It's weird, after 16 years, being back in the office world. It's doesn't seem that long, but when I go to do something, anything, and it involves technology, I am grossly aware of how behind I have become.
"Just scan it and send it to Laura" was the directive tossed innocently at me. I stood there like a deer in headlights, unsure of how to go about that one. Ok--so I have a printer/scanner at home that I was pretty competent on, but I don't think she was talking about that. I think there was a head nod in the direction of the copy machine, and I think I saw Laura do something like that on hers. Hmmmm.......do you scan and send on the copy machine now? Wow. I know Laura sends things from her computer to the copier, so I am assuming it works the other way too? I just kind of answered a "Uh, huh. Let me finish this first" and worked around that one for the rest of the morning.
I can do the computer pretty well, although my Excel abilities are certainly lacking. I was watching Sue whiz about her spreadsheet, calculating columns and "merging" with other forms. I was mesmerized. I am such a loser, I thought. I have created the most lame spreadsheets for the Boy Scout fundraisers and inventory for the store, but this was impressive. I didn't know the capabilities of such programs, and I probably stood there with my eyes and mouth wide open, soaking it all up like a sponge. Shut up and learn, I kept telling myself.
I admitted my shortcomings to Eileen yesterday when she introduced herself. She had already pointed me in the direction of the restroom and office refrigerator, somehow knowing what I was looking for without expressing those words. She smiled nicely and moved some things around in the empty office so that I had room to work. She explained the office perk of a provided lunch everyday, so she suggested not to bring a lunch. And when I told her of my scanner dilemma, she told me she would help me if I needed it. "I've been there," she says politely. Yeah, but she is only about 22 years old. She can't possibly know how stupid I feel. Anyway, I latched onto her like a sailor to a piece of driftwood in the sea of stupidity.
I'm sprucing up the wardrobe, trying to at least look the part. The head honcho actually said the words "You look like a bright girl" to me, so I must be fooling them on that part. After proofing a quick report, she also mentioned needing me to write something for the company newsletter. I hope the panic inside didn't show, but I did express my concern about my naivity about the food industry. Can I possibly write about something I have no idea about? Can I pull that off? Will all of Frank's creative writing assignments of fantasy, strange scenarios, and off-the-wall suggestions help me out here? Time will tell.
It's scary getting back into the working world. I feel old, out of touch, and unsure of myself. It's the new me--working woman, writer, commuter, multi-tasker. It is stressful and scary, but at the same time, exciting.
And do you know what hasn't changed in 16 years? The office refrigerator. It is STILL disgusting.