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2004-11-02 @ 12:24 a.m.
model employee. Plus I have a dot!!!

Well, today was the first day of my new job. Last night was hell. Anxiety central. I was really anxious about starting today. Scared that I would screw up. Scared that I would oversleep. Scared that I would walk in and that they would say, oh, we made a mistake, we meant the OTHER wittykitty. The normal one. I was so anxious that I actually overindulged in drugs yesterday. I know...bad witty. Just say no.

I had thought about sending an SOS out to ďAĒ to get a word of encouragement from him, but he hasnít answered my last two e-mails and I thought, if he doesnít answer, I would feel really discouraged. I have also felt really bad that I have a new job and I havenít even been able to tell Married Guy about it. Iím sure he would have done back flips for me. He had always been very, very encouraging for anything I did, and for something like a job, Iím sure he would have been ecstatic.

So I had my mom call me this morning, in case I overshot my alarm clock. I donít have a snooze alarm, so once it rings, thatís it. I was half asleep though, so I didnít really get all that she was talking about. Plus I had a severe, stabbing pain in my mid section. I was instantly convinced I had food poisoning from some out dated chicken I had cooked last night. But I finally got up and tried to cover the dark circles under my eyes. It was the least I could do, so as not to scare the new people I was going to meet at work today.

I got there early naturally. Because Iím absolutely anal about being early. And the first thing our very nice and funny receptionist said was, ďYou got a dot!Ē And I was like ďhuh? Where?Ē, checking my nostril for perhaps some errant booger. Her: ďOver there on the board!Ē And I looked and my name was already up on the In and Out Employee Name Board. Each name is listed and then you have a magnetic dot which you slide accordingly to whether youíre In or Out. I donít know if they mean GAY or not. That would be funny, huh? I am so out, Bruce! But I was really impressed having my own dot.

ďI have a dot. I have a dot. Neener. Neener. Neener!Ē I was secretly singing to myself as I waited for my new boss. I soon met the other new employee. He seemed nice, and we got our little orientation with the new boss. She seems very nice. Sheís a heavy set woman with a very good sense of humor, which of course, is a good thing for me. I can play off people with good senses of humor and I immediately was joking around with her. I do need to keep that somewhat under to control though, because I can get sarcastic like David Letterman in like 1.6 seconds and not everybody ďgetsĒ my humor. ďAĒ does. Heís sarcastic too, when its appropriate. And sometimes even when it isnít. But my humor, in person, is kind of an acquired taste. Right ďAĒ?

She then took us to a meeting where we met our team members and another one of the bosses. And they fed us, which is always something that makes me happy. Free Food! Amazingly, at this point, I STILL donít quite know what my job entails. heh, heh. Iíve got the job title, but, umm, what am I going to be doing now? I did get a little bit of info from people who were talking about their clients.

Unfortunately there is one aspect that is going to make me a little nervous. I have to call people on the phone. YIKES!!!!!!!! I absolutely hate using phones. I was a sales executive for Gannett Newspapers for about 4 years and I was on the phone continuously. I hated it. And then with the onset of my illness, I have gotten a lot worse with social anxiety. I mean I can call my mom ok, but when I have to call anyone else, Married Guy (when we were talking), ďAĒ, my case mgr., anyone to do with medicaid or social security or even when I was selling my car back in February and people were calling my newspaper ad, I would break into a cold sweat everytime the phone rang. I think a small part of it has to do with that series of anonymous phone calls I got after I left Zenshrink last November. I was getting harassed with as many as 15-20 hung-up or silent calls a day for about a week. It got so I would practically scream if the phone rang.

So I will have to work on that. Itíll be hard. But dammit, itíll be my job, so get over it,.

But the meeting went well. And then I headed for the human resource office and heard about all the benefits I wonít be getting. (Iím only very part time). I had a minor freak out just before I went in. Of course, you have to bring in your social security card and your driverís license, in order for them to do their official paperwork. And as I was waiting for the woman to finish with the other new hire I looked in my wallet. NO DRIVERS LICENSE. And I was like WTF!! My license is never out of the little plastic license holder thingie. So I started ripping through my purse (a.k.a. The Black Hole of Calcutta). I took everything out. Shook everything out. Unfolded all the folded papers that I have in my purse (mostly all the printed out e-mails from Married Guy. Not sure why Iím carrying them around). I did find some loose Subway sandwich stickers which I didnít know I had, so...SCORE!!! But no driverís license. I was panicked.

I finally checked in my nearby coat pocket and there it was wrapped in a grocery receipt. And I was like what the hell? I have absolutely no recollection of taking it out of my wallet. It must have been those space aliens AGAIN.

