I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been working, A LOT. I clocked in at close to 110 hours over the last 2 weeks! That said, while I am working full time at the moment, I’m still technically unemployed. A local attorney has been kind enough to let me work on occasional jobs for him from home so that I can show some experience on my resume. Hooray for paychecks and experience!
While I usually work from home, the project I am currently working on has required me to go in to the office. That’s all well and good and gets me exposure and everything, but I have a slight problem with my laptop.
Why yes, that is duct take holding one of the sides together.
The best part is, I’m working in a very conservative law office. I thought I was all slick though and came up with a back story. The attorney I work for knows my daughter recently went away to college so I sort of gave the impression that my laptop was really her old laptop and that I had intended to get myself a new one. Sure there’s an ACLU sticker on there. My kid could be very political, he doesn’t know. My point is, I thought I had side stepped the embarrassment of being a 37 year old giant child and could just move on with the project without giving the impression that I am a giant nerd child. Don’t get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with being an adult kid. I just really want this job to lead to something permanent, either in this firm or through recommendation. It doesn’t behoove me to come across as weird or to not fit in. I’m networking in addition to just working.
Within hours of working on the project, however, my boss proceeded to lean over my shoulder to see what I was working on. I started explaining what I was doing and then realized he was reading my wallpaper.
My wallpaper is currently the Sith Code, which goes a little something like this:
“Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken.”
Now, I can pretty much guarantee that the Star Wars reference was entirely lost on my boss. Absent the Star Wars reference, I am entirely uncertain what the words of the Sith Code say about me, especially when read through the eyes of a conservative attorney. Is it good, bad, confusing, weird? I have no idea! Given the awkward situation I was now in, I decided to do what I always do in awkward situations. I pretended it didn’t happen. I just kept talking about the project and pretended like I didn’t notice him reading it. That works, right?
So, I kept working and a few days went by without incident. Then my boss’ old partner stopped by to see how the project was going. He came into my office to find me totally disorganized, frantically collating paper, and sitting behind my sticker covered laptop. He didn’t say anything about the laptop but instead came over and gave me some more papers to add to my collection. He explained what each was and how it related to the project. As he continued to go over things, I realized that he too was reading my wallpaper. Great! This guy’s seemingly more conservative than the first guy, doesn’t know me, and hasn’t even heard the story about it being a hand-me-down. Awesome.
Needless to say, I’m not very good at networking and the like. In limited contact situations I do pretty well at putting on a suit and coming across as both an adult and very professional. (Seriously, “you look so grown up” is a frequent comment on my facebook photos.) The problem is, it didn’t really occur to me that I need to adultify myself beyond taking out my piercings, making sure my tattoos aren’t visible, wearing a professional wardrobe and carrying a nice briefcase. Before you ask, yes, I carry my laptop in my briefcase. I just don’t usually need to take it out in public! Jeesh
So, I guess I learned something this week. Probably not any of the stuff I should have learned, but I learned that I need to get a new laptop and put some boring wallpaper of flowers or a landscape or something on there. Yep, that seems about right.