Nine Days In...

So I've been at my new job for nine days now (in case anyone's counting).

While I'm certainly thrilled to put the long and frustrating search behind me, I'd be lying if I didn't say the learning curve has been about as perilous as the one that claimed James Dean. Everyone has been lovely and helpful but the bulk of getting started and figuring things out has been through trial and error, which is about as much fun as learning how to drive while blindfolded.

It's not just a new content management system (which seems to want to log me out at random intervals, causing me to lose a lot of work) but I've also had to adjust to a whole new style of writing.

It's no longer "just the facts." As a matter of fact, (I miss facts, can you tell?) at least half of it involves me writing my opinion on trending topics. In my previous career, even if a mayor sucker punched a baby I'd still put that story together as if I were reporting just what had occurred. No editorializing would be done. No sides would be taken. No judgements passed. Let the readers make up their own minds.

Well, those days are over, folks. Now I'm sounding off on everything from super-skinny mannequins to testicle-shaped furniture. (I think I could hear my high school English teacher weeping softly in the sunburnt desert of Arizona moments after that piece was published.)

In addition to learning the ropes, I've been struggling a bit with the loss of the freedom I had to say, "Screw this, I'm going to the pool," whenever the job search got me down. But on the flip-side, it's nice to have an answer when people ask if I've "found anything yet?"

I'm also enjoying knowing what day it is again, and by that I mean not just "It's Monday and I have that weekly conference call this afternoon," but also the cracking open of a well-deserved beer that signals "It's Friday" or the sweet relief that comes with realizing "It's Saturday" and I don't have to get up or write anything other than my signature on some checks for bills I can now pay. Before all I had was "Can someone let me know when it's Wednesday? I have to file my unemployment."

It's been fun and interesting to take the train once a week and read a book (or eavesdrop). But once I'm in the office I feel oddly self-conscious about all the things I never noticed at home. Like can everyone hear my stomach growling at 10 a.m.? (See what happens when you get used to continuous grazing?) Or, are they going to dock my pay when they realize I'm sipping my third cup of coffee I brewed with their Keurig?

It's been over a decade since I've spent eight straight hours in an office. So far I'm finding it blissfully quiet. I haven't had to referee any fights over scooters or remote controls and no one is demanding to know why I don't buy better (read: more sugary) cereals.

So as I start my second full week, I'm hoping I'll get the hang of it, technology- and editorial-wise. I'll keep you posted.

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