So, I work with real people now. Adults with a capital A. I know I’ve talked about it a lot on here, but it’s something I can’t seem to get over. The fact that I no longer have work conversations across a table of khakis, or that my office has an intern and IT’S NOT ME, BITCHES! is taking a little getting used to.
For example, I have to practice not inserting funny accents or making a mockery of everything I find absurd right there when it’s happening – I have to wait until later. Or that I cannot check Facebook constantly, mostly because it’s extremely unhealthy, but also because it’s not at all like sex (everybody’s doing it, but nobody’s talking about it). No, checking Facebook eleventyseven times each day is not like sex at all: everybody is NOT doing it at work, it’s just me and I really should get back to said work before my boss comes in and sees me tagging my friends in DisneyWorld pictures or uploading random videos of my friend Duncan eating so much meat he starts to sweat. Don’t you want to go on vacation with me now? Sometimes, restraint would be a useful skill to have, is really what I’m saying here. Especially since I don’t possess it.
However – despite feeling like a lost child in the grocery store many days – there are some battles I totally win at work. Like the shoe battle, for instance. I have no children, no car payment, no mortage. Only discretionary income to spend on crazy things like ski equipment and trips to Africa. And shoes. Ten points for me, is really what I’m saying here.
And, of course, there is the ever fraught battle of work/life balance. All of my friends have scattered and nobody lives within biking distance anymore, so I have no life, thus nothing to complain about.
However, there is one battle that I’ve been internally waging ever since starting at my current place of employment. It’s a battle that I’m sure everyone wages at some point, but for me this is my constant battle, my quality most in need of a 12-step group of some sort, my own personal Everest:
Suppressing my inner nerd.
Not that she’s really all that hidden anyway, in the conventional sense. I wear black framed glasses that I continually adjust on the ridge of my nose. I wear a lot of black in general, actually. My hair is always in my face on account of it seems I woke up one day and realized my hair was in a perpetual state of rebellion and so I just stopped trying that day and all days after. That sort of thing.
But it’s not these qualities that make me think I’m a nerd. No, it’s secret things. Like being able to spend way more time in a library than I could ever spend in the mall. Subscribing not to Glamour or Vogue, but to Time and Newsweek. Actually liking the History Channel. Having no clue about celebrity gossip or sports at all.
But what really made the nerd alert system go buck wild today was one of my coworkers. She has a black leather case for her work badge, which is most closely akin to a leather case you would put on an iPod or a cell phone, only it’s flat and it fits around something the size of a credit card. Instead of putting her badge in her purse or attached to her keys like everybody else, she wears it – leather case, clippy and all – attached to her belt loop.
I noticed this today, and instead of looking down at my cute shoes and thinking about the ridiculosity of this accessory and internally mocking how serious this person is about her security badge, the first thing I thought was “Where can I get one of those?!?!?!”
I need to get out more. Minus ten points for me, is really what I’m saying here.