The first day of a job is crucial for many reasons. The space, the equipment, the people. I get a feel for what my life will be like for 35 hours of every week. There are pros and cons to this gig, for sure.

I share a corner of the office with another employee who seems really cool and from the outset it looks like we share a similar work ethic. That’s important. I like to quietly do my work, not a lot of chit chat, unless it’s work related. Then I could talk for hours if I’m well caffeinated. Ha! She is really helpful in clueing me in on office politics and such. There is a paper war currently raging between departments that share a copier. It won’t be the first I’ve lived through. She’s good, though–hoarding a private stash for our little division. We are safe. For now.

The computer is a Dell which I am not fond of, having become so very used to my Mac over the years. I immediately requested a change-out on the weird ergonomic keyboard. It has a rolling hump in the middle and the keys are so deep. I feel like a monkey learning to play the piano. I offered to pick up one of my own at the office supply, but they don’t want me to do that. I’m supposed to get a flat keyboard and mouse this morning.

The biggest letdown is that I will not be able to use any external storage devices for my work. The potential for viruses is a big concern and God forbid I should infect the system. That would be embarrassing. So, when I hit that sweet spot when I have the time and freedom to write, it’s going to be long-hand. Not my favorite choice at work, but that’s the best we can do for now. That hurts. I’ve got to figure out a way. Maybe at some point I bring in my own laptop, I don’t know. For now, though, I know I have to concentrate on the job. I get a full hour for lunch, so that’s nice.

Mine is a large department and the people–many of them newly hired, seem personally disconnected, but productive. I like this dynamic. All doing our own thing–just physically together in the same space. I abhor being dragged into the pantomime “family”  that some organizations expect. There is a staff meeting today, where I will learn more about the team dynamics, but for now, it looks like smooth sailing in the management department. Christa promises a laid back experience and freedom during the down times.

No proper break room for our division, though. We have to travel across the building to another department, to a secured kitchen where there is a household-sized fridge and a vending machine. No thanks. I’m glad I brought my cooler with food and water and coffee. That will be my standard operating procedure.

On the biggest plus side–the benefits. Always the benefits. The paid vacations, holidays, sick leave. The amazing medical, dental, vision insurance. And a pension with a guaranteed distribution. Yeah, that’s the carrot I’m chasing.

Over dinner last night I remarked that my biggest challenge will be balancing my creative life with my business life. I tend toward all or nothing thinking. I don’t want to lose my imagination and my art. I don’t want my brain to go hard with all this black and white. I don’t want to lose my soul for a promise of a future that is not guaranteed.

An old co-worker of mine used to accuse me of always trying to bend the world to fit my own desires. I think that was an astute observation. I want to have it all. I find the loophole to make it work.

To quote Courtney Love, ‘I want to be the girl with the most cake’. Or is it the moist cake? Either one is fine, depending on my mood, ha-ha.

No recipes today. Just me, sorting it all out. Sober.