Thursday, June 24, 2010

Working is weird.

So, I'm not sure if you all heard, but I have this job now...

I know. Awesome. Don't be jealous, though, because I spent over a year being jealous of people with jobs, and it did nothing but give me heartburn.

(And for the many of you who have asked, I'm not talking super openly about the job online not because it's a secret, but because I haven't seen many other people talking about the company online, and I don't want to breach protocol this early in the game.)

I can tell you this much: I am now working in downtown Portland for a large company (one that doesn't feel as large as it is) that's corporate, even though most people assume it's non-profit.

I really like it.

I think I'll do really well (I keep hearing Annie in my head, singing "I think I'm gonna like it here...")

Everyone's been really, really friendly and fun.

All that being said, it's some serious culture shock, for a couple of reasons.

The first reason is kind of easy and silly, but it's culture shock nonetheless. Robin and I planned to meet up for happy hour at the end of my first day, and since we were still there later, Eric came and met us (side note: My friend texted to ask how the day went, and when I replied "I am at happy hour with Eric and Robin" my heart got super-happy, because it's so rare that I get to say something like that, and those two are my absolute favorites. Aww.)

So, talking with Robin and Eric. both of whom have been employed downtown for years now, I realized that making these culture-shock statements made me sound ridiculous, like a four year old. Or an alien.

Happy hour stretched late, as it tends to do, and when Robin said, "Wow, it's 9 already," I responded, "Oh, my gosh, I have to go home and go to bed! Like, soon! And then.... I have to wake up and do it all over again!"

This, as I have since been reminded, is called having a job. But when I've been in school and unemployed and even working wacky part-time jobs, the standard 8-5 job has been hard to come by. Falling into that routine feels very awkward. And me and mornings fight, but the struggle hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be--presumably because there is the promise of a paycheck attached to this one.

Second culture-shock, being a confirmed Eastside Portland resident: Downtown is like a whole different city. It's still Portland, to be sure, and is definitely more laid back than other cities, but wow. Lots of pumps and suits and ties and things running around, and you practically never see that on this side. Luckily for me, my office is 'business casual' (also a new concept for me--finding cardigans turned into a huge quest), and tends to lean ever so slightly more in the casual direction. But the days in pajama pants? Those are called "Saturdays" now. Maybe.

So the downtown-ness is new, and the corporate angle is going to take some getting used to. But the office as a whole has such a positive, energized vibe to it, and the people are warm, and passionate about the work.

So, after months of feeling like I was floating endlessly, no horizon in sight, it's looking like God led me to exactly the shore I needed. Losing the sea legs will take a while, but the sand feels lovely under my feet.


  1. Hurray! Happy hour was super fun last night, and it has a whole new meaning when you get to look forward to it all day at work. :) Downtown IS sorta weird. I can only imagine how stuffy and corporate it must feel in other cities! I don't hate it, but I'm always glad to go home to the Eastside.

  2. love you Heather! so glad your sea legs are finding solid ground is good & that it's real land & not a mirage! *wink *wink! So happy for you & your job. It was delightful to catch up on the phone the other day. An update on part is promised to the world soon.
    Love ya.