Friday, July 30, 2010

Confidence is Key

As I mentioned last weekend, Monday was Day One of my "Fresh Start In Life".

I discovered (again) that it's much easier to give yourself a pep talk and describe exactly what you plan on doing than to get up and do it.

I got ready in the morning with butterflies tickling my insides. That's pretty normal (or so I hear) for anyone to feel on their first day of a new job. I dropped the kids off at daycare and made my way down the freeway to what is going to be my second home for a very long time. As I pulled into the campus and made my way around the building to the parking lot the nervousness starts to creep up from my belly and lodge in my throat.

I'm not going to lie. I sat in my car and seriously contemplated calling my old boss and begging her to give me my job back. Anyone who knows me (and my boss) knows that I'm way to proud for that, but I entertained the idea for a minute or so. After about 10 minutes of Facebooking (yes, it's a verb), e-mailing, and texting I told myself I would count to three and by the time I got to three I would be out of the truck walking into the building. I even mentally separated the steps:

One. Phone in purse. Lip gloss checked. Turn off ignition.

Two. Seat belt off. Door Open. Feet on ground.

Three. Lock doors. Walk. Keep walking. Breathe.

As I walked into the building a feeling of semi-familiarity came over me. I'd done three interviews here and, when the security guard sent me to the same waiting area I had been sent to before I couldn't help but think, "I got this." And then I opened the door.

Previously, I had been the only one in the a fore-mentioned waiting area. When I walked in there were 3 men waiting in there and another woman was close on my heels. As I checked in, more and more people came in. The room was filling up fast. (I would come to find out, there were over 25 people in there.) As I sat there I became more and more nervous.

Smile, Amanda. Smile, damn it.

People (Roy) tell me that I have a tendency to give people dirty looks without realizing it. Usually it's because I'm lost in thought and, apparently, my "thinking face" is also my "pissed off" face and my "don't talk to me because I'll chew your face off" face. Nice.

I also have the idea that I'm dull and irritating burned into my brain and I can't shake it. When I meet someone I immediately start thinking of all the things I said or did that would make her not like me and so I convince myself that she doesn't want to talk to me anymore. Because of that I don't make the effort to talk to her, either, so she probably feels snubbed. If it weren't for my silly over thinking things would probably turn out great more often than not.

Anyway, as I sat there willing myself to smile at nothing in particular (because there was no way on earth I was making eye contact with strangers) I stopped worrying about myself long enough to realize that everyone else seemed just as nervous as me. That made me feel so much better.

I took a deep breath, counted to three and introduced myself to the girl next to me. Hmmm. That wasn't hard at all. Another girl took the seat in between us and I introduced myself to her, too. Go, me! Two out of two!

Let me back track for a moment and explain something about myself to you: I judge people. I know, it's terrible. For example, women who let their kids run around the store screaming? Bad moms. Pacifiers at 3? Bad mom. Pretty women who dress nice? Snotty. Women with designer handbags? Rich snobs. Logically, I know that those are terrible generalizations that are almost never true. But I can't help it.

However, I promised myself I wasn't going to judge anyone at this new job. Everyone got the benefit of the doubt from Amanda. It's something I'm trying to do more of in all aspects of my life, but let's be realistic. I need to start small. So, for now, work it is.

You may be wondering why I told you that. Well, remember when I sat down in the waiting area? Two girls walked in and I immediately pegged them as being stuck up, rude and not worth my time. I caught myself and pushed that thought to the back of my mind. I stayed true to my plan of not judging anyone.

They both turned out to be pretty awesome and not stuck up at all.

Day one was awkward because no one wanted to really open up to a room full of strangers but, after day five, we all get along pretty well.

I'm pretty proud of myself. Here's to next week!


  1. I am so glad that the first week went well!

  2. "People (Roy) tell me that I have a tendency to give people dirty looks without realizing it. Usually it's because I'm lost in thought and, apparently, my "thinking face" is also my "pissed off" face and my "don't talk to me because I'll chew your face off" face. Nice."
    Apparently, I do the same thing! G will tell me to smile and not look so angry when we go to his work things. LOL

    The first week is always the hardest and you did it! :)

  3. I can so relate to the "pissed off look without realizing it." It has caused me no small amount of grief. I've never noticed that in you, though. Hope your new job stays exciting and fun for you, and that you don't dish out too many dirty looks to your co-workers. :-P Good luck!