Today was Day 2 of my new job. If life were like a video game or, even an episode of a TV show, I'd have had that fact depicted over my head in the form of a chyron that said "DAY 2."
It's interesting. My last "Day 2" was the second day after I'd turned in my resignation. It was horrible. My boss was in his stage of our 'breakup' that was a cross between depression and anger. It was a horrible day. It was the day where I finally cried because my boss had been so mean and the fallout of my decision to leave my last job was intense.
This "Day 2" was about as opposite as you can imagine. For one thing, I didn't feel a sense of depression and gloom as I went about getting ready to go into the office. When I did get to the office, there was a pleasant atmosphere. I wasn't being called into impromptu meetings in which I was forced to explain my decision.
Instead, as a pleasant diversion, I was, instead, treated to a good day in which I felt that my decision was explained for me by the powers of the universe. For one, I received more training. This, in itself, is different from my last job. My new boss is nice. He's not just the type of nice you get when you're new. I think he's just...nice. When we finished our training session, he assigned me some tasks but told me no pressure. I thought I had an idea of what to do so...I did it.
Truth be told, actually doing stuff at a new job is nervewracking. I tend to like my hand to be held until the very last minute. As a child, I was painfully shy. As an adult, I'm much less so but the recumbant gene of youth makes me feel shy and nervous when confronted with the idea that I have to talk to strangers. Fortunately, with adulthood comes maturity and while my instinct is to shy away from making phonecalls, the reality is that that once I've dialed a few numbers, it's quite easy to babble to strangers.
As a result, I had a rather successful day. What iIdidn't realize is that my boss didn't actually expect anything. This is not to say he's treating me like I'm special...as in the type of special that rides a special bus and that he didn't expect anything because he knew I would be able to do it. It's just that he's normal and he knows I'm new. Thus, he didn't expect me to do very much.
Nevertheless, I gave it a go and it turned out to be quite fun. I had a productive day. I'm already getting the hang of the job. I already love it or, at least, the idea of it. It's a lovely feeling to know that the people I'm calling to interview for a potential job may not not have a job at all and that they may be glad of my phone call. It's nice to know that even though I'm having to interrupt people's days, it's for a good cause.
Most of all, it's nice to have results. It's nice to see that the work I'm doing is yielding something.
This may sound dramatic. Yet, when you've been in a job for two years where the yield of your work is measured in the fact that you don't get fired, it's ok to be dramatic.
What's more dramatic is when your boss leaves for the day and makes a point of coming by your office and actually saying, "You did a great job today," that for a split second, you suddenly want to a) either hug him in gratitude, b) have a brief cry because you're simply not used to any type of feedback and even the small stuff is overwhelming at this point in time or, more likely c) where your mouth falls open with shock for a split second because you're simply not used to praise. Yes, this is dramatic for a job. I get that. It shouldn't be dramatic, that's the point. Instead, this is how a good company/manager/boss operates. You should always know when you do well.
For me, today, it was a start. More than that, it was an affirmation that, if there was any doubt at all that leaving the familiar cocoon of my last job, regardless of the problems, that doubt is assuaged and I have, in fact, done the right thing in leaving.
I'm hoping that as time passes and my job suddenly feels familiar rather than slightly foreign as it does currently, none of these positive things will strike me as odd. Instead, I'll get comfortable with the fact that they are, actually, quite normal.
At the very least, I'm hoping my job becomes normal in that it becomes the way I earn money and that I do it well but it's not the focal point of my life. While I know my job supports my writing, my writing has been there to define me and who I am. Lately, with my past job, I felt like my writing fell short because my soul was being sucked dry. Slowly, but surely, my soul will come back to me. I can feel that now and it's nice to have hope again.
It's also nice to have a little bit of praise and feedback because, sometimes, that's all it takes in jobs, in life and in everything else.