Yesterday was kind of a whirlwind. I made it into my hotel late in the afternoon, and had just enough time to stop by the home office for a quick tour before I was whisked off to dinner with a handful of my new coworkers. It was fun to meet people, but I have a feeling being “on” and social all week is really going to take its toll on me.
It’s a small office in a small town, and that would always be difficult to come in to from the outside. Maybe things will go better once I can start doing some actual work, but right now it’s got me a bit nervous. What if I stumble into some unknown faux pas by mistake? I really want to make a good impression.
Everyone’s been really friendly so far, but in some ways that’s almost more stressful. It sounds like my near future is filled with catered lunches and after-work social dinners, and oh yeah: actual work. Maybe it’s just because of how different this is from my last job that I find it stressful and weird.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still excited about using my degree. But I’m also somewhat scared. Maybe it’s fear of change, maybe it’s fear of success. Actually, that latter one sounds closer to the mark. Not to get too deep and introspective, but I’ve had trouble in the past in feeling like I “deserve” to have good things happen to me. And I think this is similar. What have I done to “deserve” getting a job in my degree field? Am I really good enough to do this sort of thing professionally, or am I just deluding myself? What happens when others find out? That’s just a few of the irrational thoughts going through my slightly sleep-deprived head right now.
There’s probably also a bit of culture shock. Like I said, this is clearly a fairly tight-knit office, with in-jokes and shared experiences. But the area I’m in is also quite rural. My hotel is about 20 minutes from the office in the next town over, and the road is framed by cornfields on either side. Everything is quite flat, without any easily-identified geographical features. My phone’s GPS has been getting me places, but as a result I’m not really learning where I am in relation to things; I’m merely following the directions. It’s also clear that (as trite as this sounds) living here has different concerns than I’m used to. People seem to enjoy it, but I don’t know that I would. And while Denver isn’t exactly a big city (my girlfriend would posit it’s nothing but a large town when compared with something like Chicago), even the suburbs feel more urban than here.
Anyway, that’s enough morose navel gazing for now. It’s just about time for me to leave for my first day of work/orientation. It sounds like it’s going to be fun, and as long as I get enough downtime to myself in the evenings, I should make it through the week. It’s a good thing I brought my laptop.