Culture Shock

Just under a month ago I left my safe, tiny little world. My world where I woke up at 7am, three mornings a week this season, left my house between 7:50 and 8:05, and arrived at my tiny little store where I spent the day cleaning, or watering houseplants, or dusting, talking to my coworkers (of which there were usually only three this time of year). I would go to lunch about noon or noon-thirty, sometimes walking a brief 20 seconds to the break room, sometimes driving two minutes to Taco Bell. I would eat a leisurely meal in about 30 minutes, and then return. I would spend my afternoons looking over inventory, checking stock, putting an order together; perhaps finishing the houseplants or cleaning birdbaths or bathrooms or redoing an end cap before leaving for home at approximately 5pm. I was on top of things. I had the answers.

Then I quit to work for “a leading global Internet company and one of the most trafficked Internet retail destinations worldwide.” And oh my word, this place is huge. The warehouse? 28 ACRES. The employees during peak? SIX THOUSAND. Me? Just an ant in the anthill.

I worked my last two days at my garden center on Monday and Tuesday, I put in four 10-hour days at the warehouse Wednesday through Saturday. Then I worked two 60-hour weeks back-to-back. That’s why I haven’t blogged in a month. 😉

I honestly wondered what I had gotten myself into. I woke up at 4:30 every morning, left the house by 5:30, wrestled with traffic to get to work and collect myself before clocking in at precisely 7:30. I had a break at 9, or 9:15 or 9:35. I ate lunch at 12:05 or 12:25 or 12:30. Another break came at 3:15 or 3:25 or 3:45, then I clocked out precisely at 6, wrestled with traffic, came home and passed out. That’s why I haven’t blogged in a month. 😉

And I hurt. I hurt so bad. I’d leave work every night, ready to cry with pain, wondering why on earth I would ever put myself through such abuse. But I’d wake up every morning raring to go. Up and out the door, excited to go back, excited to be a part of something so big, excited. For once, I didn’t have the answer, I didn’t know anything, no one expected me to know anything. It was awesome.

My body has mostly adjusted now, I think. It still hurts, but I’m not sure if that’s the flu my family is passing around, or if it’s the last few little kinks being worked out. I haven’t been lost for several weeks now, and I’ve managed to find my car every single evening. I’ve only looked in the mirror at work once or twice to be distressed by my unibrow that I somehow didn’t notice before I left the house (it’s the downside to my beauty/self-confidence secret). It’s working now. I’m sort of settling into a routine, and now that the holidays are past, I’m only working 40 hours and four days a week, so I can relax a little more. Hopefully my blogging will be more regular as we head into the new year and hopefully y’all will stick with me through it all. I’ve got some great ideas I’m really excited about! Here’s to a safe and happy 2014!

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