Going Back to “Work” After 20 Years

Last week was my first week on a new job, out of the house, working for someone else, on a schedule I didn’t create.  Being self-employed for most of my adult life certainly had its’ perks, especially as a blogger.  I called the shots, set my own agenda, planned, strategized, and answered to no one.  The downside is that it takes a long time to make a full-time income as a blogger and very, very few bloggers ever get to that goal.  Hence, the day job.

I really had no idea what I was getting myself into with this job.  In fact, I never even heard of the position I applied for before I applied for it.  I didn’t really research what it was until I was called for an interview.

Boy, I really didn’t know anything about modern employment when I first walked in through those doors for the interview.  I might as well had been born yesterday.

My physical, which I thought would take 10 minutes, took 2 weeks.  I flunked the first drug test for a prescription detected in my urine and I had to wait days till that was cleared up.  Not the urine but the company doctor confirming that I had a legal prescription.  I guess they wanted to make sure I hadn’t bought the prescription off the street or was taking 100 times more than I was prescribed.

Then there were all the vaccines.  I lost count of how many and I still have three left.  Somehow my 9th grade immunizations from 1985 weren’t current enough.

Then I finally got over all the hurdles to learn the wonderful experience of new employee orientation.  All my other jobs, from the early 1990s, had no orientations full of PowerPoint presentations.  Neither had been invented yet probably.  At least it was only two days long. My daughter had to endure a week of long, boring, slideshows for her job. Death by PowerPoint is what she called it.

I didn’t have to endure much and orientation wasn’t a bad experience or excessive.  I was just adapting poorly to my new environment… like a fish in a frying pan.

I have to admit after the first day of orientation I went home with the biggest tension headache of my life. One presenter insisted that we were selected because we were the best and they only hire the best.

That only made me wonder what goofballs had I been competing against?  I didn’t feel like the best.  My only experience in a hospital was giving birth and comforting my kids after tonsillectomies.

I graduated with a degree in fish & wildlife conservation and here were all these people that actually prepared for a job in health care or had previous experience.  I dreaded the introductions because I knew I was like an escaped critter out of its habitat.  It was so obvious.  I’m surprised animal control wasn’t called to place me back in the woods where I came from.

But yeah that evening after the first day of orientation was a night spent of soul searching and a lot of Tylenol.

This was not in my plan book at all.  I don’t know how Point A of going back to college for a degree in natural resources ended up at Point B in an entry level position I’d never heard of before in a hospital.

But I decided to give day 2 a try and it went much better.  I’m not sure why but I felt like I might be able to pull this off.

Then day three came.  This was the day I went to my department to begin the actual job and that evening was spent much like day 1.  I was left questioning my life’s purpose and direction.  How on earth did this happen to me?  Why?  What did I do in a past life to deserve this?

Then day 4 was even worse.  Not being used to being on my feet for 8 hours a day had left me nearly crippled.  My legs hurt, my feet, my back, my hips, my pelvis, basically everything from the waist down was in agony.

Then day 5, Friday!  This day went much better, probably because it was a Friday, but my body seemed to have adapted some or had completely lost the ability to feel pain from the shock.

I began to know how to do a few things on my own and not feel like a total nuisance to everyone.  Well, I’ll be a nuisance for quite a while since there’s about 40 billion things left to learn but doing something productive made the day go by faster.

Tomorrow, week 2 begins and I have no idea what range of emotions I’ll go through.  Wish me luck.

And I have to place this disclaimer since I was handed it in orientation: “This is my personal website and reflects my views and opinions only.  Any comments made on this website, by myself or by third parties, do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of my employer.”

Apparently, someone from HR had read my blogs before and knew they better distance themselves. What can I say?  You can take the critter out of its habitat but you can’t take the habitat out of the critter!