Thursday, January 6, 2011
Today I had to be very cautious. I woke and got ready, but instead of my normal jeans and long-sleeved shirt, I put on my olive green suit and tie. I drove cautiously, as I saw three policemen along my normal route.
If you are like me, the minute I see a police car, you look at your speedometer to check your speed, followed by no less than fifteen glances into the rear view mirror to make sure that you aren’t being followed. I’m generally not doing anything wrong, but it just puts me on edge.
After arriving at work, I walked cautiously over the frozen parking lot, remembering that my dress shoes don’t offer the same grip as my normal shoes, thus making them prone to unexpected slips and slides in an attempt to topple me. Arriving at the door, I breathed a sigh of relief as my badge worked and slipped inside.
I passed my cube mate on the way to my desk. He didn’t recognize me until I was past him, and muttered a surprised, “Oh, hi!” when his mind caught up with his eyes. After getting settled in, I went to my first meeting. And this is why I had been so cautious.
I had a meeting this morning with the vendor manager, who I had not told yet about my interview. Needless to say, in three weeks, I would be out of this job, but they are not-so-secretly hoping that I’ll return after my hiatus. It is nice to know that there is a backup, should this new position not work out, but it drives me crazy to have to take off three months.
I saw one of my co-workers leave her desk, so I waited a few minutes, expecting that she was headed directly to the meeting. I was wrong.
I walked into the room, and the vendor manager was sitting there waiting for me. He is nothing to dread, and he is very good at what he does. He would make a great politician, as he has the skill to make everything sound like it has been carefully scripted before he speaks. He never makes a situation uncomfortable, and can smooth-talk with the best of them without consciously smooth-talking.
He was (of course) surprised to see me in a full suit. He asked what the special occasion was, and I told him that I had an interview. I could see the look of terror flash behind his eyes, but he quickly recovered. And that put a damper on the rest of the meeting. Both my co-workers had it dawn on them that three weeks was all they had left with me, even if I don’t get this position. Come February 1 my contract is up.
Part of me felt good to know that I have an interview. But part of me felt like I was betraying the people who have taught me a lot while I have been in this position. The uncomfortable discussion always comes up that people wish me the best, but secretly they don’t want me to leave. It is hard all around.
So I have remained cautious throughout my day. I cautiously ate my baked potato and chili for lunch, careful not to drop any bites off my fork—spills just won’t do today. I cautiously tell people that I have an interview, and notice the quick glances at me when I pass by their cube on my way to the next meeting.
And I’ll leave cautiously early in order to make it to my interview on time at 2:00. It isn’t very far away, but I am making sure that I have at least 20 solid minutes to get there. I don’t want to arrive too late, or too early. In fact, I kind of feel like I am on my first date with a girl. In a way, I am being courted, so I can see how similar feelings are elicited from me going to an interview as when I went on first dates.
So I’ll just have to remain cautious so that I don’t ruin the evening.