Saturday, February 6, 2010

First Impressions.

It's been a week of first impressions.

Monday I started a new serving gig, which means the kitties and I will be able to continue to eat and have a roof over our heads. WHEW.

Then Tuesday I took my Broke Ass to the Tribune Tower to get my photo taken for the RedEye Broke Ass project. (Damn, that building is amazing.) Obviously this is all an effort to get my book deal/full-time editorial gig, but I felt a little guilty going in the day after my first training shift at the bar. (Not that guilty though.) The thing is, I've got enough perspective right now to appreciate this new serving gig for what it is—a JOB. That's more than many people have right now, so it would be ridiculous if I didn't value it. 

Today was my third shift at the bar. I was annoyed with myself the moment I woke up today, because I stayed out too late the night before, overslept, and felt (and looked) like crap. Not the best version of myself to go in to a new job. When am I going to learn? Not only am I the "new girl" in a still relatively foreign environment, I am the new girl who is a space cadet, and not a very friendly one at that, because I'm exhausted.

Uggh. I don't know what my fellow employees think of me at this point, but after the lunch shift was over and I took my break (I was working a double), I immediately went to Dunkin Donuts and gulped down a coffee. Hoorah for caffeine, because when I finally got to take tables during the dinner shift, I felt like a more accurate version of myself. (I smiled at people. Some of them smiled back.)

My first impressions of the new job are overall pretty positive, so I can only hope that I've made a halfway decent impression on all these co-workers and managers I've just acquired. If my last job taught me anything, it's that when I'm intimidated or nervous, it comes across to other people (ahem, like my managers) as me being snobby, conceited, or negative (insert other bad adjective here). And that blows. Because even though it shouldn't really matter, I still wish I could have somehow shown my previous boss that my "dirty looks" and "bad attitude" was really just me, intimidated, nervous, and sensitive as all hell. 

I want to make a good first impression this time. But I'm willing to make a good second (and third, or tenth) impression if that's what I have to do. I learned my lesson. If your boss doesn't like you—or thinks you don't like her, so in turn begins to loathe you—work can be pretty damn miserable. No thank you. I'm done with that portion of the Ali show.

It's a fresh start. And it's nervewracking and tough and wonderful.

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