Saturday, June 30, 2007

By S. E. Hinton

I'm sitting at home waiting for a new couch and chair to arrive. I finally gave in and conceded that my Japanese furniture is uncomfortable. Crazy - it was perfect for almost four years in Japan, but it's suddenly irritatingly low to the ground here. I'm terrible at picking things out and matching colors or with anything remotely related to decorating. Decorating to me means having stacks and stacks of delicious books everywhere and maybe a picture of Anderson Cooper on the fridge. Add to that that I hate spending money on large items, and who knows what I'm going to end up with today. I picked the furniture out a few weeks ago (pre-cat), but now realize that the fabric is perfect to attract animal hair, and it will probably be covered with white fur within minutes. (The items are "espresso." I think that means brown.) Next I need to find an inexpensive dining room table because, as you could guess, this is what mine looks like (but basically a round kotatsu without the futon.) Crap.

I'm struggling right now. I can't write about my job, so I'll write about something that happened at my last job. When I had been in Japan for about a month, an employee from one of my branches came to talk with me. She said the group had a meeting without me and they decided that they didn't like my style, and they wished I would go back to wherever it was that I had come from. Long story short, I got rid of the girl a month or so later, and the rest of us lived happily ever after. But it was really hurtful and made for a pretty bad week.

So anyway, something similar happened here this week. It was slightly less cruel, but it's so rough. I don't know, being the "boss" kind of sucks sometimes because people don't think that you're a real person. There's a different set of rules, I guess. I'm trying very hard, but the culture at my office and the culture in this city in general is so strange for me. People seem to be very suspicious of and not open to "outsiders" here. In three months I haven't gone more than I couple days without someone mentioning something along the lines of - you're different/you're not from around here/why are you here? Things aren't coming together all that smoothly, and I don't love it here. Poop.

But. When I moved back to the States I knew it would be a transition, and so I refuse to be surprised that it is. I don't think that means that NY is the wrong choice, or that it won't evenually come together more or feel more like home someday. But it means that I've had a rough week or so, and I hope things start to feel better soon.


  1. I hope things shift for you. Sounds crappy! :( And it is hard to be the boss...when you are in that role you aren't seen as a feeling person very often.

    Espresso = brown, yes. ;)

  2. I always hated the fact that people look at Mgrs differently. Being in the Hospitality field Mgrs are expected to work 10/12 hours a day, the reality is more like 12/14 during busy season.Then my 8 hour a day staff wonders why I get tired at the end of my 12 hour day. I tell them just because they give me a title they don't give me super stamina or any other "magical powers". Then they ask me why I took the job of a Mgr. The sad thing is sometimes I don't have an answer for them, especially when I see some of their checks and they make more per 2 weeks then I do (salary sucks). And yes esspresso is brown I would invest in a nice lint brush if I were you, you can get the disposable ones at any drugstore and they are refillable.I hope your work life starts to fall into place for you soon. Then we can get some more Jezabelle stories !!!!! :)

  3. Came here by way of Caveat Emptor.

    I hope things get better. Here's to a better week, and a better week and then another better week...

  4. dear friend,
    i am thinking of you today, and hoping you are getting some reprieve somewhere along the line.
    this story of work really sucks, and i wish (for you)that it were JUST a story. but it is real. and i'm so sorry.
    love love love

  5. Commiserations about the job.

    I like your segue: S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders. Clever.

    My favourite was That Was Then, This Is Now. I cried reading it when I was 15.

    The next time someone says to you "why are you here", you could come back with, "I was just thinking the same thing about you. You're fired!" Do you have that power? LOL :)

  6. I was sorry to hear that you are struggling at work. Stress is often about assholes at work; as your story from Japan reminded me.

    Take comfort that in the fact that you are not alone dealing with this and find some coping strategies in the recent book by Robert Sutton called "The No Asshole Rule".

  7. Hang in there, baby! Don't let the dickheads win.

  8. I'm with Dave. Or, in the words of my mother, "Don't let the fuckers of the work world get you down."

    Perhaps it's time for a vacation to Southern CA? :)

  9. Hope things get better. And I know what you mean about moving from a foreign country back to the states, I think it will take me a while to adjust to moving from Louisiana to California.

  10. they decided that they didn't like my style, . . . ouch. damn. i've never been brave enough to launch out into the world as you have, so haven't had that experience. i have had the feeling in small groups in social settings that i had absolutely nothing in common with the folks i was with and that i was nothing like them and that alone is pretty unpleasant. so sorry this is happening to you. my solution would be to run away.