As always, thanks to Katie for this weekly link-up. A nice dose of positive posts to settle in and read each Monday morning is a great way to kick off the week and mute my “is-it-really-monday-wasn’t-there-supposed-to-be-a-weekend-or-something-that-took-place-where-did-it-go-god-this-week-is-going-to-suck-and-going-to-drag-on-and-on-and-on-and-on” thought train.. If you haven’t before, check out MIMM.
It’s been a while since I talked about how things are going in Cubicle land. If you’ve been hanging around this corner of the Internet for long enough, you’ll recall that when I started at this job in November, I had a really hard time socially.
Anyway, so I’ve been making a big effort especially within my department. I think (know) I’m an introvert and I’m definitely someone who takes a while to warm up. I like to assess peoples personalities and try to estimate how much of my stupid humor they can likely tolerate. If I think they’re judging me or dislike me (it doesn’t take much to convince me of that, I have a wild imagination), then I clam up. So it took me awhile to get comfortable.
But somehow, and I’m not exactly sure how, I got there. I think it was just time. This was my first rodeo with figuring out the department social jungle. We have a bunch of mid 30 and early 40 year old ladies who are so ridiculously nice. Then we have two girls – Christine and Jenna – who were close to my age but not very friendly at first. Jenna especially, which was really disheartening, since we are the same age, born exactly one month apart. As usual, I over-assessed the social situation and was shy and uncomfortable.
I slowly started to force myself out of my comfort zone and started to make more effort with each girl individually. I’d make myself stop into their offices. The logic was, if I was comfortable with them one-on-one, then eventually when we were all clowning around before, during and after our weekly department meeting, then maybe I’d feel more comfortable overall with the group.
I found a lot of them have the same sense of humor as I do and a lot of the same interests. I realized they’d been anxious for me to open up and start showing my personality more, I was just too scared and introverted to actually do it.
Every so often, you’d pipe up and we’d get a glimpse of that humor, and we were just waiting, one said to me.
Now? I’m not shy and joke around and even – gasp!- initiate the conversation a lot. They joke with me, I joke with them. It is what I have wanted ever since early November.
And Jenna. The girl who was so icy to me. I just waited it out and continued to be friendly. As I started to get more comfortable, I think she started to get more comfortable. She’s actually moving a block away from me and said to me, “We better hang out on weekends!” We went shopping last week because I needed spring professional clothes and she brought me tons and tons of pretty things to try on and gave me her feedback. It was so great.If you had told me a few months ago that this outing would happen, I would have fallen over in shock. I would not have been able to comprehend it and would have accused you of drug use.
We had a new girl start last Monday who sits in the work station behind me – where Christine used to sit. I was lonely back there by myself but now that there’s somebody back there with me, I miss my isolation. Introvert. Now I have to worry again about things like if I sound too loud when I chew, ha.
But the new girl is really nice. She is also really eager and outgoing. We watch all the same shows, including Real Housewives. But all my least favorite housewives are her favorite housewives. Hmm. 🙂 Anyway, she’s nice. But she followed me on Twitter and Pinterest on her first day. She told me she looked for my Facebook but that happened to be one of the days where I was deactivated. I was telling my roommates “I think it’s a little weird! To do all that on her first day?!! She’s moving too fast!!!” It really just took me aback, I think. Too much, too soon. They were not sympathetic as they’ve heard me long for work friends, so yeah, it’s probably a little bit hypocritical of me. I could do a lot worse, but somedays where she’s chattering away, I realllllyyyy pine for the days I didn’t have to share my little cave, the days I saw and spoke to no one. It’s also very interesting to compare, since I started a mere six months ago, and see how differently we approached work interaction. I was timid, and she jumped right in. Different strokes, different folks. The hiring process revealed she has a blog too where she’s bashed her former co-workers so I better be careful, ha. I’m also a little sad to lose the title of the “newest”. I liked the safety that came under the “new” girl umbrella.
Anyway, this is a really great group I get to work with in my department. They’re all hilarious, so nice, and so talented. It is, quite simply, marvelous. 🙂
Also marvelous is that I am feeling a lot better after I climbed back in that saddle and took on a spin class. I only muttered 7 curse words going down the stairs of my house this morning.
did you ever have a hard time fitting in at work? how do you approach work relationships?
** don’t forget to take part in the day in the life link-up. let’s share the days of our lives.