Five plus

I’ve got a lot of disorderly thoughts about the new job and the new promotion/transfer– if I write them all out, I’m going to digress and then this thing is going to be 6 pages long instead of a chance to get the thoughts out of my head.  So here goes:

  • The two minute rule is still a valid customer/employee service principle, no matter how important you think you are.  Unless someone’s bleeding.  Deal with that first.
  • Someone will always be more senior.  That does not make them right.
  • Say yes.  Often.  Until people believe you.  And then watch their faces change and their whole attitudes shift as they realize– holy shit, she really means it.  (Don’t spend too long feeling sad that they’ve had to put up with crap in the meantime.  Focus on being good, now.)
  • Practice your Spanish.  And Haitian.  Maybe take up Mandarin if things ever calm down.
  • Keep saying thank you.  Keep appreciating people.  Remind the people who are more senior than you to do it by your example.
  • Be honest, and kind.  If you can’t be kind, at least be honest, especially when they won’t take no for an answer.  (“I’m sorry, but if you can’t manage the application on the website, we really require that level of ability to pay attention and follow directions from our employees.  Best of luck in your search.”  “I’m sorry, but telling me how much money you owe to the bank isn’t going to change the fact that you don’t have the experience that we need, and that you didn’t bother to learn anything about the company before you applied.”)  You can always hope someone will learn something– and leave it there.  It’s not your fault if they’re not ready to hear it.
  • Be no bullshit with people who condescend to you because you are new.  “I’m sorry, but that’s not the way I do things; it’s against policy, and I’m happy to show you the rule if you like.  If you’d like to talk to your coordinator about it, I’m happy to send him an email about your question.”  (Hint.  They back right down.)
  • Observe the polite formalities of first pick even when others don’t.  Because it’s the right thing to do, even if secretly you also dance on their graves in your head when you don’t have to do them a favor later on because they know better than to try and ask, because they’ve been a dick.
  • You can get along like gangbusters with folks, feel like soulmates, even, but retail eats your damned life; unless you make a damned big effort, you’re not going to see folks from your old store that much, and it has jack shit to do with whether they like you, and only to do with not enough time, and whomever’s around.
  • Make time.
  • Find people, even if it’s just whomever’s around.
  • Ride the bus; decompression where you’re not making decisions is awesome.
  • Insist on riding the bus when people want to do you a “favor” and come pick you up (and then bitch about traffic or how awful the bus is and aren’t they wondrous for driving you, hmm?).  Do your reading on the bus instead.
  • Spend less money on pain au raisins and more on pre-pack fresh berries.  You’re not pushing carts of books and walking all day anymore.
  • Compliments based on how much your predecessor sucked expire quickly.  Earn your own kudos, as fast as you can.
  • Smile, even if your brain is leaking out of your ears because you’ve hired 2.8 people per day since your transfer.
  • Remember– you’re getting properly paid for this.  (Stop spending so much of it on lunch and bring your own.  You have a new car to save for.)
  • And it’s nice to talk kale with people who know what it is– and like eating it, too.
  • 3 pm Friday Salt n’ Pepa dance parties in the hallway are a legit breaktime technique, and let one power through that last couple of hours.  Make them a habit, though do mix it up with Run DMC and Slick Rick and other hits of that kind.  (Anyone who doesn’t like Old School is a heathen.)
  • “Run and find out” is okay.  There’s a lot of stuff out there that not everyone knows.  No need to wake up at 3 am, sweating, because you forgot to do the thing.  Just… write it down, get to it the next day.
  • Sleeping– actually sleeping– is good.
  • Laughing with coworkers is good, too.
  • Using anxiety-fueled mania to get you through the first couple of weeks at a new place is okay as long as you recognize the crash before it hits or before anyone thinks you’re being weird, and you adjust your medication accordingly.  It’s okay to be anxious about working someplace where they treat you like an actual grownup.
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