Some of the activities I find uncomfortable include getting a root canal, a titanium implant, a colonoscopy and a 24 hour bus ride in a developing country while suffering from the travelers’ shits with no access to a toilet. All of these are unpleasant experiences and I can very easily add to that – starting a new job. The awkwardness, the confusion, the information overload, the fact everyone else is so much more intelligent than you, and just not knowing who anyone is, or what they’re responsible for, or who can help you, or where the toilet is, or which coffee mug you can use, or or or…. It’s always ALWAYS intense and challenging.
Mix into this a complete change in lifestyle, as the mini-human alarm clocks are replaced with electric or battery operated ones, and from the moment those dulcet tones crash you out of lurid dreams, you need to leap out of bed, shower, eat breakfast, get dressed, consume as much coffee as your body can take, dry your hair, put make-up on, pack your bag, cuddle your kids, be pleasant to your husband, and then get out the door to an office on the other side of town somehow, to be there on time, only not knowing where anyone is for the meeting scheduled, and walking around aimlessly for an hour or more, wondering what the hell I do right now?
Yes that has been my first few days in my new job – confused, awkward, bamboozled, overwhelmed and stupid. During these last two days I have had to ingest so much information and most of it is sitting in my brain, in a big knowledge quagmire, and it’s too soon to identify any threads of knowledge I can slowly extract and use to focus on getting something done. I know when the first thread comes loose, I will be ecstatic to sit down and actually get cracking on something useful. But until it becomes apparent what it actually is I can get started on, I remain hopelessly lost and confused. The good news is I think I’ve identified some things I can start doing next week, because once that happens, I know the flow will begin.
A moment I will always remember from my very first day is finishing up a day of meetings, catching the elevator downstairs and standing in the lobby thinking – how the hell do I get home? I’d already worked out how to get to the office, but hadn’t quite gotten as far as the other important bit – getting home. I was also wearing heels – something I haven’t had to do in a very long time – so my feet were aching and I just wanted to put my fitflops on, definitely something I will be packing and taking to work with me from now on. Yes the days of comfortable shoes are upon me. But I still hadn’t worked out how to get home and I’m standing there, feet pulsing, and I look at the taxi queue, concluding (almost tearfully) there was no escape down that path as it had been raining all day and Singapore + rain = no chance in hell of a taxi. Right what else?
A sign to the SMRT station – Singapore’s train system. Awesome, the only problem is I never catch the train – something that is obviously going to change. So I follow the signs, along with thousands of other people briskly heading home from work, realising that I somehow need to find love in my heart again for the human-transport-rat-race, squeezing and shoving onto the jam packed train, there are no seats available (so no foot relief in sight), and all the while I’m trying to work out which stop I need to go to, where I need to change trains en-route, getting thrown around as I can’t quite reach a hand hold through the throng of humanity, walking a long way between platforms, somehow working out how to get the next train and thankfully, falling into Steve’s loving embrace before he whisked me home, only 30 minutes before the boys went to bed, and Lex, in particular, was very unhappy with Mummy for not being around for him that day. There was anger, tears, a couple of slaps, but most importantly, lots and lots of cuddles ‘cos he just missed him Mum. Bless him.
Ironically, our little Lex always wakes up on the dot at 7am or earlier. He is the most consistent sleeper/waker-upperer I’ve ever known and for the first time EVER he slept in ‘til 8am. I had to say goodbye to him in bed, so I gave him a kiss and was out the door before he surfaced. I think waking up to a house with no Mummy in it, and then not seeing her again ‘til 30 minutes before bedtime, was just too much for my little man that day. Jax, on the other hand, was woken up at the same time as us, as he was nestled in our bed as usual. I reckon if anything is going to cure him of needing to sleep in Mum and Dad’s bed, it’s definitely going to be a daily aggressive alarm clock!
So there you have it. I’m so glad it was only two days to get through in the first week, as I can now reflect and work out how to best approach each day, to ensure all of my time is maximized to meet all of my needs, as well as the families, and it’s given the boys a short taste of their new life with a lot less Mummy time. Phew, I’m definitely a bit blown away by it all.
A lot of adjustments for everyone to make, but now that the initial stupid time is over, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into next week and working out where and how I can make a positive contribution and move forward quickly. I’m also looking forward to integrating my “Fuck it, Enough” Crusade into my new life, as a lot of that definitely went out the window.
Yes, I definitely do not enjoy the first few days in a new job…. Can anyone else relate?
Yours, without the bollocks