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October 17, 2001: Welcome start

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With the addition of myself and another new hire, the documentation department at the company-to-be-nicknamed-later is now doubled. The two of us newbies were taken on a whirlwind tour of the office and introduced to everyone our manager could find. We were very nicely provided with a seating chart for the cube maze, because with the lack of nametags on the outer cube walls, and my complete and utter inability to remember names, I have a feeling I'd have spent the next few weeks wandering the aisles aimlessly, interrupting people to see if someone would take pity on me and point me in the right direction.

I have felt immediately comfortable with each exposure to this company, and today was no exception. Everyone is warm and friendly, joking and relaxed. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to discover that jeans are an acceptable part of the dress code (I have never been crazy about 'business casual'. Give me jeans and sneakers any day over pantyhose and sensible shoes). The other two members of my team joined only a few months ago, so there is still an openness that comes with rapid growth and trying to get a handle on processes that still need to be defined.

I've a cube of my own, complete with the fanciest little desk organizer that came with all sorts of goodies, including a little bottle of white-out, four mechanical pencils, more paper clips that any sane person would be able to use in a year, and even a built-in tape dispenser. We're right near the break room, which means that every time someone starts a fresh pot of coffee the aroma wafts down our aisle. I have a feeling I'm going to spend a lot of my time there highly caffienated as a result.

The five of us - myself, the other newbie, our manager, and the other two team members - went out to lunch. There seemed to be no nervousness at all, and instead we did a lot of getting-to-know you chatter, compared silly pet stories (I'm surrounded - yet again - by dog people!), and through it all there was a lot of laughter.

I arranged the cube contents (such as they are at present) to my satisfaction. I configured all the settings on my computer so it's just the way I prefer it. I propped my feet up on the desk and then cracked open one of the (huge stack of) documents we were given to familiarize ourselves with the software. I was happily reading through all the technical details and letting my brain dive into all the little database components I've missed getting to play with when an announcement over the intercom requested that I come up to the front desk.

There, waiting for me in brilliantly colorful splendor, was a glass vase overflowing with flowers in every hue of the rainbow. The rest of the afternoon people passing by my cube would poke their head in to grin and ask about the bouquet sitting prominently on my desk, and then to award Richard major brownie points for being such an incredible husband to have arranged such a lovely surprise.

I left the office with a smile on my lips and a sense of reluctance that, because of our Weight Watchers meeting this evening, I couldn't stay there just a bit longer.

I. haven't looked forward to going to work in a very long time.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

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