When I was a child, one of my favourite games to play was "Office." My dad had this old, old computer from work. It was before the days of quick loading computer software, USB's and flash drives. It didn't have a mouse. It was an all in one machine that didn't have an operating system. What it had was its own special language and nothing but green text on the screen. I was too young to know what it really did but I did manage to make up games on it. I'd sit and turn it on, typing away as if I was actually doing something. Nothing every happened except I made it beep. Yet, I had a fine old time typing and pretending I was in my very own office.
Other times, I'd sit at my desk in my room and pretend I was sitting in an office, my pens ready to go. I had a child's typewriter and I would type Very Important Things on it. It was one of the old school typewriters, no correction tape and an old ribbon that would dry up if you didn't ink it.
Office was one of my favourite games to play by myself. I think I attempted to solicit other players but it was hard to get anyone interested in writing letters and things.
You might wonder why I'm telling you about yet more of my rather odd childhood games. The reason is that, today, at my new job, I managed to finally accomplish that which I'd only pretended to have as a child: I have my own office.
It really isn't the first office I've had. When I was a legal secretary, I had an office but it wasn't really mine. It was a room they stuck me in and I was across the hall from our grumpy office manager who could watch my every move. When I was in my international market research job, I had an office but, again, this was just a room they put me in and we had to swap constantly. It wasn't really mine.
The office today is mine. I'm finally in a job where I don't have to be administrative support as I have in the past. I don't have to type memos for anyone. I'm in my very own office doing my very own job. I have my own supplies and even have the freedom to order more supplies if I'm lacking anything. I have a new computer with the newest versions of Windows and Microsoft Office on it. I can close my door. I can decorate my office.
It's an exciting thing. I think if I hadn't been so...deprived in my last job, it probably wouldn't seem like such a big thing. However, when you used to have to take whatever office supplies were available or bring in your own and you didn't get new software, even when you needed it....it's the small things that make a new job all the better.
Better yet, I'm getting training.
(Private aside to one of my readers, known as Raindancer...YES, Raindancer, there IS such thing as training in a job! It is not a myth! It exists. I am living proof that it is possible!)
This, again, may not seem that unusual but...it actually is compared to my last couple of jobs. There was no training in those except to possible read a handbook. In this job, I'm sitting down with my boss and learning things.
It's exciting. I won't lie and say it was a perfect day. First days are always awkward. It's a strain to have to keep taking in the new information and to get to know the coworkers who have been working together for years. Yet, they all seem so nice. I'm a bit alarmed by that. It's a bit like the first time I went to Chick-Fil-A. That is the first fast restaurant where everyone in there was happy, genuinely friendly and seemed to like their job. I thought it was creepy at first, being used to the typical fast food experience of having someone take your order without making eye contact and being as slow and unfriendly as possible. Then I realized that it was a good thing. I like going to Chick-Fil-A.
My office is a bit like Chick-Fil-A. My coworkers have been there for years. They like their jobs, the office and one another. They're willing to share knowledge without trying to steal credit for each other's work. They don't gather in each others' offices, close the door and whisper.
It's a change and a welcome one. While my first day was exhausting, I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it a lot.
If you've ever seen the movie, "Working Girl," there's a scene at the end of the movie where Melanie Griffith's character gets a promotion. She goes in and sits down at the secretary's desk only to discover that it's not her desk, she actually has earned an office.
Today, I felt like that. I felt the inner child in me rejoice at the actual realization of what used to be my imagination.
And, this time, I didn't just randomly hit buttons on a computer and pretend to do something. I actually hit real keys and did something. Also, I have a mouse and the screen isn't just green text.
I've come a long way, baby.