waiting for that moment

And on my second day of work, the decision is made as to which client I will be proofreading for, exclusive-like, and it is a doozy. It’s the client that has got its own drive on the network server, the client that has a half-dozen (maybe more) supplemental style sheets for each individual division, the client that steadily pours work through the department. It’s the client that will keep me the busiest, as we toddle through the next three months, and that is a good thing. But looking at the enormous pile of information I am to process and Become an Expert On over the course of the next two weeks, I am feeling a little overwhelmed and wondering what it is going to be like to be fired. Also, kind of looking forward to it.

I know, I’m being automatically negative and pessimistic, and fearing for the worst and feeling needlessly anxious, and I should try very hard, and there is a learning curve. Everything will be sunshine and roses blooming right out my butt hole, but it is frustrating to feel so clumsy, oafish, and like I am asking terribly obvious questions and with each one that drips out my mouth my supervisor is revising her estimation of my intelligence down another handful of notches. It’s not just the great and glorious wealth of information I need to process–I keep saying dumb things and making dumb errors because I misread something, and I feel like I’m flailing around, flustered, and gibbering. It’s an awesome first impression!



Okay, I will breathe. I will think about how I feel like all my faults
are magnified and on display because I am feeling anxious and
self-conscious. I will consider the possibility that I am actually
doing fine, and they don’t expect me to be flawless and fabulous after
16 hours of work, only 8 of which had me actually assigned to a client.
I am willing to entertain the notion that everything will be fine. I
will laugh at how dopey I feel paging through file after file trying
to figure out the typography standard for a registered trademark in
print material because I am too worried to ask the question. I will
even start to enjoy getting up at ridiculous o’clock and enjoying the
darkness before the dawn! Maybe not that part.

This is outside my comfort zone, and that’s a good thing for me. It’s
something I try to take on cheerfully, the marching right up to the
yellow Caution tape and legging it over, sprinting out into the wild
unknown with a water pistol and a juice box. It’s been a long time
since I’ve been asked to do something that I’m not good at, to ignore
the fact that I am clumsy and just throw myself right into the fray, and
do my damnedest to get it right or die trying. I do it every time I go
to an exercise class–I am not a graceful swan, and I fall down a lot. I
keep going to exercise class. Exercise will eventually make me hearty,
healthy, happy, and less prone to falling over. I keep coming to this
job, and I am not a graceful swan. Coming to this job will eventually
make me more confident, socialized, brave, able to think on my feet,
and off the streets once I pay my tax bill.

The problem is waiting for that moment. I keep waiting for the moment
when I don’t have to modify the half moon pose, lest I give myself a
concussion. I will be waiting for awhile, for the moment where I don’t 
have to hesitantly ask exactly now what are we supposed to do with this
sell sheet as opposed to that brochure and what do you mean, I ought to
memorize all the preferred descriptors? And probably I will survive
until then, and probably I will be glad I did but right now, despite
all my pep talking, it really is hard to feel like such an oaf.

  3 comments for “waiting for that moment

  1. anon
    October 8, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I hate the learning curve, but every job has one and your new bosses know it. You’re the Proofreading Maven, the Dominatrix of Words, and you’ll be fine. This is your forte, this is where you excel, and you’ll be great.

    And it’s very impressive that they gave you the Big Client right out of the gate! Obviously they have complete faith in you, and with good reason. Knock ’em dead, lovely lady.

  2. audrey
    October 8, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    I know the feeling and I sympathize. I, too, stretched outside my comfort zone and am now wondering what the hell I did and why. For me, it was supposed to be a bit part in a local theater production, a bonding experience with my preteen daughter. Instead, I was cast as the lead female role and I’m panicking at the multiple pages of dialogue and the thought that *I* have to get onstage. Also wondering if there’s a miracle diet that will magically change my round size 20 body into something lithesome and awesome in a month…or if I can deliver all my lines while crouched behind the couch of the living room set.

    Have courage, dive in and do your best – you’ll be awesome! (and I will just hope that a bout of stomach flu takes the entire town down before opening night!)

  3. October 9, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Are there cool people at work? You have yet to announce who you will pounce on to be your new best friend for eating candy at your desk and lunchtime picnics and the wonderful things that work best friends are all about.

    I hate new. New sucks. I am good at the stuff I am good at and horrible at everything new. But you are brave and tackling the wretched “new” and will dominate it with made judo skills and make it your bitch. Take that, new.

    And think about all of the shiny things you’ll be able to buy for everyone at Christmas with all your hard-earned cash.

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