August 24, 2007

Best Friends Forever

Posted in Office Hijinks at 7:57 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

So there I was, just before my vacation, sitting with my ex-roommate telling her all about the new job.   I gushed about the cool new people I work with and how much I really enjoy the work and all the crazy things we do during the day.  I told her about we decorated Boss’s office for his birthday and how someone is always using Photoshop to create something goofy to make the rest of us laugh.  Lauren smiled and said, “Oh my god it is as if you are back on student council in high school.”

I smiled at the analogy.  I have often thought working in a law firm was a lot like being in high school.   And just like my first month in high school, I was suffering through the awkward getting to know everyone phase.   

Just before starting the ninth grade my parents pulled me from public school and enrolled me in a private, Catholic school.  They thought ninth grade was the best time for me to make this transition since I would be starting a new school, regardless.  What they hadn’t realized is that, while six or seven parishes all sent their ninth graders to this one high school, those six or seven schools only produced one class a piece.  I was walking into a school where no more than seven groups of kids had all known each other now for over eight years.   

But being the good sport that I was, I joined activities and tried out for various teams and did my best to make friends and influence people.  And before you could say, “It smells like teen spirit,” it was homecoming and I was helping to decorate the school.   

After attaching green and gold to anything that stayed still, I wandered back to my locker to get my bag and my books.  As I approached, I saw CK, a cheerleader who sat in front of me in homeroom, standing at her locker.  Apparently CK’s job was to attach construction paper footballs with player’s numbers at random, to various lockers.  As I got closer, I saw that she had attached one such football to my locker.  Once I was there, I saw that the number on the football corresponded with the number worn by the boy I thought, at the time, I was going to spend the rest of my life with.   

And CK knew it and saw to it that his number ended up on my locker. 

My whole face spread into a smile.  I had a friend, and more importantly, I had a cheerleader friend. 

Now, back at the office, sure I chatted with the other girls and even helped them decorate Boss’s office but I still didn’t feel like I belonged.  My only lunches out were still with friends from the old firm.  And don’t even get me started on the lack of happy hour invites.   

I thought about this as I sat on the subway on my first day back from vacation. It is not easy being the new girl and it wasn’t as if I could just offer to let someone copy my homework to get them to like me.  

I wondered what I could do to fit in as I flicked on my office light and saw that in my absence, my desk had been ransacked.  Sportswear with the firm’s logo covered everything, a banner with the firm’s name was acting as a table skirt, streamers hung from my overhead cabinet and a poster welcoming me back and noting how much I was missed was prominently displayed.   

I couldn’t have been happier if they had taped 57 Hottie’s bar number to my office door.

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