work wins and general surprises

Well, I made it through the first week. Training is finished; my boss went back home to the east coast halfway through the day yesterday. I've been walked through various processes, left with volumes of instruction manuals and how-to's, and that's it. She's my ship to sink now.

I have plenty to keep me busy next week; lots of projects to get started on or carry through, lots of organization and planning to do. All the shit I love. In fact the job really is the perfect mix of totally in my wheelhouse, will crush and definitely not my comfort zone, time to grow. Mainly the stuff that is not in my comfort zone is tech stuff. Lots of very high level tech stuff. But next week I'm going to do test runs of all the equipment and make myself (and the client) simplified one-sheets with step by step instructions. 

It's all top of the line and cutting edge, and is therefore designed to be as plug and play and intuitive as possible. I've already done some previewing by watching YouTube videos and if these videos aren't lying to me, it really will be Ellie proof easy. And I've been familiarizing myself with the various systems and hardware, so that when I get to the inevitable calls with my IT team, I will surprise them by knowing the exact name of the thing we're talking about. This is less a desire to impress than one to avoid embarrassment by having to say something like "the black shiny panel thing that lights up green". 

Aside from my actual responsibilities, there are some aspects to the job which I still cannot get over, because they are so awesome. 

1. It's a fifteen minute walk from where I live. And 15 is Google's estimate; I can get there in 10-12 if I want.  On the way I pass my bank, an Eintein's Bagels, and an awesome local coffee shop. It's right in the heart of the financial district, just down one street then across another. Everyone walking to work alongside me is chill, focused, and professional. No DTLA madness of screaming homeless, blaring stereos, trashy or troubled people just hanging out on the sidewalks looking to start shit and bringing the community down.  

2. I'm home by 5:15pm. My last job? Sometimes I wasn't home until past 11pm.

3. I'm off weekends. You just have no idea what that means to me. Unless you do, in which case: holy shit. Holy shit. 

4. I am the only employee at my workspace. It's just me. I am the only employee of the company in the entire state. So if one of my coworkers wants to call out or roll in late, it doesn't affect me. Because they're in another state. I have no employees working under me, that I am desperately, nervously counting on to show up to get us through another day of serving the hungry people of West Hollywood. None of that nonsense anymore. I don't have to depend on anyone but myself. You have no idea how much stress that takes out of my daily life.

5. My work is warm. It's so warm and cozy. I was super scared that a cold workplace would be the thing to do me in. My apartment is plenty warm, I'm totally good outside--but I had no idea if I would be cold at work, especially because the space is so huge. But in fact, it's so warm that a sweater is almost too much to wear. Which means I can start wearing regular shirts and pants and not have to be crazy overdressed neck to toe in wool. I am very happy about this. 

6. So far, the employees I've met from the client company are absolutely awesome. I've met the CEO, the founder, the assistant to the CEO, the head of sales, and the head engineer. Basically the top execs have been coming into the space to start getting ready for the rest of the company to roll in after the new year. And they are the nicest, most down to earth people ever. In fact tonight the founder and some of the others had a holiday zoom and they invited me down to have a drink with them and meet some of their team over the call. (I did not drink, and only popped down for a minute.) They're the kind of people who if you're just real and authentic and have a good personality, they will embrace you right away. That being said, my boss let me know that they are one of the top two accounts for all of the company, across all locations in the US. I cannot fuck this up.


There have been some other general surprises about Chicago:

1. I promise I'll shut up about it after this post, but I absolutely cannot believe how clean it is here. I keep joking to myself that the wind must blow all the trash away--but that's not it. It's just a very clean city. I don't know what I expected. LA was decimated by the pandemic and many neighborhoods that were of average cleanliness are virtually unlivable now. I guess I expected more or less the same here. But no. I've yet to see stretches of boarded up shop fronts, or piss-and-filth covered sidewalks. In fact it's the opposite. The shops are packed and the sidewalks get sprayed down nightly. I know because last night I got accidentally sprayed--and I welcomed it! 

2. I wasn't expecting how Dickensian it feels here. The pretty architecture, the bridges, the street lamps and decked out trees. It reminds me of everything I admired about New York the past 20 years when I visited there. I didn't know Chicago would feel so cool and sophisticated and bustling, the way NYC always has to me.

3. The jaywalking! You can't jaywalk in LA. It isn't even a matter of the tickets; there's just too much traffic, always. Here (at least where I am), you don't even have to hit crossing buttons. Most streets don't even have them. The light changes quickly, and even before it does, everyone jaywalks when it's clear. And despite it being a metropolis, the flow of traffic seems well managed, like the city planners know what they're doing. I know at this point I sound like I'm romanticizing, but I can't help it. I'm in love.

4. I'm not nearly as cold as I thought I would be. I haven't even turned the heat on at my apartment. It's probably because I'm at the almost top floor of my 14-story building, and I'm sandwiched in on three sides with just the one window. But my LA place was much, much colder during the winter due to how spacious it was and how big the windows were. It is straight cozytown in my place, and I love it.

5. There. Are. No. Scooters. I don't know if it's just where I am, or if they're further out--but there are none anywhere around me. And oh god it's the best thing ever, not to see the dozens and dozens of them that cluttered up all of LA's sidewalks. Busted, dirty, bent, half of them kicked over on the ground. It's divine not to have to look at fucking scooters anymore. 


My things are coming Monday! I can't believe all told I'll only have waited 9 days for my stuff to come. I really was hunkering down for a month+. 

All of what I FedExed to myself is here; the last five boxes came tonight. So I already have a bunch of unpacking to do, which I should get to, like, now.