Sunday, November 8, 2009

Back To Work

I didn't think it would be such a huge adjustment. The work part wasn't that big a deal – it's the getting up early, washed up and dressed appropriately, then driving an hour.

I put on eye makeup for the first time in months, and couldn't understand why I didn't look normal. Maybe I'm out of practice, but I looked like my eyes were on lopsided. The left one appeared to tilt further towards my ear, and was slightly misshapen.

Dress slacks, sweater, pantyhose and heels – yay! At least it's not a suit. Later, I would find out I was completely over-dressed. Most of my co-workers barely met the definition of “business casual”.

The morning commute wasn't too bad, and I made it there in about an hour. They let me in, and I found my cube. There were dust bunnies rolling around the desk, and the chair looked like someone vomited on the edge of the seat. Other than that, everyone was very nice and helpful. A great group of people. I consider my old team a finely oiled machine, and some of the best I've worked with, but so far this group is pretty awesome.

A few odd experiences though. I guess there's a few pockets of people that aren't used to normal human interaction like: “Hello”, or “Good Morning”. Some ran away, others looked at me like I was nuts. Maybe it was my lopsided eyes.

Also, English is a only a suggestion. There were several occasions this week where I'd get into the elevator, a meeting, the coffee room, and five or six people are speaking in another language. They would continue to do so, even though it was painfully obvious I had no clue what was being said. I was always taught this was rude, but hey, whatever. I'm getting paid, so I'll deal.

The evening commute is heinous. It's like a wild roller coaster where everyone's going the same direction, just not attached to one another. It's up to you not to become bumper cars.

However, I noticed rush hour drivers were considerably more cautious than I would've expected. Rarely did I see people cutting each other off, or doing anything overtly stupid. I suspect it was due to the shear number of vehicles. There's simply no way to go any faster, so you might as well not drive stupid.

Which brings me to an observation: All three lanes of the highway are jammed, but the only way to drive anywhere near the speed limit is in the far left lane. I drove the middle lane the first two days, and it took me an hour and a half to get home. If I stay in the far left lane, my chances of getting home in an hour are considerably improved.

The interesting thing is, I cannot stand people who do this when there's no traffic. They hog up the left lane, never let anyone by them, and you're forced to pass on the right. Now I understand why. I think they're so used to driving in this insane traffic, they just don't think about it anymore.

By week's end, I was exhausted. I think it's the driving. It's stressful – you can't take your eyes off the road for a second.

I'm hoping this week will be less tiring. I'm going to streamline a few things, shower the evening before, cut down on the face paint. I'm sure most of it is just getting back into the swing of things.

Wish me luck!