New jobs are exciting, because you get to embark on a whole new adventure – but then there are also all the stresses that come along with it.
I have no doubt that I can master my job. I have confidence in my technical skills – and my ability to quickly learn new skills – so there’s little pressure coming from that aspect of things. The stress all seems to lie in the social aspects of working in an office.
It’s like the feeling I get when I leave a phone message – the paranoia of “did I remember to say everything?” – “did I leave my name?” – “was I loud enough?” – “was I too loud?” – “did I say my phone number slowly and clearly enough?” – “OMG, did I LEAVE my phone number?” – “did I sound like an idiot?” – “are they going to play my message over and over again and LAUGH at it? – and then put it on youtube?” You know, that feeling. The feeling that you really are rather stupid and insignificant, and the rest of the world just wants you to stop bothering them.
I worry that they don’t believe I’m really a grown up. One of my new colleagues asked if I was fresh out of college – from the look on his face, I don’t think he even thought I was THAT old. When I told him that I’d been out of college longer than I was in it, I think perhaps he decided I must have some 18-month certificate or something.
I worry that they think I’m not very smart. I’m no Einstein, and I’m well aware of that fact – but I am a capable, intelligent person. Who just happens to ask really dumb questions. And say dumb things. And not know all the eclipse shortcuts. (Ok, but honestly, who does??? There’s got to be half a million of them.) I was working on a ‘getting started with the team’ programming project with the other new team member, and since his computer hasn’t been built yet, we did it on my box. Which meant I drove. Which meant he had to watch me spastically go about our ‘assignment.’ I’m not exactly one for going through all the steps in order … And then he got to witness my true anality firsthand, as I was compelled to update the ‘assignment’ whenever I found things that weren’t right. On the plus side, even though he now knows what a nut I am, I learned that he’s very capable and knows his stuff.
The truth of the matter is, my new coworkers don’t think about me. They really aren’t expending any effort to think bad things about me. They aren’t at home, right now, telling their spouses about the impossibly young and exceptionally stupid new hire. And for that, I am thankful.