my answer is b.
July 17, 2002 12:30 PM

Last week I was assimilated.

This is a work thing. A process whereby new employees are exposed to several hours of classroom time featuring occasional fun activities and entirely too many people who seem to think you're being graded on participation. This is followed by a full day climbing tall things and playing on teams in the woods, bugs included. The end result, presumably, is that you will leave feeling like you belong. Or at the very least, glad to be back in the office.

B. My answer is B.

Something about the classroom environment seemed to showcase that which is most shallow and defensive and heavy-handed about so many of those people. I left each day with the conviction that I was working for the wrong company [one of the things I was told in the course of another orientation is that it's perfectly okay for me to tell you all where I work, but given the misgivings expressed here, that seems a little... awkward.].

It exhausts me to be in situations where everyone wants to lead so badly that I have to let them. I try to gently guide. It frustrates me when I see women behaving better than men and men taking credit. And even more so when I can't explain that. It tires me when people ask unnecessary questions or get tied up in pointless discussions. And even more that the whole corporate thing sometimes just feels unethical.

We've been talking for awhile about the boy going to grad school. Which means Texas, Arizona, or Wisconsin. Knowing I want to stay an east-coast girl and that ordinarily I love my job, we've ended up talking about it as if he may go without me. As if the long-distance thing will suddenly not be the immense obstacle we thought it would be before. But last week shifted my perspective. Last week, I was totally and completely behind moving to Texasarizona (Wisconsin just doesn't fit my elision, see). Enough so that I changed those damned internet job site searches (never cancelled from last year's frantic search) to send me jobs from those states.

By the way, there are, apparently, no jobs in Texasarizona. And even fewer in Wisconsin.

The day in the woods, though. That wasn't so bad. The team clearly all took their magic work-together pills before heading out, then ad hoc nominated a great leader. I wore my EAT t-shirt. And my chucks, which, despite being the closest thing to appropriate that could be found in my shoe closet, were a mistake.

It was one of those weeks, though.

It wasn't the week of April 2, 2001. Or the week of September 10. It was just. Half a week of annoyance. Too cold, too hot, too much sitting in a room feeling like I was in seventh grade again. Feeling all I don't belong here.

Lucky me. I had the forethought to buy an insane number of books a few weeks before. And to schedule a pedicure for Thursday night, on my way back from the woods. Pedicures are a surprisingly inexpensive way to feel as if you've indulged. The salon I go to is this comfy, liberal little place where the staff encouraged me to mockingly read aloud from Glamour magazine as I had my feet sloughed and painted. With that, and a bath, I was restored to physical and ethical comfort.

I'm better, back in the work week. In the office. Making tiny little differences. This is alright. I'm not outruling Texasarizona or even Wisconsin, but I'm better.

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