Thursday, January 8, 2009

Everything I ever needed to know I learned in my sorority…kinda (1/7)

As it’s the first Wednesday of the term and Sigma Delts (and all others) are settling down for their first meetings of the term, I feel that I should reflect on how meetings go at Common Impact.
First a story: when we first implemented our social calendar this summer our genius of a social chair (genius of an event planner at least) forgot to enter the “PM” in for everything. So suddenly we were supposed to be having meetings at 10am on Wednesday mornings. I mean…I knew sophomore summer was ragey.
Little did we know then – at the innocent beginning of the summer – that before long we’d be three games deep and still not done with the series at 10am.
The purpose of that story is to impose upon you how foreign the idea of an 8:30 AM meeting is to me. (Answer: very foreign. More foreign than Japanese toilets. Which are VERY foreign.)
But it was a little okay. Because the CEO and the COO of Common Impact are both Dartmouth alums, so when they handed out the agenda (a little like the poster we have a SD except a little smaller, a little less colorful and a little more detailed), I was unsurprised to see that the meeting started off with toasts. Because all productive meetings do.
More so, I was unfazed by the fact that nobody was there at 8:30 on the dot (well except for me because I’m an intern). They were all waiting for coffee. Much like how our meetings at school can’t start until JFish pulls up out back and unloads her trunk. Beverages are necessary in both atmospheres.
It was a little strange for me that people were toasted for productive things like cleaning the supply closet and not embarrassing things like hooking up with a guy who has nipple piercings (reference…1…2…3…GO!). Nor were they followed by somebody drinking out of a shoe. But then again…I did not email my new bosses asking them to please “haze me harder.” (Why did I ever delete that blitz?)
When the financial advisor (read: treasurer) spoke, people listened to her. She did not simply scream “PAY YOUR DUES!” and then sit back down. That was interesting. She did, however, admit that the way she came up with the budget was just by adding up the numbers that everybody gave her…which is pretty much how we do it too.
We got a Marketing Tip of the Week = Hayley Kennedy’s Top Ten?
But my favorite part by far came at the end. Which was kind of the giveaway that I wasn’t supposed to be there. The CEO kind of looked up and introduced me, and then asked who was going to be responsible for me for the next eight weeks. It was as if we chose bigs and littles while the pledges were sitting right there. Except for me, it was like being picked last for the dodgeball team, except when each team insists that you go to the other one because they just don’t want you. I smiled, I gave sad eyes, I rambled off my qualifications…but it just seemed like nobody quite wanted to deal with an energetic little puppy dog running around the office (miss you Ellie). And then I was left to think about this quandary: if there had been no Jenny Fisher…would I have had a big sis?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In Ten Years, I See Myself Orbiting the Solar System

I mean I’ve already biked across the country and sailed around the world. What other dreams am I supposed to have?


Today, I was given my WORK PLAN. In it my supervisor listed out, in detail, the hours that I am expected to spend on each of my projects during the next eight weeks. All the way down to: “Week 5 – Compile List of Peer Organizations, 2 hours; Pick Your Nose, 10 minutes.”

As we sat down and discussed the document (which I was sure to keep far away from me for fear of a little hand reaching out of the paper and grabbing my soul/giving me the Dementor’s kiss that turns all fun people into i-bankers), she commented “I know that this isn’t such a big deal to you because you’re super organized and all, but I actually have one of these that’s planned all the way out for three years. It’s terrifying for me to know exactly what I’ll be doing three years from now! But of course you don’t understand that fear.”

Right…so can somebody please tell me just how badly I lied to you during my interview?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Getting to Work

Okay…not going to lie…after travelling around the world I got a little cocky and didn’t think that America would be too tough. But actually, I think that America is harder than the rest of the world. For example, Harvard St. and Cambridge St. are not synonymous to foreigners…but to me – oh my – I got all mixed up. And worse, I live on one of them. I just couldn’t remember which.

So adventure number one was me wandering around the city by myself trying to find my way to work. I decided to do it the night before my job actually started so I could time it out and plan the route for the morning. Smart choice. It took 17 minutes. I was expecting more like 7. But then again…I’m not sure that I can full out sprint a mile in 7 minutes anymore.

And then off to bed I went, complete with a warm glass of milk, the outfit for the next day laid out (jacket included) and teeth brushed. Gosh did I think I was becoming a responsible adult.

Thankfully, Mommy still called me in the morning, waking me up a good ten minutes after my alarm had started going off. Apparently the extra loud buzzing from my phone, indicating phone ringing and alarm ringing was what I needed to actually get out of bed…and see the rain outside.

In all my planned packing I had forgotten one important detail: it doesn’t actually snow in Boston in November. My new wool coat, bought for city life, would be useless in the rain. Even worse, as my first step on the sidewalk proved, it would take me a little more than seventeen minutes if I wanted to get to work all in one, non-fallen piece. And then my mind started wandering because, you see, I’m a writer at heart so with each person that walked by, I would try to come up with their life story, I wondered where they were hurrying to or from, if they were late, if the noticed me etc etc. But it’s the city you see…so there are A LOT of people hurrying past and if I think about all of them well…I get lost.

And suddenly I was on Galileo Galilei Way. Which was funny because you’d think that’d be a name I’d remember. But I didn’t. At all. So I was officially lost. I reached for my phone, hoping that I could call my Mommy (because being officially lost meant that I was officially no longer a grown up) and have her help me. When I realized that I had left my phone in my apartment.

It was right about then that I was about to just give up and quit the real world – after being there for a total of 12 hours – when I saw a bunch of chefs smoking on the street. This is a good sign because there’s a culinary arts school in my building. So I rushed towards them and sure enough they were standing right in front of the building entrance. And so I arrived…miraculously on time, soaking wet, and smelling of smoke.

I love first impressions.