Sunday, May 3, 2015

It's spring, I'm working, I have a car.

Yeah, yeah, I need to start a new blog...all the clever Boston or Yankee or whatever names are too cloying, so I'll take suggestions.

So. Been at the new job for a month and a half. Going fine, I'm doing the job, head of department seems to like me. Also working through the apparently inevitable social bitchery that happens with a mostly female office.

I'll explain: I'm not oppressed. I'm not mistreated.

I sit in a reception area with two people, male and female, both around 30. Everyone else is closer to my age. They go to each other's offices, and colleagues visit their offices, and they chat and laugh and howl, and have a generally good time. The times I had information to deliver or tried to make small talk, you would think it would bring the walls down for them to relax or smile, and the invisible force field of the clique that only women can create holds strong, especially when it involves someone like me, who's outgoing and funny and threatens them with potential upstaging. Fine. Again, I'm not mistreated, and when people address me, it's perfectly polite, mostly. But in an office this small, the lack of initiation on everyone's part is hard to miss.

Interpersonal power dynamics fascinate me. I'm sensing from the admin director, who is very bright and very competent, an unwillingness to share a stage. So the rapport I thought I sensed during my interview is something that occurs randomly and on her terms, on her mood. When she needs an audience.

My uncle and I have been watching Mad Men on Netflix, and I'm learning a lot from it. I'm learning how a Peggy Olsen can either cave, or persevere through her pariah status and let her mistakes make her wiser and stronger. I'm learning from Don Draper when to talk and what to say. Or not. I'm a compulsive over-communicator; it's my way of bonding. I'm learning to be judicious in the social overtures I make, and to keep my cards close to my chest.

Lest I sound unhappy,I'm not. I'm so worn out from crazy people at dumb jobs that I'm happy to just come in and do my job and have people save their interactions for each other. There are other people in the place that I get along with well, and I get plenty of social contact there.

Socially, I pretty much hang out by myself. I find I have little desire to make efforts at friendship. People tire me. There are plenty of nice folks at the clay studio, and seeing people there is enough. I'm fine. My uncle helped me buy my very first new car, so I have wheels. Wheels and quiet and a job that will help me get out of debt, and Mad Men on Netflix, and spring is here. I'm doing just fine.

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