Wednesday, May 11, 2011

First days and heartache...

Today, I started my first day at a real job ( I guess career would be the better term to use) after months of boredom, annoyance, anger, and a genuine loathing from my other "job" (which I will continue to work at on the weekends to supplement my income). It was music to my ears and literal tears to my eyes when I got the call last week saying I had got the job. I thought the job was far from my reach since I thought the interview went o.k. but not incredibly well and I left a bit ambivalent about what my future would be. However, everything happens for a reason and the same day I got the call was the same day that an expat friend and I were praying for my future since I needed this job to build my resume, get out of debt, and above all, possibly live out my dreams (which I will discuss in another post).

So today, I arrived very early... heals on, lunch in hand, and a grin that stretched from ear to ear. I was greeted by the friendly receptionist who told me they were waiting for two others for the new employee tour and orientation. In case you are wondering exactly what this job is, I will be working in the legal realm however due to confidentiality and privacy rules, I can not discuss in detail the nature of my job, nor the details of the firm. Finally the others arrived and my new head boss escorted us off for a mini tour and some videos.

After the the videos we were taken on the grand tour of the offices which are actually various rooms of an old mansion from the early 1900's (the bathrooms still have the bathtubs in them!) The rooms have since been made into offices but it's such a beautiful place and there is a gorgeous garden behind the mansion. I learned that the first Thursday of the month during the summer the firm will get together for a company picnic in the gardens complete with free and delicious catered food from a local gourmet eatery (This happens every month, but it will be nice being outside). In addition, everyone was incredibly friendly and warm and I loved that there was a great mix of both male and female employees ( Note: I by no means "hate women," and I have a disdain for girls who openly make comments of that nature; but, I find that after working in several jobs where it tended to be more female than male, it tended to be a bit too gossipy and catty for my taste and I tend to shy away from work drama since I can't be bothered and get annoyed very easily). I was finally introduced to the team that I would be working on and I settled into my project for the first time. Everything was going so well until a bomb dropped on me...

As the head boss checked in on my first day progress, she informed me that she would need my vehicle information in order to assign me a parking spot and also for liability reasons. My stomach dropped and I felt immediately ill, but I managed to sputter out the information of my mother's car without any emotion in my face or cracking in my voice. You see, I continue to live my European lifestyle here stateside and by that I mean I am sans car. Yes, I know it sounds crazy to many readers out there (minus my NYC, DC, and Chi town readers), however, after living between the states and Europe on and off for the past few years and with perfectly good and cheap public transport in my city, a car was more of a hassle than a necessity to me and I decided to "rough it" without one. My mother does have a car, but due to a last minute snow storm combined with snow driving amnesia at the end of March, my mother was hit from the side and her beloved car now sits barely drivable in the parking garage (there were 100 driving accidents that day...apparently people also forgot that this is upstate New York after all).

My great first day quickly turned sour and I went home angry and defeated. I'm angry because I am sick and tired of this "need a car" b.s. that surrounds me in this city and I am sure in many other areas across America. I understand that yes, some people do need a car since their job and/or shopping needs maybe many miles away from where they live. However, I don't see the problem in taking the bus since I get to this job perfectly fine via the bus for the fraction of the price of gas (since it currently hoovers at $4.00 a gallon in my area) and honestly in the same amount of time. I am defeated because I honestly want to stay at this job and I feel like this car thing may impede this dream. It's times like this why I miss Europe...there is no "public transport discrimination" since a large number of the population rides the bus in the major cities and even small towns. Here in America, cars are king and bus riders are viewed with a mix of disdain and even pity. People tend to typecast public transport takers as: poor, uneducated, migrant, unmotivated, and even criminal and I for one am none of the above (not saying there is anything wrong with being a migrant).

As I sat in my fury of emotions, I got up to retrieve something and out of nowhere my heart began to race and then it literally started to hurt. I thought for a quick second that I would have to go to the emergency which only made things worse since I have no health insurance ( this job would allow me some after 90 days...yet another reason why I miss Europe and that good ol' socialized medicine). After sitting down for a few minutes, my mini anxiety attack subsided and my heart went back to it's normal pace. All I can do is think about what will I say or do to get thorough this situation. I guess as the saying goes "the truth shall set me free" and I will only have to go to my head boss within the next few days to tell them about my situation. I can only hope they will let me stay cause lord knows I can no longer take being poor or the "muzak." I will keep you posted as the events unfold...

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