What a difference seven months and seven days make.

If you read my last blog, you were treated weekly to stories of my awful, awful job at an awful, awful local resort.  I’m sorry.

It seemed to always be “job searching this” and “crying at work that” and of course, “my managers are all in a neck-and-neck foot race to get to hell first.”

That was then.

I started this blog after my mom and the guy I was dating found the old one a month and a half after starting a new job and haven’t had much to say on the topic since.

One reason may be that I work for a big company, definitely the most “corporate” environment I’ve been in and as much as I like to think I’m anonymousish, I don’t kid myself and realize they (you know, my company’s Big Brother) could find it.

The other reason is that sometimes a blog tends to become a place to vent.  A place to get out all the bad feelings so that the people you know IRL don’t A. get tired of hearing your broken record about how much you hate your job (really? get a new one) or B. think you have some serious mental issues going on. 

Even if it takes a conscious effort, writing about the good stuff is important too.

So, in that spirit, I’ve been having some serious I really like my job moments lately. 

Last week while on the phone with someone at corporate (a beautiful building in a tempting tropical location), he mentioned I was always so bubbly and happy and the response that cam tumbling out of my mouth before I even thought about it was, “what’s to be upset about?  I work in a beautiful office with cool people and we have more fun than you.  Oh, and we wear shorts every day.” 

(This is only partially true as I am the only woman in the office and my shorts are much different from my colleagues’ shorts and entirely inappropriate for the office, but yeah, it’s well known that the AZ office is pretty casual.)

I was surprised to hear myself say that.  I guess because lately I’ve felt bummed about other areas of my life, I didn’t recognize that I AM really happy at work, and thank goodness for that; it has probably helped balance out the rest.

Then there was today, my seven-month-and-one-week-iversary. Shutupitstotallyathing.

Today, I made a silly, inconsequential mistake that had time to be fixed before it wasn’t just a silly little mistake and my boss told me to “try and show up for work” and we both laughed.  Later, I razzed him back and we both laughed again.

I work with people I have things in common with, people I don’t want to avoid at all costs, people who appreciate my contribution and support me.

I have an easy schedule that allows me to work out in the morning and enjoy the afternoons.  I leave on Fridays without a pit in my stomach that grows and grows until Monday morning.  I just enjoy my weekend and come back refreshed with a smile on my face ready to start again.

Perhaps this Pollyanna attitude has something to do with the fact that today (Wednesday) is my Thursday and I have a glorious three-day weekend on the horizon?!

The Last Three Years

My first post-college big girl job was great.  Glamourous, fun, paid well.  It was a sexy job to talk about, but three years ago today I walked away from it.

Why?  If people ask, I usually give a delightfully vague, “my boss was a jerk.”  Or, in a more professional setting (like when I was asked during interviews), it was, “it wasn’t a good corporate culture fit.”  Sometimes I even blamed the fact that it was a small, struggling company that was always handing out salary cuts, which was true, but not the real reason.

I left because for a year and a half of the two and a half years I was there, my boss – “the jerk” – was sexually harassing me.  Well, it felt like sexual harassment AND it felt like an affair.  There were so many layers to it and none of them was black or white.  I wasn’t innocent, but it was inappropriate.  I was young (just a babe at 22), completely green in the business world and he was my boss and the president of the company, in fact.

It started with him taking me to lunch then playful emails then flirting, sexual flirting and the looks then the touching.  It stopped there, we never had sex, but the looking and touching was enough to make me feel awful, but powerless with nowhere to go.

I learned a lot from that job.  I learned that using looks and my sexuality is the way to get ahead.  I believed for a long time that I got the job because he had a crush on me when I was an intern and that all subsequent jobs will be given to me for similar reasons.  I still don’t completely UNbelieve that. I learned that a tight ass keeps the boss happy and you want to keep the boss happy.  I learned that flirting is the most important work skill to have.

Finally, after a year and a half of being upset with myself about it, of sitting in my car for 10 minutes before going into the office and facing eight hours with this man who I was allowing to trample my spirit daily, I learned something better.

I learned that I’m stronger than I thought.  That if I want something to change, I can change it.  That I can choose the type of person I am. As cheesy as it is, I drew a lot of strength from Rascal Flatts’ Stand and Carrie Underwood’s Wasted.

I thought every day would be the day I quit and finally they announced salary cuts (again).  I saw that open door and ran through it.  It gave me a good cover story with them, friends and family and future employers (although, it still didn’t make very much sense that I turned down a job and some kind of salary for absolutely nothing).  I knew the real reason and my boss did too. 

I spent the summer unemployed, building a relationship with a new interest, reading Twilight (for shame), running, hanging out by the pool, writing, painting my nails (honestly, that’s when I picked up my nail polish habit and I don’t think my tips have been uncolored for more than a day since). 

I spent the last three years becoming the kind of person who I want to be.  The kind of person who works hard, stands up for herself and what is right. 

I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I stayed, well, if the situation was different and I had stayed.  High-powered marketing exec at just 26 years old?  Maybe, but I’m happy for all the lessons I’ve learned in the last three years and although I wouldn’t have picked this to be part of the story of how I got here, I’m happy with my life as it is now.

