Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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This Is What Greeted Me In My New Office Today

Welcome by you.

Random facts about my new job:

  • It took me & Zaphod about 40 minutes to drive to my new office this morning and about 50 minutes to drive home.
  • There are 31 people in my office, 30 of whom are female.
  • I was introduced to pretty much everyone who was at the office today. I think I can put four names to faces. Which for me is actually pretty good.
  • Everyone at the office was very friendly and welcoming (as evidenced by the above photo).
  • Tomorrow there will only be four of us in the office, as everyone else is going to be at a big meeting off-site.
  • It was one women’s last day working at this office, so she brought in some really delicious cinnamon buns.  My new officemate informed me that although they claimed these were because of a special occasion, pretty much every day someone brings in cake/cookies/sweets of some kind or another. I may need to up my running to account for this1.

1And by “up” I mean “resume.”

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Looking Forward, Looking Back

workbeth.jpg by you.Today is my last day of work at my current job.  It seems like just days ago that I gave my notice, but it’s actually been a month!  Where did the time go?  I have a full day ahead of me – first to the office to wrap up a few last things (such as printing out the operations manual I wrote for my successor, forwarding email to the person who will deal with until my successor is hired, a last few HR things), then to UBC run a focus group, record a few videoclips for a conference presentation that I’m giving next month and coordinate a workshop.  Then to my program’s year-end dinner1.  So I’m sure the day will fly by and then tomorrow me and Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car head out for our first day of commuting to the new job!  I’m very, very excited about the new job2 – the co-worker with whom it seems I’ll be doing much of my work sent me a very nice email this past week letting me know that although he’s away for much of this week, he’s arranged for the office coordinator to get me set up on my first day, he’s left me some background reading and set up some meetings for me to get to know the people and programs that I’ll be working with.  And I *can’t wait* to get to all that!

But I think it’s also a good time to reflect on the job I’m leaving.  I’ve been with this job for just more than two years and there are a lot of things I’ve gained from the experience.  Off the top of my head, some of those things include:

  • a chance to learn in detail about:
  • developing skills such as:
    • managing people
    • creating budgets and financial projections
    • creating Flash files and more advanced web design that I knew previously
    • grant writing
    • program evaluation
  • networking – including opportunities for some consulting work
  • and, most importantly, some really good friends!

I’m really going to miss the people I’ve been working with.  I spent many of my evenings last week having dinners with work friends and coming to terms with the fact that I will now have to make an actual effort to keep in touch with them. No longer will I be able to stop in at Bryn’s office on my way down the hall to catch up on our respective weekends or to rant about the various bureaucratic hoops through which we were required to jump; Patrice won’t be be crossing the hall to my office to share frustrations and stories and high fives and victory dances; I won’t be able to pop downstairs to Amy’s office to collaborate on grant applications and compare notes on careers and personal lives; my regular lunch dates with Shalu are now at an end.  I’m sure I’ll meet lots of wonderful people at my new job – the ones I’ve met so far are fantastic – but I’m truly going to miss my current co-workers!  I’ve been collecting non-work email addresses and cell phone numbers (and have plans to cook dinner at Patrice’s (I’m going to teach her some vegetarian cooking and she’s going to teach me some Jamaican cooking!) and for Bryn and I to avail ourselves of some coffee shop patio wifi in order to get her into Gmail (I’ve been harassing her for the past two years to abandon her hotmail account!)). While it will take some actual work to make plans to stay in touch, I’m feeling it will be well worth the effort!

Anyway. I guess it’s time to head out and enjoy my last day of work!

1Yes, my last day of work is conveniently the day with the party.
2It doesn’t hurt that every time I tell someone the name of the organization for which I will be working, they say, “Oh, they are a *great* employer! I (or my friend so-and-so) have had such a good experience working for them!”

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Workin’ 9 to 5

I have a tendency to do things the opposite from how other people do things. If most people find something easy, I’ll have trouble with it, but I find the thing that everyone else is confounded by to be simple.  When I was in high school, it never ceased to amaze my then-boyfriend’s family that I could hardly ever answer any of the questions in the first round of Jeopardy correctly, but I cleaned up in the (supposedly more difficult) second round (and don’t even get me started on how good I was at Final Jeopardy).  The other day at the pole dancing lesson, I was a left-turner when every single other person in the room was a right turner.  I just always seem to be Captain Opposite.

Case in point: it’s a recession, unemployment is through the roof and I have too many jobs1.  That’s right – not long after securing the salary for my current job for the next six years through a sucessful grant application (in a really tough competition, I might add), I go and get another job offer.  It’s for a job that I interviewed for back in the middle of March, when I didn’t know if my grant was going to be renewed or not, and I didn’t hear back for awhile, so I sort of thought that they weren’t interested and kind of put it out of mind.  And then we got the good news about the grant, so I got busy planning and working on ramping up my program.  Then, as it turns out, there was merely a delay in the interview process for job #2, but they were actually very interested in me. So much so that they offered me the job!  In keeping with my policy of not revealing what my actual job is here in the blogosphere, I’m going to not reveal what my new job is.  But it does have the word “Specialist” in the title. And you know that makes you jealous.  Unless, of course, your job title also has the word “Specialist” in it, in which case you are all “whatev.”

The job starts at the end of May. Which gives me enough time to prepare to transition my current job to someone new and to buy a car.  But that’s a whole other blog post!

1For the record, I think this runs in my family. My dad works in the auto industry in Ontario2. You know, the auto industry that is completely decimated? The factory he worked in closed down last fall and, seeing as he is 63 years old, that meant an early retirement. But the factory he worked in had to re-open because the factory where all the jobs went, in Mexico, wasn’t able to make the needed parts to the necessary level of quality and in the needed timeframe. And people need their cars to be able to stop. So they re-opened the Canadian factory, which will make parts until the Mexican factory gets running properly and my dad, a worker in the auto industry who really should just be retired, is back on the job.
2Specifically, he makes brake parts. Every time your car stops safely, you should thank him.