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Five years ago today I started my first (and current) big girl job.

I remember the feeling of getting up early and taking the metro into DC from Ballston.

I remember the outfit I wore.

I remember the welcome lunch I was taken out to – at a downtown restaurant that no longer exists.

I remember the newness of it all.

And while I may still be at the same job – a rarity for my age group – many more things have changed over those five years.

Five years ago…

…I thought that Ballston was close enough to DC.

…I didn’t have a blog.

…I hadn’t yet met Husband.

…I hadn’t even considered grad school.

…I hadn’t run one marathon, much less three in three months.

…to be fair, I hadn’t actually run any races.

…I’d never flown through the air – with or without a net.

…I wasn’t even close to being considered a local.

Now, I still wouldn’t consider myself a local – and I’m not quite sure when you get to that point – but I do consider this city home.

And that’s something else that I didn’t imagine happening five years ago.

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Back in 2007, after graduating in May, I was spending the summer at home searching the job boards and sending out resumes left and right. I wasn’t set on DC; I was open to anything. But when August rolled around, and I still wasn’t getting many responses, I realized I had to do something drastic.

So I moved.

On September 1st I left my parents’ house and moved to Ballston. Cla, who was already down here and working, and I had found a place close enough to the metro, and cheap enough to fit our budget – and hadn’t yet realized the difference between DC and DC Metro Area.

The first couple weeks were fun. I played housewife and decorated the apartment, cleaned, cooked, and applied for jobs while Cla was at work during the day. I went out for runs, exploring my new neighborhood, finding trails and shops and restaurants.

But then two weeks turned into a month. And then a little longer. And then a little longer. And once you hit that point it feels like you’re never going to find a job. Ever.

I’d had interviews, sure, but nothing that I loved. And nothing, to be honest, that I was ultimately offered.

By the time my current job called me back, it had been about a month since I’d turned in my application. They asked me in for an interview in mid-October; for a second one by the end of the month; and then I started, November 12, 2007.

In hindsight, two jobless months doesn’t seem so bad. And had I known it was only going to be two months, I would have taken more advantage of my free time. But while I was going through it, those two months were excruciating.

The office has changed a lot in three years. Employees have come and gone. I’ve loved it and hated it and loved it again.

More than ever, though, I realize that for a kid right out of college who barely knew what she was doing, this was a pretty sweet first-job to land.

And I’m so grateful for that.

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Sometimes when our staff meetings run long, I take the opportunity to zone out and observe my co-workers. Not in a bad way, but in an “ooh, I like her top” or an “I didn’t think we could wear shoes like that” or “wow, that’s a bright pink tie!” kind of way.

But, I will admit, that sometimes, it’s in an “ah…why would you do that?” kind of way.

I’m thinking of one particular culprit. We’ll call him WG and he’s a late 20s something who has previously worked in an office environment and is a generally good dresser. So he should know.

BUT he regularly wears white ankle socks with his dress shoes and slacks.

Does it sound like I’m being overly nitpicky? I’m sure it does. And I’m also sure that the socks don’t matter when he’s standing. But when he sits across from me for an hour and a half with his legs crossed and pant legs riding up, well, it’s both obvious and distracting.

Even more so when he’s flanked by gentlemen who are sporting standard black or argyle – that white (and exposed skin) really jumps out at you.

And here’s the other thing: another of our co-workers has actually said something in passing to him about the socks.  (See?! I’m not the only one who noticed!) But it hasn’t changed anything. And no, it doesn’t hurt or affect me at all. I shouldn’t really care. And I don’t lose sleep over it at night (though, this post may have you wondering). But I’m just plain curious.

Are white ankle socks and suit pants okay now? Please, gentlemen particularly, enlighten me.

Because it just looks so out of place.

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Today, as the title would suggest, is my moving day. Rather, my office moving day.

Because I’m transitioning into part-time at work, so I can be a full-time student, I’m being moved from my cubicle to an office usually reserved for interns.

At first, I saw this as kind of a downgrade.

I saw it as being kicked out of my desk (the one I’ve been at for nearly 3 years) and moving to an office that I’ll eventually be sharing (with an intern), all in favor of a new employee – who actually shares my name. Talk about feeling replaced.

But then, after a little dose of perspective (thanks to the bf, since I was being a cranky pants), I started to think along the lines of, yay! I get an office! And the intern and I won’t have the same schedule, so most of the time it’ll be my own! And I get a pretty flower to add a little color to the place!

Suffice it to say, I was feeling pretty positive about the whole thing.

And then I started packing this morning. It’s amazing how much stuff can accumulate over the course of a few years.

Not to mention the drawers I’ve filled, or all the shoes I’ve left at the office, at one point or another.

About 7 pairs, I think, at last count.

But, in keeping with the positive spin, lugging these boxes o’ stuff will certainly be my strength training for the day.

Plus, with an office, think of all the new privacy I’ll have for blogging! Priorities, you know.

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Unsurprisingly, the story of the Russian spies has been dominating the recent news. It’s the kind of item that draws attention because, well, who really thinks about Russian spies anymore? We live in a post-Cold War era. Terrorism is a bigger threat than the former Soviet Union.

And, to boot, everyone seems so shocked that one of the spies was attractive! And she took naked photos! Gasp! But maybe her idol is Mata Hari, and then it isn’t so unusual. Think about that.

Aside from people googling Anna Chapman to see just what her ex-husband put out there, and Joe Biden’s, “Let me be clear, it wasn’t my idea to send her back,” comment, I’m betting that we’ll see a few other unexpected results from this bust.

1) I’d guess that D.C.’s International Spy Museum has seen an uptick, however slight, in ticket sales.