Who needs a tiara? Give me a Roth IRA.

Finding this clip was supposed to make me feel better, but I remembered it differently.  I thought she straight out googled “finance,” but she didn’t, so it didn’t.

I work in finance and sometimes I wonder how the hell that happened. Scratch that.  I work in the finance industry and I was hired because knowledge of the industry was not a key requirement.  My bosses actually find it slightly humorous, and I like to think charming, that the TV by my desk – meant to keep guests in the office informed about the markets – is more often tuned to The Today Show and Oprah.

It’s mostly frustrating to me personally tonight because of the “rollover 401(k) to Roth IRA” cloud that has been looming over my head for years!  I’ve got step one crossed off my list, but don’t know where to go from here. 

21-year-old Emjaye never really expected to be here, but 26-year-old Emjaye is glad she is. 

At 21, I talked vaguely with my dad about finance as I started my first real job, opened those damn 401(k)s and began supporting myself.  At 21, there was a big hullabaloo about transferring investment accounts into my name, but I haven’t done much with them (besides, fortunately, watch them grow). 

At 21, I thought by 26 I’d have found someone to know about finances in the way I’ve always relied on my dad to know about finances.  When I say finances, though, I mean the bigger stuff.  Day-to-day, I feel confident about budgeting and spending and saving. 

Luckily, I never got myself into huge debt expecting some prince to come along and get me out of it.  I just expected some prince to come along and help me plan a comfortable life and retirement (like my prince of a dad has with my mom).

At 26, I know it’s up to me.  And just like at work, I’ll get there.  Neither is going to be about step one, now step two anymore.  I work better when I know WHY I’m doing step one and HOW it helps me at step two, so I’m engaging myself.

I might have a little talk with Pops this weekend, but those talks usually just remind me that I’m quite capable and knowledgeable if I just give myself a break.  And that I don’t need a prince and his castle and his piles of money.  I just need a man who will treat me like a princess – maybe even one who is a little turned on by my financial savvy!

So, What Are You Doing on This Christmas Eve Eve?

I’m working.  7.88 hours left after the first three days of the week + my holiday on Friday.  I wouldn’t be mad if boss man said we were closing the office early and he would just tack on the extra hours to my time card.

I’m going on date #4 with Mr. “Nickname is in the Works”.  Date #3 sucked and he will not be getting a nickname, but shh, don’t tell him that, I don’t want to ruin the surprise.  So how does this fit in with the whole, if he’s not the one, move on and don’t waste more than one date on a bad prospect?  Uh, obviously it’s not 2011 yet.  

We get along, but for me, it’s not in a romantic way, he has way too many little red flags.  We both admitted date #3 sucked, but he’s so enchanted with date #2 that he’s convinced he can recreate it.  He’s going after date #4 like he’s got something to prove and I will let him try, but I’m assuming it will mostly just be a lot of awkwardness and end with me telling him, again, that maybe we can be friends.

But, no worries, fun will be had because I’m stacking my night.  No, not with another date, but with a friends Christmas tradition!  Post-college, my high school friends and I started to get together once everyone comes home for the holidays.  My favorite part is that it’s about the people and everyone is always down for whatever and always has a great time.  I threw this year’s together and we are heading to a total dive! 

Then I’m heading home and climbing in my glorious bed and turning off my alarm clock.  I’ve got a lot to do tomorrow and I’m used to waking up super early so it won’t really matter, but isn’t it funny how NOT waking up to an alarm clock, no matter what time you actually wake up, still feels like sleeping in?

We Aren’t What We Do or What We Did, or Are We?

No one wants to be THAT guy.  You know, the former high school quarterback always talking about his glory days on the field, even though now he’s in middle management, drives his kids’ carpool and has a beer gut.  Or THAT girl who won’t shut up about her college party days and how HAWT she and her sorority sisters were, even though that’s so not cute for a woman pushing 30 who goes on a string of bad first dates  and then home to her cat (although, if she’s discussing her sorority days on said dates, that may be the reason).

I’ve been there.  After leaving an awesome job for a crappy one (long story), when people would ask me what I did, I wouldn’t even take a breath between “So, that’s where I am for now.  ButItotallyusedtohaveasuperawesome-glamourousjobthatwaswaycooler.”  Who cares?  Everytime I heard myself say it, I was turned off. 

It was like I was saying that I wasn’t worthwhile anymore and I knew better.  Finally, I realized that if, in essence, I was embarrassed to tell people what I did, then I needed to do something about it and I did.

I guess my point is that I really dislike the question, “so, what do you do?” particularly the social norm that says that you’re supposed to answer back with your profession.  People aren’t in love with their jobs, that’s why it’s called work and that’s why they have to pay you to show up, so why would they want to talk about it?  I’d rather talk about my nail polish honestly.  If we ever meet on a plane or in a coffee house or in jail, ask me about that.  Or ask me why I’m in jail, that story is obviously going to give you much bigger bang for your buck.

My other point is that there’s no black line that I came upon and stepped over to get here.  This blog is a gray line.  I am totally still the supercoolblogthat-Ihadbefore.  If given the choice, I would have kept blogging at the old digs, but I have an intense desire to write whatever the fuck I feel like, so I’m starting overish.