It's been a while since I have worked in a big, professional atmosphere. Actually...wow...I hadn't realized how long it's been until I wrote that sentence.
It has been 10 years.
That's not to say that I haven't worked. I have been working. It's just that my last few jobs were business casual. Smaller companies that were a little more laid back in their day-to-day dealings. And the people in those companies, although small, were very much like family. Some of them still are part of our family, actually. Our landbaron (he hates being called a landlord) actually began as a fellow co-worker.
I got so used to those intimate relationships that I had at those companies that I forgot what it was like to work somewhere that was more of a grown up job, more professional, more corporate America.
And that's where I find myself today.
Many of the people that I work with have been here since graduating college, some even started as interns during college, and I am the new girl. There are cliques, as well as mean girls (dressed as 50-something year old women) that attempt to "put me in my place" on a fairly consistent basis.
None of this really bothered me until the holiday season really took full effect. There have been at least 5-6 interoffice social gatherings that I have attended in the last two weeks. It is painfully obvious that I am not fitting in. I sit by myself, sequestered in a corner, smiling at those that dare to glance in my direction. I try to share amusing stories about friends, past jobs, the kid - but I don't matter to them, I am just the new girl.
It does not help that it is common knowledge how many applicants I beat out for this position. Or that I, as an outsider, was brought in over some of my counterparts that currently work in other departments. But it is lonely.
I am hoping that things will get better. I know that I am being humbled for some big purpose and that it is not my job to figure all of that out right now. My job is the one that I have been given to do, no matter how lonely I may get and in this holiday/birthday season, I am happy to have it.