The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.
My job is my captured accident.
It was known to me as the place where “creative goes to die.” I said countless times, “I will never work there.” Then one afternoon, I started to panic. I dug through my contacts and sent a reluctant email. Two weeks later I was on campus. I told myself everyday as I made it to the second floor, “it’s just temporary.” I didn’t want to like it.
I was on a team of dudes that were all friends and hung out together outside of work. They didn’t invite me to lunch. It was awkward. I was glad for that. I listened. I learned. I got to know people.
Then one day someone mildly important came to the office. The dudes glad handed and made veiled attempts at sucking up. I got up to go to lunch, was met with a full frontal review by this guy, shook his hand and accepted their lunch offer. Barf. I spent the entire time wondering why the hell I said yes.
I enjoyed doing my own thing at lunch. I kept my head down, did my work and tried to ‘fit in.’ The the new girl came. Thank god. The really pretty drunk girl at the party who never spilled a drop of wine, that was her. She was awesome. The dudes became the boys and were far more tolerable? (I mean that affectionately.) And much to my surprise, I was offered a permanent position. I’m still shocked. I’ve never thought my manager liked me. Still don’t. It used to bother me.
I love my job. I’ve worked for some shitty companies and even shittier people. You don’t have to like me, I just ask that you treat me with kindness. He does that and I’m totally cool with it. I admire that.
Last year I went to Chicago, New York, Amsterdam and Paris. It was my first trip abroad. It was profound. It was humbling. I’m ready to start asking different questions.