I have made it to the end of my second week at my new job, learning all about sales or should I say, all about product that I will be expected to start selling.
The first day on the job was anything but easy. I had just come from an 8-year professional relationship at a corporate office and the sensation was as though I had run the 100 meter dash directly into a cement wall. I battled thoughts of “did I do the right thing”, “what have I done”, “will it be possible for me to make enough to pay my mortgage” to just sheer panic. I have never felt like crying for no reason as much as I did that first day.
I felt suspended between two worlds, one that I had left and the other that was a huge unknown. It was just as scary thinking of going backwards as it was to go forward. I made it through the day with a smile on my face only to land at home in a heap of tears and confusion. I couldn’t talk without crying even though I didn’t feel sad, it just seemed so much better to converse in a waterfall of tears!
Fast forward to day 9, by now my coworkers are looking me in the eye instead of the more popular sideways look. They are all concerned for me, especially the fact that I have this innate ability to sit at my desk and find things to do on my computer for 8 hours straight without blinking. They don’t realize this is one of many skills I have honed over the last 8 years. If anything I am an expert at being busy with a computer and a keyboard.
The first week I madly resorted to tried and true skills, I started making product cheat sheets and price charts. The first time I opened Excel at my new desk, I almost cried at the thought that there was absolutely no reason in my new role to even open the program. I didn’t have any vLookups to write or Pivot tables to create and manipulate and no large Excel data files to concatenate. It was a freedom that I was afraid to enjoy!
The day I arrived at my new job, as expected, I was kindly introduced to the staff and was shown my new desk. The cubicle had been vacant for a few months and there were random things littered throughout. As I like my desk to be clean and paperless where possible, I started sifting through the drawers to my left.
I found packages of instant Oatmeal, pens, paper, binders full of sales contracts, paper clips, a three-hole punch, a stapler, sales material and a variety of other desk goods that made it directly into the waste basket. Once I was done cleaning my drawers, I eyed a filing cabinet sitting cramped in the corner at the entrance to my cubicle. It was in the way of getting to the two empty chairs on the opposite side of my desk.
I walked over to the filing cabinet to investigate the contents. It was then out of the corner of my eye I noticed a fellow coworker bounding towards me with a gaggle of followers, yelling “No, no, no, don’t touch that, that’s mine”.
Incredulously, I looked up and repeated “This cabinet is yours?”
“Yes”, my coworker replied, “and it is my stuff inside”.
Humph, I gently asked if we might be able to move the cabinet, perhaps to a more deserving location that wasn’t blocking the passage way to my empty seats.
“No, we must leave it here, the owner of the store said to put it there. It used to be in my cubicle” as my coworker pointed to their cubicle, “but it was taking up too much space” (similar to how it is taking up space in my cubicle).
“Well perhaps we can talk to our direct manager and come to an agreement on where we might be able to move this cabinet?” I asked
“The owner said we must put it here” my coworker repeated.
I realized this was very important to my coworker but wasn’t expecting the following line.
“How about we leave it where it is for now, and we’ll see how well you do and if you are still here in a couple of months, then we’ll talk about moving the filing cabinet”.
Did your mouth just drop? Mine sure did. I was still trying to figure out why I had left a well-paying career for a cubicle with a stubborn filing cabinet that was taking up space and now was being told in no uncertain terms that the odds were stacked against me!
After the flock of coworkers left the area, I quietly pushed the filing cabinet from one end of my cubicle to the other, opening up my seating area.