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Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

Because sometimes a status update just isn't enough.

04 February 2013

The one with the job

*Author's note:  No NorthEasterners were injured in this blog.  Offended, possibly... but not injured.  


So after almost two years of life-sucking unemployment, I finally got a J-O-B.

(Go ahead and bask in the glow of the awesomeness of my announcement... I'll wait.)

I can't tell you what it is or go into too much detail (because I was hired by the CIA) but suffice it to say, I am once again a useful member of society.

Dear Walmart,

I'm sorry you didn't feel I was worthy of being hired by your store.  The State of New York, however, doesn't have your high standards and snapped my ass right up for twice the pay and 100 times the dignity.

Love,

Dani

Actually, I was hired over a month ago, but because of the highly confidential and Top Secret status of my new employment (I'm officially a Ninja), I had to have a background check (which included me having to list every.single.address I've inhabited over the past 28 years... no lie), show excessive amounts of proof that I am who I said I am and can do what I said I can do, get fingerprinted and then wait for the results of THAT to come back...

I was so stressed, y'all.

Because I'm always afraid there's something dark and heinous in my past that I don't know about.  And even though I've been fingerprinted 56430595712 times before, I'm always positive that this time, the truth will come out.

And it will be baaaaad.

I mean, as far as I know, I'm a law-abiding citizen who never even eats grapes in the produce section of the grocery store because that's stealing.  I've never been arrested (or have I??), never had to hide from the law (wait... did I??), and have only had one speeding ticket in my entire life, where I was going 57 in a 55 in Medford, Oregon, and the cop was such a dick that he made me cry.  

(Word to the wise:  Don't speed in the state of Oregon.  As Officer Asshole said to me, "55 means 55, young lady.  It don't mean 56 and it don't mean 57."  Officer Asshole was highly quotable, as you can well see.)






So anyway, for almost a month I worried myself sick about what my fingerprints and background check would turn up.

Did I rob a bank at gun point??

Am I a remorseless bigamist??

Pirate?  Renegade?  Lawless Vigilante???  

Did I shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die???


As it turns out, no.  I didn't do any of those things (dammit).  And if I did, they haven't found out yet, or I was clever enough not to leave prints.  Because I was cleared for hire.


Suck it, skeletons in my closet.


And my training starts tomorrow.



I'm nervous and excited.  I'm excited because I will be doing something rather new, but that I feel confident I'll be good at.  (Ninja-ing.  I will kick ASS at Ninja-ing.)

I'm nervous because what if I don't remember how to act in public??  It's been so long since I've been in a work environment... what if I accidentally say "fuck!" at an inappropriate time??  What if I lean to the side and casually eke out a fart because I forgot I'm not the only person in the room??  What if all I can talk about is the morning programming on TV Land and no one else cares what's happening on Murder She Wrote??  What if I start talking and can't stop???


These are all very legitimate concerns, let me assure you.  


My former co-workers in California were used to me talking non-stop, for hours at a time.  As evidenced by my blog, I am an over-sharer and have very limited boundaries, as far as what I deem to be conversation-worthy.  (Everything.  Everything is conversation-worthy.  Except sex.  I don't talk about sex.  Except with people I know and feel comfortable with, which is pretty much everyone.  SHIT.)  But this is the east coast and people here don't find me charming.  They find me overly relaxed, overly friendly, and quite frankly, I scare them when I say hi and start talking about the weather.  My California-ness, it appears, is not appreciated in this neck of the woods.

But I don't know how to be anything else.


I always thought that the west coast/east coast stereotypes were just that... stereotypes with little basis on reality.

This may shock you, but I was wrong.

I am a fish out of water.  And I look like one.

My personality, which I personally find delightful, is considered to be slightly less than that in most northern New York circles.  Some even find me annoying.  

This just in, California:  We really are pretty chill.  Maybe not to the degree that we're portrayed in Coming Of Age college movies, but chill none-the-less.  We speak more slowly, we laugh more easily, we're friendlier and let's face it, not the tight-asses our East Coast cousins may or may not be.  (Totally are.)

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

East Coasters are proper.  They are in a hurry, they are rude (they prefer "blunt" but I'm here to tell you... you're rude) and  believe the rules of the road are merely a suggestion.  They say what they mean, mean what they say, and say very little else.  

It's maddening for a girl who can carry on a 2 hour conversation with absolutely anyone and only talk about superficial things, like shoes.

I can talk my ASS (and yours) off about shoes.


An example of a conversation that really happened:

Scene

The living room, watching the news with Dan and his parents.


Catalyst

Badly dressed, homely woman with hideous hair being interviewed about something or other that was apparently news-worthy.


Dan and his parents:  *discussing whatever the woman was being interviewed about*


Me:  "That haircut is soooo not flattering for her."


