Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

radiumgirl: (stop waving at security cameras)
 I never realized that sitting behind a desk all day could be so tiring. It's nine o'clock and I'm ready to sleep. I haven't made it past midnight all week. Fail. 

Anyway, my new motto at work is "fake it 'til you make it" due to the realization that I'm a little rough around the edges for such a genteel job as a bank teller. I don't think this is going to be a problem. I just have to watch my mouth. I'm not an idiot. I know not to drop F-bombs and talk about condom flavors and Owen's penis size and the obvious things.  It's the random, borderline, not-so-blatantly unacceptable discussions that trip me up. 

Example A: Pr0n

I basically had to read the thirty page computer policy for the company's computers. It was all common sense and I was pretty much just skimming through and making more of an effort pretending to read than actually reading. Adam, our lone guy teller and resident smartass, leaned into my cubicle. "You can pretty much skip that whole thing if you're bored."

"Oh my god, I know, right? It's all just common sense."

Adam grinned, "Don't do bad things at work."

I grinned, "No wacking off at work. Got it."

And it wasn't that Adam got bent out of shape or anything, but he was clearly uncomfortable and I'm pretty sure I blushed and I spent most of the rest of the afternoon wondering if they all thought I was some crass, classless, trailer park rat with no sense of decency. 

Example B: Pot Farm

Our branch is officially classified as a "traditional urban" branch. We're downtown, we're near alot of businesses, and we don't have drive-thru service. We see alot of the same people every day. One of our regulars owns the convenience store a few blocks down and so far, she's one of my favorites. She's obnoxious in an awesome way and obsessed with Facebook, in particular, Farmville and Pot Farm. I had never heard of Pot Farm before, and as she was describing it to my trainer, I blurted, "That sounds awesome!"

Cue the awkward stares from my co-workers. 

Example C: Smoker Circle

The head teller is my primary trainer. She randomly looked over, after we discussed the sanctity of the menu drawer and the candy stash for the third time this week, and said, "Oh my god, I'm so rude. I didn't show you where we take smoke breaks. Do you smoke?"

I almost said "Only when I'm depressed or drinking" but I caught myself and said, instead, "Not really."

I'm proud of myself for catching that one. I've blushed more in the past week for random slip-ups than anything else. Let the record show that I'm still happy with my new job, and I am absolutely certain than I will eventually be able to train myself not to say the first thing that pops into my head when I'm asked a question. It's just that (and I literally just made this connection today) honestly, in the grand scheme of "Jobs Radium Girl has Had," none of them are particularly "professional." Not even the actual professional ones.At my assistantship, I got laughed at by the department chair when I wore a skirt to office hours on my first day. He pulled me aside and said, "Sweetie, this is the Education office. We're more a jeans and sneakers crowd." Guest Services at Adventureland, well, don't be fooled by our mad people skills. As soon as that window closes for the night, you should hear the things that come out of our mouths. 

I feel like this is the wrong way to think of it, but I'm constantly imploring myself to speak in a "sterile" manner, because it's not that I speak impolitely, its just that my levels of appropriateness need to be adjusted. I would say that I need to adjust the way I think, but that sounds awful, and seriously? I've spent the better part of my existence rebelling against such Orwellian modes of assimilation. When Gabe left his post at Adventureland, he wrote me the loveliest letter on the inside of Dr. Seuss' "Oh the Places You'll Go" about how I was such a pleasure and a delight to work with because I'm a "vibrant and charismatic woman...who refuses to be boxed up and filed away. You always brought a smile to my face, even on my worst days. I'm expecting great things from you. "

You bet your ass I cried when he gave it to me on our last day.  

So, I'm just going to "fake it" until I trust myself to give my co-workers the details about my life that they ask for, without the usual asides. For example, and lets call this one "D:"

"So, any after work plans, Mary?"

"I'm having dinner with my mom."

And I left it at that. There was no, "or, as I like to call it, our tri-monthly 'hate dinner,'" no, "so if I'm not here tomorrow, tell the cops it was probably her" and no, "yup, three hours of binge drinking until the resentment goes away."

I'm calling that one a success.

Other Highlights from Work

I did the training on security, fraud, robbery, and other awful awesome things. The entire time, all I could think was "I want Matt Bomer to make bank fraud training videos as Neal Caffrey." And then I spent the rest of the session pining for Matt Bomer/Neal Caffrey and romanticized con artists a la  Frank Abagnale Jr. 

Clearly, I was doing it wrong.

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