When I first started at BAC, in March of 2008, I did not like it. I was in a group where I was the only one who did what I did. Frankly, I wasn’t even sure what I did. I thought I was taking a different job than what I ended up with. I couldn’t relate to the other people on my team. I sat through meetings with them like they were speaking Greek, and I spent most of the meetings trying to figure out who these people were. On day one, my boss walked me around the office. Not only did I not remember anyone’s names or what they did, I had no idea where they sat. Heck, I had no idea where I sat. I found an old seating plan the other day and still don’t know who half those people were.
Slowly but surely, I started to figure out my place: I was the Ad Bitch. When I told people I was working on the ads, they gave me the sympathetic head tilt, and said “Oh! I don’t know anything about ads, except that they’re different and really high-profile.” Awesome. Then they hired another Ad Bitch, who was the only person who knew my pain. We sat in a row far away from the rest of our group, and commiserated with each other and with anyone else who knew anything about ads.
My first impression of the people was basically, “Oh my God, I will never fit in here.” After week one I threw any thought of making friends right out the window. All the girls were perfectly dressed and manicured, while I tried to deal with not being able to wear jeans every day. For that matter, most of the guys dressed better than me as well. It wasn’t that people weren’t nice to me, but I was intimidated by them and I was the new kid, so I kept my distance. I tried, but not really hard.
After a few months, we moved offices, and I grew more & more comfortable with my surroundings. At least in the new building, no one else knew where they sat either! I learned a little more every day, and I met more people. Shortly after that, the layoffs began. And I started to talk to people. I figured out what everyone did. I realized that the people I thought were superficial were really super nice and down to Earth. We started meeting at Dunks on Friday mornings. We started going out to bars after work, and chatting in each others cubes. And as my group got smaller and smaller, we got closer and closer. I probably know way more about some people’s husbands than needed, and some of them know more about me that my closest friends do. But this is what happens when you spend 40+ hours a week together – like it or not, your co-workers become a second family.
Despite the fact my work husband believes he deserves his own post, he’s not going to get one, but he will get his own paragraph. He’s my very first email of the day, and its usually something like “hurry up and get here, I need coffee before I die.” He’s responsible for numerous nights out, every bit of gossip I know, hours upon hours of my venting, many snide comments and texts across the table, and hundreds of trips to the caf. He knew we got the house and I got the new job before J did. In addition, I sometimes worry that J likes his partner more than he likes me. In fact, when I told people I was leaving, they had two questions: “What will you be doing?” and “What will Joe do with out you?” Even though he insists I will (someday) make new friends, I think the better question is, “what will I do without Joe?” (For the record, I would not have cried on Friday had it not been for the lunch margaritas).
Thursday night was my going away drink night, and I had a great time. Lots of my favorite people came out to say goodbye, lots of nachos covered with creepy Irish hot dogs were consumed, and no one fell asleep or jumped in the harbor. I walked to South Station from the bar, which might not have been my brightest move ever. But I enjoyed walking alone, music on, thinking about what I would miss about the city, and BAC. I took this picture:
And I realized that I might not have a ton of memories in my short time at BAC, but a lot of them were awesome. In no particular order: Birthday night at Luckys. Bar bites at Mortons. Getting attacked by bugs at Tamo. Buying 20 bottles of wine at 7-11. The weekend of Elvis (ok, not necessarily a great memory, but still something to remember). The Corporate Challenge. Our last day on Summer Street. Almost food fights at the Christmas party, fueled by lots of free booze that somehow disappeared after the event. Fat bastards at the Pride Party. Cosmo fountain at Joe’s birthday. Sitting on the floor to work at DM Day in RI. Hour long MRC meetings that accomplished nothing.
Friday was my last day, and it started with a mild hangover, included a three-hour lunch and some baby holding, and ended with me leaving two hours later than I wanted to and carrying my box of shame full of cube goods and a smuggled office supply or two to the car. I’m sad to be leaving a great group of talented, fun, interesting people, but excited to be moving on. I’m sure it will hit me most on Monday morning, when I see the nasty peach cobbler ice coffee in the caf and turn to express my disgust to a stranger. Hey, maybe that’s how I can make new friends!