It’s always busy in the summer (as well it should be – it’s awesome), but just being reminded that spies are still relevant makes me want to go – and I’ve been twice already. The second time I went, we participated in Operation Spy, where you choose a code name and have to go on missions. Don’t laugh – everyone in the group was late 20s and early 30s and so into it. And now it’s even more appropriate than before. You know, as training, just in case the government contacts you and asks you to go to Russia. Or North Korea or something.

Operation Spy - I didn't get a cool hat when I did it. Guess I'll just have to go back...

2) And speaking of the government sending you places, I have to wonder if there’s been an increase in applications to the FBI and CIA.

It’s not that being a spy, based on this ring, seems so glamorous – especially when you consider that several lived in the Jersey suburbs, had kids (which I have a HUGE problem with, by the way, bringing children into the world just to keep your cover), and lived “normal” lives. But, on the other hand, it also makes it seem like anyone could do it. So why not you? Want to travel? Lie for a living? Live on the edge? Then this is the job for you!

(Side note: I very seriously considered going into an intelligence field. I was deterred by the reminders that I a) am a terrible liar, and b) wouldn’t be able to tell anyone [my mom…or a significant other] about my job. Sigh.)

3) I truly think that more people will go see Salt than would have before.

They probably won’t do it consciously, but based on all the previews I’ve seen there are some pretty big similarities. Hot chick accused of being a Russian spy. Okay, maybe only two similarities (that we [I] know of), but I think that the fact that this spy ring bust was in the news just a month before the movie’s release will affect ticket sales. I doubt I’ll be able to prove that I’m right, so to save time, let’s just assume I am.

What are your thoughts on the story overall? Think it’ll be out of the news as quickly as it appeared? Or are you already thinking, hmm, I could be a spy…?

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I’m usually much more of a New Year’s Resolutions girl, but I hear that quarter-life crises are slightly less daunting if you have some sort of plan. So, in honor of turning the big 2-5 today (why, yes, I am shamelessly blogging about my birthday, on my birthday), I’ve come up with a little list of things that I hope to accomplish before June 11, 2011.

And I fully expect you to hold me accountable. Please and thank you.

So, in the year of 25, in no particular order, I want to…

1) …volunteer somewhere in DC, preferably with kids. Any suggestions (and/or company) are more than welcome.

2) …hit a home run during softball.

3) …run a race with an average pace that’s under 10 minutes, something I haven’t been able to do since I hurt my hip in December.

4) …finish all the books I’ve started, that I got halfway through and left for something else. There are about 6-7 right now.

5) …finish my first year of grad school, which really should take care of itself, but you never know.

6) …go skydiving.

7) …get a bike and become comfortable riding in the street. Because I find that terrifying.

8 ) …learn how to change a tire. And other car maintenance tricks necessities.

9) …get a new tattoo (or two).

10) …start taking Chinese again. Or at least brushing up on what I’ve already learned. I should be able to say more than, “This is my mom, dad, and little brother,” “I love you,” and, “I don’t know.”

11) …ride a motorcycle.

12) …run the Marine Corps Marathon faster than I did the National Marathon. So, something under 4:58:57.

13) …be more outgoing. Whether that means attending more blogger happy hours, emailing a bloggy crush, or just generally introducing myself to new people – this is a hard one for me.

14) …prove to my boss that I do deserve a promotion – even before I complete my MA.

15) …finally go hiking out at Great Falls.

16) …make a more concerted effort to visit friends who live in New York. It should be so easy, and yet I think I’ve visited once in about 3 years. I’m a bad friend.

17) …go on a road trip. Destination negotiable.

18) …get more comfortable cooking from scratch and experimenting in the kitchen.

19) …learn how to play pool better – or, at the very least, learn how to break so that the balls actually move.

20) …run a race in a new state. I’ve run in Massachusetts, New York (if you count bandit races), Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC (I know, I know – not a state), and Virginia. Maybe it’s time to explore something other than the East Coast.

21) …get an iPhone. My plan is up in February, so either Verizon better come out with something that lets me play Words with Friends, or I’m switching to AT&T.

22) …find a church in DC that I’m comfortable going to. It was such a big part of my life growing up, but I haven’t found one that I love down here.

23) …watch JB get married/be in my first wedding!

24) …rent a car. Just because I can.

25) …participate in an underwear run. I mean, I do run to look better naked, after all.

And because you always have to have that extra special bonus one for good luck:

26) …meet a Phillies player! I realize that this isn’t so much of a 25-goal, as it is a life dream, but that’s why it’s the bonus. Because it would just be icing on the cake.

*swoon*

I’m sure you’ll hear more about these as they either get checked off or I realize, what the hell was I thinking? But either way, it should be an interesting year.

Happy Friday!

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I have to ask your opinion about some terminology that I’ve been hearing at work that keeps throwing me for a loop.

You see, I work in survey research doing both background research and number crunching, and I do find it interesting, but one of our senior fellows described it as something else at a recent staff meeting. He was reporting on his project, highlighting the findings, and he said, “This data is really sexy. I’m really excited to release it; I think it’ll be a big hit.” I’d been zoning out, as per usual, but that phrase caught my attention. The data is sexy? Really?

I admit it – I giggled a little bit to myself. And then I just chalked it up to this fellow being a little odd (and me being a little immature).

But then, in another recent meeting, I was talking to my supervisor about a project that I’m working on and he told me that he really wanted to “sex up the report.

I didn’t giggle this time (too obvious), but I did realize that my maturity level could use some work.

But it also made me curious – is it just me, or does it sound strange to call data/numbers/a report sexy?

Even if it doesn’t, and it is just me, I still think I’ll refrain from that terminology in a staff meeting. At least, if I want to keep a straight face.

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