was the cake that they got... it was huge and quite tasty.

Given that I work with a relatively small group, there were lots and lots of people that came to the party and I was happy to see each and every one of them.

I got two beautiful gifts from the group. I got a beautiful Lenox crystal vase and I will think of them every time I see it. I think I already know the perfect spot for it in my new house. I also got this great framed print.

It is a notable landmark on campus and it will look great hung with my college diplomas. Leslie also got me a sweet Willow Tree figurine of two friends. It is very special to me and is already sitting on my fireplace.

I did make it through my speech, although it was completely off the top of my head. I should have prepared a little more for that but it turned out okay. The party was a lot of fun and for the record, I did not cry. I almost cried during Dr. Dan's speech and during Captain K's speech but I held it together. There are certain things that will always make me cry but apparently this is not one of them. No one is dying, no one is sick, no ones dog died... I am just moving on. It will of course be different but I feel like I will see all of these people again one day. And with the world of communication where it is, staying in touch is so much easier than it was even a few years ago.

So on Monday morning, I won't be going to the same office where I have been going every day for the past four and a half years. I won't be seeing the same faces I am accustomed to seeing. Here are a few of the faces I am accustomed to seeing every morning. These are some of the programmers that I have worked with.

I am sure I will see them all again, but for now I will have to make new friends, find new people to laugh with, new people to bounce ideas off of, new people to complain to, and new "work" friends to have adventures with. I will be the new girl who knows nothing, knows no one and won't even know where the bathroom is. It's a little scary... and a little sad... but I think it is for the best. At least I sure hope so.