Friday, April 20, 2012

New Job=New Food

I started the new job on April 16, and I am proud to report that I haven't screwed it up! Seriously, things seems to be going well, despite a few awkward moments on my first day. Ya know, allergies attacking me during lunch with my boss, an exploding pen, a toilet that wouldn't flush, that kind of stuff.

Beyond those embarrassments the thing that really stands out to me is that this is the first job I've had in a while that isn't baptism by fire. With my previous jobs, I had to jump right into projects, assignments and other situations with little to no direction, guidance or background. With this position, I've actually had to sit and read, figure out computer issues, go to lunch, and meet with colleagues. Yes, I've had a few assignments, but my new boss has really given me the chance to settle in and that's a foreign concept for me. I feel like I should be doing something, creating something, or just doing anything to prove my value. Am I making a good impression? Are they having second thoughts? However, when my brain starts to go off the rails, I have to remind myself that I've only been there for five days and there's still a lot I don't know and understand. I'll figure it out and for the first time in a while, I really think I'm going to be OK

The other thing about the new job is that it's going to make me fatter than ever, and if I didn't care, that would be totally fine. My job is in downtown Silver Spring, Md. The downtown area got all revitalized back in 2004-2005 and it's now how to an epic number of glorious restaurants that are a five second walk from my office. Restaurant Row, as I like to call it, includes:

Chick-fil-a (Yaaaassss!)
Cold Stone
Red Lobster (Cheddar Biscuits!)
Macaroni Grill
Austin Grill
Lebanese Taverna
Panera Bread and many more!

As you can tell by my excitement, I'm definitely not at chain restaurant snob. I've eaten at a couple of these places, and I plan to sample as many of these eateries as possible. To understand my excitement you should know that the only places I had access to at my last job were a grocery store and a Domino's.

I know I can't eat out every day, but it's nice to have the option. It's even better to have a full-time job after 10 months of unemployment within walking distance of those options :)

Stay random,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Movin' on up, but still feeling stuck

Have you ever felt like you're making progress, but still stuck? I know that's contradiction, but I'm at a loss on how else to describe my current dilemma/good fortune.

I lost my job and had my car stolen in June 2011. I applied for HUNDREDS (I have documentation to prove it) of jobs and got 10 interviews total, including second interviews and staffing agencies. In early March, God blessed me with a part-time temp opportunity at a local university. In late March, God blessed me again with a permanent, full-time job that will start next week. So, just to review, I was jobless for 8.5 months before my part-time temp assignment and by the time I start my full-time job, it will be 10 months since I've had permanent employment.  Believe me, the recession is not a game and I am grateful God kept me.

Obviously I'm happy to have a job. The last 10 months have taken a physical, emotional and financial toll that I don't wish on anyone. But, as I prepare to re-enter the work world on a full-time basis, I find myself, well, bothered. I had to put a lot of things on hold because of my job loss, and you would think that with a job I would feel confident about hitting "play" instead of "pause." However, when I look around at everything I feel I have to do, I get overwhelmed, annoyed and anxious.

I need to study for the job. I need to finish this book on strategic thinking. I need to throw away TONS of papers, bills, books, magazines, etc., because my apartment is messy and the mess represents my life. On top of that, my confidence is shaky. Expectations are high and what if I screw up? When this perfect storm happens, I tend to shut down, which only makes the situation worse. Also, there are health issues that are always a concern, so much so that I have a doctor's appointment every day this week to address them so that I don't need to go to the doctor when I start my new job.

So, I'm moving forward job-wise, but there's so much going on that it doesn't feel like I'm making progress and that's putting me on edge. Does that make any sense? I hope it makes sense to someone else besides me.

Stay random,

Monday, April 2, 2012

Every THANG ain't got to be said!

First off, let me say that I'm not an old fart. I like technology, specifically social media. I appreciate it's impact and its ability to connect people and catalyze change. That being said, social media has a dark side that has nothing to do with bathroom mirror shots, porn or pictures of a person's dinner. Social media has given us another way to talk waaaaaaaay too much about absolutely nothing!

I remember what life was like before celebrity gossip blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc., and yet me and my fellow human beings managed to live our lives and be fairly productive citizens without the ability to publicly comment to the world about every random thing that somebody did or said. We also managed to get through life without publicly describing every tedious, mundane event in our daily lives. I mean, I truly don't care if you're eating ramen noodles while watching soap operas. Why do you need to tweet that? Why does the world need to know that you like sodium-laden noodles with no nutritional value and bad television? Chile, boo.

Why you got to comment on everything?

Social media gives us all an opportunity to connect through online conversations about an endless stream of topics. Social media has the power to ignite movements and topple politicians.  However, social media is also a forum for a lot of people to talk a great deal about things that don't matter, don't warrant extensive exchanges and don't justify the energy it takes to compose a tweet or a FB post. Kim Kardashian and her fellow familial famewhores don't matter. Drake's bitchassness doesn't matter.  The random '90s movie you're watching while lying on the couch eating Doritos doesn't freakin' matter. Yet, Twitter is filled with trending topics like these because people are talking about them...just because they can and just because it will show up in somebody's Twitter feed.

The same people who talk about all things shallow and stupid on Twitter/FB also are probably the same bitter folks who comment on a blog post by asking "Why is this news?" If you don't think it's news, why the heck are you commenting about it? Again, talking loud and saying NOTHING!

Yes, there are serious discussions about substantive issues and insightful commentary to be found on social media, yet too often that's a gross imbalance between the silly and serious and all that verbal diarrhea can be messy (ha!) and overwhelming. I'm not saying you can't talk about the silly and amazingly vapid, but do you have to talk about it so much, with the WORLD? Isn't that what talking to your friends, FACE-TO-FACE, is for? 

Honestly, I get the need to comment on and tweet/FB about everything that comes into your fool head to a certain extent. When you do these things, you're engaging in a conversation, conversations can be fun and who doesn't like to have fun? Butttt...are you talking about anything important? Are you adding anything to the conversation?  If the answer is no, that's fine. But if you're going to go worldwide with your thoughts via social media, just resist the urge to tweet or post that status update unless you have something interesting to say about something that matters. OK? Cool :)

Stay random,