I started a new job last week. I was fortunate enough to have more than one offer after being unceremoniously "let go" from my last company. There is more on that, but it may be a few years before I can recount the story without reflecting too much bitterness over it. Maybe I could even eke out a brilliant but dark hearted comedy--but then again, it's already been done (See: "Office Space" and if you have 7 1/2 hours to spare, check out the BBC version of The Office. I just watched that--hello, Netflix instant watch--last week. Why didn't anyone tell me? Okay, people did make it known, I just never checked it out till recently, therefore I will just pretend that no one told me. I like the American Office too, but I relish the complete awkwardness of the British version).
I don't really work in a cool place anymore. I used to work in Crystal City in Arlington, VA. It had its own metro stop. It had restaurants galore. It sounds cool too, right? Crystal City. Say it! It's like Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz. With all of the defense contracting companies in one spot, I'm sure there are more than enough wizards working behind curtains than you could count. It even has its own website! You could buy anything from puppets to shoes to overpriced Hallmark cards. It was all downstairs from my building in a convenient underground maze. If the weather was awful or you didn't want to go outside, then guess what? You never had to. I loved it!
I also got complacent. The new job puts me back into the crappy DC traffic mix. I have been doing alright with that...so far. I have new perk too. No more suits. In fact, apparently *they* make fun of you if you wear a suit. The rule is that you wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing on the days you work at the company office. This doesn't mean I plan to show up in pasties and a G-string (it's not that kind of establishment). I am thinking more along the lines of jeans. I can ditch the heels. I can wear Uggs! (yes, I recognize that this is not a victory for the more fashion conscious out there) I saw running shoes, sweatshirts, jeans and flip flops on my first day. People were actually in good moods. There were bagels and fresh fruit in the kitchen and not just because someone brought them in. Those things are there every day. There are no vending machines, but the fridge is fully stocked with juice and soda. At my old job there was free coffee (presumably to keep the worker bees fueled up, but everything else was about fending for yourself and hoping no one took your meager lunch from the community fridge). I am not saying any job or company is perfect, but this is a vast improvement. I will keep you posted.