Day one, or One day at a time

30 May 2007

Today was my first day at the new job. It was fine — not particularly good or particularly bad. I had to run down to my old spot to move something from my computer’s hard drive to a network drive so I could access it from my new computer. While I was there, Miss Congeniality (my coworker who’s a major reason why I left the department) walked by my cube twice, on her way to and from the water bubbler. And she didn’t say a word. Not “hi,” not “back so soon?,” not a single word. Whatever.

One of my closest friends, G. — the one I stayed with in D.C. before the AIPAC conference — came to visit over the long weekend. Much fun, and a much-needed break from reality. I introduced him to R. and J. (my best LA friend and her husband, who are soon moving to the DC area), and now G. and R. are plotting to kidnap me and take me to DC so they can both hang out with me a lot more often.

Oh, and I cooked what was meant to be Friday night dinner, but ended up being Saturday dinner since G.’s plane was over-full and he got bumped…so instead of arriving at 7.30 Friday evening, he got in at 1.30 Saturday morning. At any rate, I made:

penne alla vodka — next time, I will let the vodka reduce for more like 8-10 minutes, rather than 2-3 minutes, since the taste of the vodka was very strong; and

mushroom-artichoke gratin – started from this recipe but was too lazy to stuff the mushrooms, so instead I sliced them and tossed them in with the other ingredients, in an 8×8 pan, and baked for, I dunno, 15 to 20 minutes? Then I broiled it for 5 or 6 minutes to brown the cheese. I skipped the nutmeg since I didn’t have any, and used dried parsley instead of fresh. Oh, and I used half the recipe. If you used the whole recipe, you’d want a 9×13 pan, and you’d probably want to bake (and perhaps broil) a bit longer.

Monday night I had a first date with Dr. X, one of my speed-dating matches. It was fun, though it got a bit awkward when he asked about my political views, and we quickly realized we’re on rather opposite sides of the spectrum. But he did e-mail me last night to say he’d had a good time and he’d like to “hang out soon,” to which I responded that I also had a good time and would love to meet up again. We shall see.

And this weekend, I will see my bestest friend in the world, for the first time since her wedding. VERY exciting. And maybe the next weekend, I will catch up on sleep. I hope.

Change for the sake of change

19 May 2007

Almost two years ago, I was frightfully overworked, putting in 11-hour days on top of a 2-hour (round-trip) commute. I’d talked to my boss more than once, explaining that this was not a sustainable pace for me, asking what we could do to make the workload more manageable. Each time, he’d say that “in a few months” we’d get over the hump, “in a few months” things would calm down, “in a few months” maybe I could work from home (or from the office only 2.5 miles from my apartment) once a week. Finally, I’d had enough. I interviewed with another employer, after a recruiter described to me a job that sounded fascinating. During the interview, it became clear that the job I’d been described bore no relation to the job that was actually available, and in fact the person interviewing me said that as far as he knew, the job that had been described didn’t exist at all. The job that he had to offer sounded like the more boring aspects of the job I already had, and it was a step down (no office, no direct reports)…but I was so desperate for a change, I jumped at the chance. And from almost the very beginning, I was unhappy with the job, because it was boring, unchallenging, and stultifying. And one of my coworkers has had an undercurrent of animosity toward me since the day I started there, which has only gotten worse over time.

I wrote a couple of months ago about the conversations with my boss’s boss. In the end, he recommended that I pursue a position as a Project Manager in a different department. The job as posted is a bit junior for someone with my experience, but he said that it could be tailored to my skills. He, at least, is quite impressed with me and thinks I’m a valuable asset to the company. I never had a formal interview, which is a bit odd (though I did speak with the woman who is the head of that department — she’s the one I went to Texas with in March for the first day of my business trip). I never really got a sense of what specifically the job entails, which is also odd. On Tuesday, HR — not the department head — called me and offered me the job. On Wednesday, I accepted it. Once again, I’m taking a job almost solely because it will be doing different work with different people. I am just hoping I won’t get burned again. For the first time since college, I will not be working in the field for which I am trained. This new position, as I understand it, is far less technical. Thank goodness.

