First Impressions

First impressions are important (and nice to record). They can often set the tone for so much that is to come. Here are a few of mine, along with some observations and lessons learned after TWO WHOLE DAYS on the job:

  • I like my new job.  I’ve always loved fresh starts and this one is especially exciting for so many reasons. I feel very blessed and privileged to be able to embark on this journey at this point in my life, and appreciate the support of family and friends, even if they don’t quite “get it”.
  • My new job likes me. The Department of State Office of Medical Services has difficulty attracting candidates with the specific set of certifications, experience and qualifications for this position–as with many government jobs, one can make more $$ in the private sector–so the people in this office are SO HAPPY to have me on board. There are at least seven openings at present in Africa alone, so they are excited to get me to post. And let’s face it: everyone likes to be liked.
  • I like the people I’ve met so far in Med. These are my colleagues (although I may never see many of them again once I get to post), and I feel a common bond with them. From the beginning of this process, I’ve vacillated between feeling quite confident that I can do this job and feeling completely panicked that I don’t really know anything. Meeting my colleagues today nudged me in the former direction.
  • I like my new city. The buzz, the excitement, the monuments, the metro—I’m like a kid in a candy store. I mean, it’s our nation’s capital, guys. This is exciting.
  • “Fake it ‘til you make it” has never been more tangible. Most of the time, I am completely lost and can’t seem to figure out how to get my badge out of its holder to swipe it, or make the SmarTrip Metro fare card work (I think I’ve accidentally been riding the Metro for free these past two days), but I stand tall, walk confidently and look like I know what I’m doing. Someone in the Main State building today actually asked me a question, I looked so confident. (Thankfully, it was just a question about the weather, which I was able to answer since I had just been wandering around outside in it, lost. And that freed me up to reciprocate with a much-needed question: “Where is the cafeteria?”)
  • It’s nice to put some faces to names and a human face on this government job.  In short, I’m glad the email and phone call phase is over and I’m speaking to people in person. I couldn’t be a more excited and enthusiastic new hire. 🙂

I feel the need to be funny and entertaining at this point, but really, I got nothing. I’m just excited to be here and glad things are going well. Oh, and did I mention that the people in charge of my training have been out of the office until tomorrow, so I haven’t really done anything yet and have been told to go home early both days? Oh, yeah.  Tomorrow begins the drinking of the three cups of Kool-Aid: red, white and blue, from a fire hydrant.


Where and Back Again

OK, so here’s the deal:

I’m going to start a blog.

The goals are:

  1. To preserve, quite selfishly, a bit of a record, a memory, of happenings as well as our responses to them. There’s nothing like capturing the moment because memories change over time. I still say that I have a memory of my friend, John, skiing barefoot in 1972, but he says he never did. Whose memory is correct?!?! Had I kept a blog…
  2. To keep everyone updated in one consolidated place. Since what we’re about to embark on is kind of crazy on several levels, people seem interested in following our adventure. I realize that interest will wane–I’m no fool–but at least for now, this is The Place to come for periodic updates. I’ll try to keep them short and sweet, but brevity has never been my forte. Right, Randy?
  3. To strike a reasonable balance between recording mundane life (because, let’s face it, everyday life is mundane, even if you live in Godforsakastan and have to pluck your own chickens to make dinner) and being at least vaguely entertaining. If I fail on the latter part, I apologize, but you can always stop following. :-)

So there’s my long awaited introduction. I’m going to post another entry soon describing some of the background and lead up to The Adventure, just to sort of record that. It might not be even vaguely entertaining, but stay tuned and give me a few chances.

PS Points if you get the reference in the title