A few weeks ago I started a new job at the firm where my co-author of this blog, Atty works. I’m actually his subordinate now, working in the same service line.
The pay is good, the career prospects seem bright, and my co-workers are polite, friendly and helpful. But for some reason, I feel out of place. Like I don’t quite belong.
The culture is much different here. Much more proper, or perhaps white collar feeling. My last job would be considered a white collar job as well. Both were professional services, consulting, and required you to wear a tie from time to time, but it is amazing to me how different the culture and personalities are between an accounting firm and a technology services firm.
The girls are definitely much prettier at the new job, which I do enjoy if only for the sake of people watching around the office. But I admittedly miss that geek vibe I used to get at work much more. I miss the techies showing off their newest phones, asking you to meet them in the hotel lounge after work for Nintendo 3DS multiplayer sessions or just nerding out over their ridiculous video cards and other computer hardware.
Oddly enough, I think the whole reason I got this new job is because I’m one of these guys. I’m a geek.
I think I’m going to try hard not to lose that identity. Not that it was ever completely me anyway, but I really enjoyed being part of that crowd. I don’t care about sports, movies, or what happened on The Bachelor last week.
I’m not so sure the stiff collared accountant/lawyer/auditor wears well on me anyway. I don’t mind it. I can adapt to it, but I definitely don’t want to lose myself to it or the culture.
On a tangent, or perhaps just diagonal. My first week on the job I felt something I hadn’t felt since I was a kid- that urge to either puke or shit my brains out on a regular basis.
When I was a kid I had a problem with anxiety. I used to overstress about things as trivial as the bus for school running late. Suddenly, I became this kid again. Unsure, unconfident and feeling small inside.
This is my third career and I’m only 30 years old! Three times now, I’ve started something fresh, not knowing what the hell I’m doing. Experience would tell me I became very good at what I did the last two times and quit on my own, so this third time, I’m going to really rock it since I only continue to build up in skills, education and experience.
I will succeed at this job. But this little twerp in the back of my mind screams FAILURE at me. He’s my childhood bully. This kid named David who used to spit snot balls in my hair and push me out of my seat on the bus. Who used to not let me take a seat next to him when the bus was completely full and make me stand in the aisle even as the bus started rolling down the street.
That kid tormented me. I used to pray for him. I would pray to God, as an elementary school aged child that he would help him. Later I found out his dad beat the shit out of him, not uncommon for the neck of the woods I grew up in.
David was always easily six inches taller than me. There was no way I could stand up to him. But he was just as fragile as I was. I was simply passing on the beatings from his father down to me.
I eventually overcame David as my bully. I eventually grew up and got taller than him. The same will apply with the new job and the little David taunting me in the back of my head. Eventually I’ll grow up and own my bully.