I used to love being part of my field. (Side note: yes, you all know what I do for a living. I’m avoiding the word because I don’t want somebody to be able to Google my field, find this blog, and figure out who I am.) I derived a great deal of joy and satisfaction from working in the industry I’d chosen. And I realized the other day, that my current job (and in particular, my coworker) has really destroyed all the joy I used to have in my profession. So this change is daunting, but I need a change, and this was the easiest one to make.

I will give this job a solid six-month try. And if I’m still unhappy after six months, I will either move to another city where I will have an easier time finding work in my field (the City of Angels is just not the place to be for my line of work), or apply to business school.

In other news, I went to a speed-dating thing last week with a friend of mine. It was, of course, a Jewish speed-dating event, though the company offers lots of speed-dating events, most of which are not specifically Jewish. Math Boy was there (he’d invited me to come along, which was funny since the friend I went with is the friend I’d wanted him to meet). When he began his four-minute “date” with me, he told me he’d put me down as a yes immediately. (Each person enters a Yes or No online for each of the eligible bachelor/ettes. If two parties put down Yes for each other, each is informed of the match.) I’m not sure if that was because we’re friends, or because he’s interested in going out again (he just took the exam he was studying for back when we had our last date), or what. But anyway, I put “yes” for 4 guys (including Math Boy) and got matches with all 4 of them. So far, one has e-mailed and asked for my number, and he subsequently called and left a message. One sent a “drink” through the speed-dating website, which I thought was kind of lame. A “drink” is like a “flirt” or a “tease” — it’s a non-committal way to show interest…which is kind of POINTLESS considering we clearly were both interested since we were MATCHED and all. The other two (including Math Boy) have not gotten in touch at all.

And a gentleman on the Board at shul wants to set me up with a lawyer in his firm. He’s planning to invite us both for a Shabbat dinner. Could be fun. I will wait to see how things go with this guy, and with the speed-dating guys…and after all of that, if none of them end up being more than a “one-date-wonder,” I will pony up $100 for another 3-month stint on JDate. Be still, my beating heart.

Oh — and for those who are curious, my friend put a Yes for Math Boy, but it wasn’t reciprocated. (Yeah, math joke. Sorry.) And far more interesting (or entertaining, at any rate) are the guys I said “No” to, rather than “Yes.”

1) “Hi. I’m not actually Jewish. I just like speed-dating.”
2) “I went to SDSU. I partied so hard, I failed almost everything.”
3) “Are you on JDate?” ‘Yes.’ “Yeah, the women on JDate all tend to be heavier than they say on their profiles.”
4) “So. Um. Hi.” “Hi.” “Um. Um. Um.”

Some real charmers…

Almost ready for prime time

9 May 2007

When my mother turned 29, she’d been married for six years and had two children. 13 months later, she had her third child.

When my sister turned 29, she’d been married for eight years and had three children. 13 months later, she had her fourth child.

When my father turned 29, I don’t believe he’d met my mother yet.

When my best friend from home turned 29, she was engaged to the love of her life. 5 months later, she married him.

When my best friend from LA turned 29, she was engaged to the love of her life. 7 months later, she married him.

Apparently, I have more in common with my father than with my mother, my sister, or my friends.

I had a rather boring date last night. I met the guy through, a matchmaking website (the matchmakers browse profiles, and when they think they have a good match, they send the two people the profiles and each has the opportunity to accept or reject the match). He’s 33, divorced, and very dull. There will not be a second date.

There are 16 people coming to my birthday party for sure, plus a couple of maybes, including Math Boy who I had a few dates with a few months back, whom I’d kind of like to set up with a friend of mine, but she’ll be out of town this weekend so won’t be at the party.

My best friend in LA is relinquishing that title next month, because she’s moving to Maryland to be the assistant rabbi at a big synagogue. She is convinced that one of her congregants is going to come to her and say, “Rabbi, I’m ready to settle down and start my life with someone…I just can’t seem to find the right person.” And, as she describes it, he will be phenomenally brilliant (I think she thinks I’m far smarter than I actually am) and make piles of money, and he’ll be very committed to Judaism, and he’ll have a great sense of humor, and all that good stuff…And she’ll tell him, “I have this friend…” And then I’ll come out to visit her and meet him, and we’ll fall in love, and I’ll move to Maryland, and we’ll all live happily ever after. I hope she’s right, I really do, but I’m not holding my breath.