Dan and his parents:  *looking at me as if I'd sprouted another head*


Me:  "What?  Her hair is awful.  Why do people insist on wearing the same hairstyle they've had since 1982?  Don't they notice that fashion has changed and no one else in the entire freaking world still has feathered bangs?"


Dan:  "Is that seriously all you got out of that?"


Me:  *feeling uncomfortable, since even Captain Asperger is stunned by my lack of empathy*


Long story short, I don't talk about news and current events any more.


So flash backward to my job interview:

I was on my best behavior.  I didn't laugh too much, I didn't crack any jokes... All I could think about was the episode of Friends where Phoebe helps Chandler practice for his interview.  In my head I was all, "Please don't say duties... please don't say duties..."

(If you don't know what I'm talking about then I'm sorry, but we can't be friends.  Can't be Friends... get it?  Bwa ha ha!)




(In case you still want to be friends but also want to know what I was referring to.)


I was hired on the spot.  (I know, right?  I was surprised, too.)

I've had several meetings with various supervisors in preparation for when I start (should I turn out not to be a felon after all) and even though they are all very nice and sweet, there is one thing missing from all of them:

The ability to not take me literally.


And this is a theme I've noticed in almost every conversation I've had with almost every person I've ever met here:


They allll take me literally.


I need to have a card printed up that I can just hand people before we begin our conversations:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I'm full of shit.  Don't listen to me.  

Love,

Dani



Deal with it.





11 comments:

  1. So maybe my problem he in central. New York. Is that I am a Californian trapped in this body, as I get that stink eye when I try to be friendly/chatty. I guess I am the crazy one to assume that being a cashier could get dull and talking to some random lady about anything might be a swell way to make three minutes fly faster. Please feel free to travel a few hours south to join us in the house of sarcasm anytime...literally, anytime! Good luck in you new endeavor, by the way! :)

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  2. Oh man, I want to be a professional Ninja!! Do I need to move up to NY for that? Because I totally will!

    I had a colleague of mine that I've worked with for the last 10 years tell me the other day that he doesn't know when I'm joking. I jokingly told him he needed to kick the door down and demand money at a meeting, and he started spouting off about how that wasn't a good idea, yada yada, and I was all . . . dude, kidding. The 2 other people in the room totally got that I was kidding by the way. I mean, when am I ever serious? Seriously. Sheesh!

    And congrats on the new job. Starting tomorrow, huh? Does this mean no more constant and incessant FB updates during the day? Huh. I'm not sure I'm ok with that. ;)

    And I got the duties joke. We can still be Friends, right? Hello? Dani? Are you still not speaking to me today? Just remember . . . I still love you!! :D

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  3. Oh, no's. Back in the real world of work....the horror! However, work as a Professional Nija will be cool, so that's okay.

    Seriously, WHAT is it with Oregon cops? i got a speeding ticket there too, years ago. They definately don't fool around...in any way, shape or form...ha!

    Anyhow, truly love your blog! :)

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  4. Congrats on the ninja job! I'm sure they'll all find you charming :)

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  5. Congrats on the job!!

    What part of New York state do you live in?? I thought you were out in the boonies, with the rednecks, but it sounds like you are among Normal East Coast people.

    We rednecks will talk to you all damn day about shoes, weather, and bad hair, or whatever else you want to to talk about, especially if the conversation eventually leads to firearms and/or the consumption of alcohol, because whether we've been talking for ten minutes or two hours, we're friends now and you're coming out drinking. Later we'll shoot things in the back yard and it'll be totally awesome.
    (Can you tell how well I fit in here in Rich-Bitch-County NJ??)
    -____-

    Can't wait to hear tales of this new job. :D

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  6. Yay for a new job and more money! After the first couple of days, you'll feel more comfortable and know that you do remember how to act in public.

    Being hired on the spot is pretty impressive; so, I'm impressed.

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  7. Congratulations on the new job!

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  8. Congrats on the job! That's awesome!

    And hey... don't lump us southern gals in with the East Coast snobs! We may be on the east coast, but we southerners rarely hesitate to strike up a friendly conversation with folks we meet. (It used to embarrass my husband when I'd chat up strangers like the checkout lady. He's used to it now. I think. Bless his heart.)

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  9. That's fantastic, good luck ninja-ing!

    I'm a Texan and I've lived in Southern California for almost 15 years. Can we say slow talker? Because that's me. I've been to New York all of once, for a conference. Pretty much every time I spoke people looked at me like I was nuts, and no one got my jokes. But whatever, it was in the middle of winter, so I took comfort in the knowledge that I was flying back to sunshine and flip flops in January. Take that, Manhattan!

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  10. I always worry about background checks too. And being pulled over by the cops. I sometimes sleepwalk, so it's really only a matter of time before someone dies at my hand. Most likely my mother-in-law. But I'm pretty sure my subconscious is smart enough to know where to hide a body. So I should be good...

    Congrats on the new job!!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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    ReplyDelete

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