6a00e5506da99788330153915f5534970b-piI know I have been neglecting my blog as of late, but it’s for a good reason. After 10 long months of searching, emailing resumes and filling out unemployment forms, I finally landed a job. And, not just any job, a job I really love.

The change in my schedule has taken some getting used to, and has left me tired by the end of the day. But even tired I must do dishes and help with homework and fold laundry, so dear readers, there’s been little time to blog. But, knowing that I have been so very delinquent in keeping you abreast of all that is typical for Tracy, I will devote my lunch hour to posting this.

So what is this sensational new position of mine? Where do I daintily cross my ankles under my desk from 9-5? I landed a job at a prominent real estate agent’s office handling all their graphic design and media needs. The fact that I’d spent the last 12 years designing a real estate magazine made me a shoe-in for the job, and this blog helped as well. Seeing that I’m at least computer literate enough to manage a blog showed them that I could probably handle the minor changes they need made to their website.

So, here I am, in my fourth week on the job, and I absolutely love it. Like Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka asked of the ill-fated stick of gum, “What’s so fab about it?” Well I’ll tell you.

1. The People
I work with mostly women, and so far, they are all super cool and very nice. Everyone stops by to say hi or ask a question. My last job? Nobody would give me the time of day. Half the time if I offered them a cheery “Good Morning” they would just walk past.

2. The Office
The building I work in is a grand, old house just blocks from the Downtown Mall, the hip area of town, and smack-dab in the center of Charlottesville’s historic district. It’s loaded with charm; hardwood floors, windows with original wavy glass, and a wide, grand staircase with smooth sturdy banister that curls into a wooden spiral at the bottom. It’s a far cry from your typical office with fluorescent lighting and a maze of cubicles.

Plus, this office, unlike my last, supplies you with the basic necessities of life. Tea, coffee, milk, sugar, utensils, bottled water. And the bathroom? Roomy and spacious with toilets that don’t wiggle on their foundation.

3. My Office
Yes, you read that right. I have my own office. MY OWN OFFICE. You have no idea how utterly wonderful this makes me feel. It’s a small little narrow room that was obviously built on as an addition. It’s got 3 windows, none of which has a great view, but that let in a ton of sunlight. Two walls of my room are the brick exterior of the original house, painted a lovely cream color. I have a window next to my desk that looks into the kitchen – it used to be an exterior window, but whoever added on this room decided not to brick it up, and I’m glad. It’s charming as hell.

I brought in a plant, and my desk lamp from home, photos of my girls and my collection of Matchbox Karmann Ghias. I plan on bringing in more stuff, but didn’t want to be too eager to “move on in.” A little at a time is more tasteful. By spring I should have pictures hung, and perhaps a comfy chair in the corner.

4. The Work
A lot of tasks I do here I already knew how to do, like building ads for the various papers and magazines that my boss advertises in. However, I’m also learning new stuff, which I really like. I’ve been trained on how to manage their website by a gal who spoke so fast and matter of factly, that I was glad I’d had 5 years of WordPress under my belt. A lot of what she showed me was familiar because of my years of blogging. I’ve also been learning MailChimp, which is easy but can be a tad frustrating due to its lack of flexibility. There’s lots for me to do, and my day is usually busy – sometimes hectic, even. But I like it.

5. The Parking
I have my own parking space in a lot a block from the office. No more driving around for 10 minutes trying to find a spot that’s half a mile away from the office. No more worries if it’s 2 hour parking or all day parking. Now more worries that I’ll get towed. My own spot in a lot. It’s great because I can use it all week long. Say the girls and I want to attend some event downtown where parking is at a premium? No problem – mom has her own spot.

The only thing I don’t like about my new job? The hours.  They want someone in the office until 6 p.m., and me being the low gal on the totem pole, got that shift. So, I work from 10 to 6. The 10 am part is okay…if I have errands to run I can get them done before work. But by 6 pm, in the fall/winter months, it’s so dreadfully dark out, and I hate driving in the dark. The 25 minute commute home along winding country roads is no fun in the pitch black, save for the glaring headlights of the passing cars. Plus by the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is start cooking a meal, so we’ve been eating a lot of soup, and other things you can heat up fast. Otherwise we’ll be sitting down to dinner at 7:45, at which time I will be too exhausted to eat.

And Friday nights have been murder. For some reason the hours between 4 and 6 on Friday drag on, and on, and on. It’s bizarre. Any other day of the week I’ll look up and hours will have flown by. But not on Fridays. However, my hours could change some time down the line…who knows.

I shan’t let this one wrinkle ruin what is turning out to be a fantastic gig. I feel respected and valued here – something that was sorely lacking at my old job. I haven’t minded the idea of coming to work so far, and that’s a pretty cool thing. And between this job an my freelance work? I’m making the same as I was before I got canned the day before my birthday last year.

That’s the coolest of all.

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