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2004-11-09 @ 12:00 a.m.
hi-ho. hi-ho. its off to work(?) I go?

It's weird. I am in week two of my new job, and I am still having a hard time admitting that I have a job, after 3 years of unemployment.

Like for instance, my mom, who has a particular talent for always calling me right at the exact moment I am leaving (there has to be a camera mounted somewhere in my house. I'm sure of it), called me at 9:32 a.m. this morning. I had to be at work at 10 (me: riotious laughter. W.O.R.K. hee hee!!!!!). I especially had to get my ass in gear, because we were having our first snow of the season, and I am like the biggest wussy ass when it comes to driving in snow. So when she called I had to cut her off by saying, "I'm sorry, but I'm on my way to W.O.R.K." (more riotious laughter). I guess I just can't get my brain around the fact that some person saw me fit to hire. But they did! So there you have it!

But really thus far, my job hasn't really felt like a job, which I guess is the reason I don't feel like I'm working. Its not like I'm out digging ditches or doing data entry or running a third world country (not that I couldn't mind you). Its just that so far my job has consisted of two meetings, one support group and taking a chick out to the Evil Empire to buy clothes. I feel like a fraud. They're paying me for this? I feel like I should be doing more like grouting the tile in the unisex bathroom or something.

I am actually so paralyzed with guilt that I had yet to activate my cell phone. I have yet to check my voice mail. I have yet to turn on my computer, because I don't feel like I really work there. I guess the reason I'm feeling like that is because I've been receiving services from these folks for three years, and I've always had to sign in and get a name tag at the front desk and then sit quietly until my case mgr. came and got me. Now I have free roam of the place and I feel like an intruder. I feel like any second somebody is going to tap me on the shoulder and say, "Excuse me, but aren't you supposed to be waiting out in the lobby with the other crazies?"

It's a weird juxtoposition. I have sat at my desk a few times, but it might as well be rigged with some electrical current because I'll only sit there for like 2-3 minutes and then stand up and lean against it, like Noel Coward with a martini, as if to say, "Well, yes I do belong here. Would you like an olive with that?"

And I have had an overwhelming desire to run over to my case mgr.'s desk and talk to her as if she's my case mgr., because "R" has seen me in all emotional stages. But now she is a co-worker as well as my case mgr., so now my boundaries are all screwy and I'm all confused.

It was a pretty full day at the office. We had our meeting. I was feeling more anxiety than last week for some reason. But after hearing a couple of the team member tell about their people and a couple of success stories, I felt a little better. But there are some scary things ahead I think. I will be dealing with people who are living in mental hospitals and homeless shelters, and I'm hoping that I can get on top of my fear, so that I can appear in control enough, to help them.

And my co-workers are starting to fan out into interesting personalities. They are all people recovering from mental illness too. My main anxiety has to do with the fact that my co-workers are asking for my home phone and I'm not really comfortable giving it out. But I guess since they have to contact me, I'll have to do it.

After the meeting I went out to lunch with two of my female co-workers. And it was interesting at how they were vying for my attention. Sort of like, "hey there's a new girl in class, I want her to be my friend" sort of thing. We went to a really expensive deli, which I could have done without, but I figured I couldn't really say no to somebody extending a social invitation at a new job, so I went. I did click with the African American chick. She's a little chatty, but she has a very good sense of humor. I think the other woman, a butch-type felt somewhat rejected. I tried to include both of them in the wittykitty love-in vibe, but I'm always more attracted to humorous people.

After lunch we headed back for a woman's support group. I didn't know I could stay and get paid for that, so, yowza! Why not! I love support groups! I'm a support group junkie! We had three female clients and then four team members. I scored a couple of jokes. And when you can make extremely medicated people laugh, you'z funny, honey. But I felt increasingly anxious during the group. The African American chick said she was lonely and if anyone ever wanted to do anything with her on the weekends, give her a call. I felt like that was directed at me. And now I'm worried, if she did want to do something, and it didn't work out (she's nice, but her chattiness was a little overwhelming at times), I'd still have to see her at work.

Geeze, I've only been on the job for a week, and I'm already worrying about rejecting co-workers. I think I remember why I always found work so anxiety producing.

But I have several more things planned this week. Some trainings on Wednesday and then another "shadowing" with the butch chick on Friday. She has expressed interest in attending my drawing class Wednesday night. She's an artist too, and really played that up today, I guess so that she would have something in common with me. I made sure that she realized that there would be nudity involved and I think I insulted her. She's kinda into Jesus, shall we say, and I think she thought I was dissing her Conservative Christian thang. Not really. She just seemed kind of delicate emotionally. I didn't want her to faint or start quoting the bible or anything. So we'll see.

Fortunately the weather got better as the day progressed. The snow went back up north and it was sunny. My mailbox wasn't quite so nice though. A triple electric bill, a bounced check notice (I thought I had money left, damn) but at least there was one ray of sunshine.

I got invited to a "Hanukah in 3D" party down in Manhattan in early December. The invitation came complete with some really cool 3-D glasses decorated with brightly colored dancing dreidals. Its from my friend "G" who works in theatre down there and I would love to go, but alas, NYC is about a 5 hour drive and I can't afford a train ride, so I guess I will have to keep dreaming about what a three dimensional menorah might look like.

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Lyrics by Lennon/McCartney. All angst copyright by awittykitty