Over the last week, I’ve run into four people that I used to work with at The Company (one I really, REALLY wish I hadn’t seen. Apparently five months wasn’t long enough apart). And of course they’re all very nice and they each asked how I’ve been and whether I like my new job. One of them even asked what life’s like on The Outside. I was with Kara at the time, so we started chatting about the things we liked and didn’t like about our new jobs. (Note, The Plastics all used to work at The Company as well, so I guess that number should really be seven instead of four, but I actually SCHEDULE the times I see them. The others were totally random).
Kara and I both decided that we’re much happier at our new jobs (Duh.), but that we’re also really glad we worked at The Company. Namely, because we met so many cool people there. We both are now in industries that we are passionate about (me: helping sick kids. her: drinking alcohol) and we work for great organizations, but our coworkers could never measure up to the ones we left at The Company. For instance, my coworkers at The Foundation are almost exclusively female, married, and older than I am. At The Company, I worked with mostly twentysomething single people. Now, the other Foundationeers are definitely cool and usually down for a happy hour, as long as it’s scheduled at least a week in advance, but they don’t do much on the weekends because they have husbands and mortgages and maybe kids.
I also told the guy who asked about The Outside that I had been at my new job for 3 months before I learned how to check my work email from home. And that when I finally did it, it was because I actually cared, not because I was afraid of what might be happening. His mind was totally blown.
It is strange, though, working with people who are at different places in their lives. One of my coworkers, Traci, always asks me what I did last night. She says things like, “Tell me about your fabulous single life! What did you do last night?” To which I usually respond with things like, “Well, I went to happy hour at this place on the East Side and then went home and watched 30 Rock on my DVR. It was a Tuesday, Trace.”
And then there was the work happy hour we had a few weeks ago on a Friday. We went to Bettie Ford’s, because they have $2 beers and awesome $3 food options AND their happy hour goes until 9:00. The bad part is they don’t open until 5:00, so we can’t leave work early with the excuse that we need to go reserve a table. But it’s pretty sweet to be the only group in the bar and have the Wii all to yourselves. Anyway, when we get there, Tessa, who is 8 months pregnant and married, says, “So, Meg, is this place cool? Is this a popular place for people to go?” I responded with, “Yeah, Mom. All the cool kids hang out here these days.” I mean, really?
And then we threw a baby shower for Tessa last Wednesday. It was a great time, but I was the only single person there (as always) and one of the few who hadn’t had any children. I learned more about pregnancy in an hour than I ever, EVER wanted to know. It was so horrible that I actually had a nightmare that I was pregnant the next night. Seriously.
So, Kara and I have found a happy medium hanging out with our very nice, funny, interesting coworkers during the day, doing things that we enjoy, and then going out with people we used to work with in the evenings. Other than the occasional awkward conversation or horrible pregnancy nightmare, it seems to be going quite well.