After the HR person, I headed over to the Office Manager and got the key to the building. I also got a super awesome big ass surprise. A cell phone! Woo Hoo! I guess I canít make fun of them anymore, can I? I just could not believe it. Iíve never had a cell phone before. I mean, my brother once gave me an old beat up one, with like 8 minutes on it, and I called my mom from a parking lot and made like I was a yuppie telling her I was on the way to the spa to do pilates. I never renewed the service though, since Food Stamp people just canít afford amenities like gold plated cell phones that play Celine Dion hits.

And then surprises upon surprises, I also got my own freakiní desk, complete with paper clips and Bic pens and Post-its, and my own freakiní computer, and voice mail and a parking sticker to end all parking stickers. Am I not cool?

Ok, everyone who works in an office here is probably shaking their head, saying ďThis girl is delusional. Paperclips arenít that exciting, witty.Ē But donít forget, Iíve been on disability for 3 years. Iíve been feeling pretty useless and unnecessary for 3 years. I havenít really had a purpose for getting up. And then in one 4 hour period today, I got more ďCongratulations. Welcome aboards. Weíre glad youíre hereísĒ (i.e., positive feedback and feeling like I was part of something) than I have in the last 36 months. It was pretty heady...especially for someone who is sorely lacking in the ďFeeling ImportantĒ department.

My last stop of the day was with this really cute guy named ďSĒ. He helped me with some info about how to get back into the workforce without having it affect my medicare health insurance (it wonít as long as my income stays under $500/mo, which it will). He was just coming back from lunch, so we went and sat in his darkened office and I definitely felt some chemistry there. I, of course, looked down at the ring finger, and it was conspicuously bare. SO!! Yippee for that! Of course, I donít know if executive types who have offices with windows ever fraternize with lowly P/T people, but I guess I can only hope. Wanna call my cell?

I was really tired when it was all over. I stopped over to see my case mgr. on the way out. It was weird to be able to walk around the office, because usually when Iím there, I have to sign in with the receptionist and wear a visitorís badge. I guess Iíve graduated. We chatted briefly. I told her about my fear of the phone. She knows a lot about my various problems with anxiety, so I knew it was okay to share it with her. She felt that once I got started, and with all the support Iíd be getting from everyone, that Iíd be okay. She said it was a really fun place to work and if it wasnít fun, she wouldnít be working there. And I believe her. Life is too short to work in a hell hole.

My last job was such a vicious backbiting snakepit that it was partially responsible for me going on disability. I used to get so upset and anxious, that I would go into the bathroom and pound on my leg with my fist, trying to regain some kind of composure so that I could continue to work. The last day I left, only one or two people, out of a staff of about 14 people said goodbye after working there nearly 8 years. It was really shitty.

So, hopefully this will all work out. Iím very excited about the thought of having a paycheck, albeit, a small one, waiting for me on November 19th. Usually by mid-month, I am starting to be so poor, I can barely afford cat food and toilet paper. But with this job, I think I will actually be able to catch up on my utility bills and maybe even be able to buy some Christmas gifts next month. Iím even going to be so bold as to consider getting cable television. I havenít have cable TV in over a year. Itís not like Iím a real TV head, but I really miss stuff like Comedy Central, CNN, MSNBC and, yes, Iím a geek, even The Weather Channel. Hey I live just off a Great Lake. In the winter you need to know whether a Canadian snow storm is going to kick your ass with 15Ē of snow.

So on this pre-election eve, I just wanted to pass on this little joke. I guess its fairly obvious Iím a democrat, so go Kerry! But hereís the joke:

Bush was out campaigning and walking through a crowd. He suddenly sees a little girl with a blanket laid over the top of a basket. He was excited for a photo op with a kid, so he stopped to talk to the little girl. He asked what was under the blanket, so she pulled back the blanket and there was 4 little tiny kittens under there. Bush got all excited. A kid with kittens. He then asked her, ďWell, honey are those kittens, Democrat or Republican?Ē And she said, ďRepublicanĒ and Bush was thrilled of course. And then all the photographers took their picture together.

A couple of weeks later, Bush was campaigning through the same area again. And there was that little girl again with her basket of kittens. Bush figured he say ďHi!Ē to his favorite little photo op friend again, so he went over and asked how her kittens were. She said fine, pulling the blanket back so that everyone could see them. And then Bush leaned over and smugly asked, ďSo, are they still Republican?Ē. And she said ďNo...not since they opened their eyes.Ē

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty