Spending much of my day at a reception desk (directing happiness) I get to witness all sorts of human interactions. Since the desk is right beside the entrance to our cafeteria, I also hear a lot of food related talk. Not all of it is bad, but even when it seems to be going in that direction I try to put a positive spin on things when they are directed at me. “I’m eating too much today!” said a coworker as she entered, I replied, “That’s totally okay!” with a giant smile. And why wouldn’t it be okay? I have my own opinions for my own health and well being (if I feel gross after eating it’s too much or the wrong thing, I try not to repeat either), I’m not the food police, nor am I going to join your shaming party. But there’s a group of ladies that are pro-food, like they want everyone to eat more! Ha-ha! They’re fun, but I insist that when I’m full, I’m full.
I also get to see some nice stuff like folks holding the door open for each other and so many thank you’s and smiles and laughter. These are so nice and such tiny moments I think people often forget or take for granted. But the pay it forward frame of mind does seem to happen. Someone holds the door open for you, you say thanks and try to do the same or some other small gesture for someone else and so on. I like that a lot. Pretty much everyone walks past or stops by my desk and I always have a smile, a hello or a “how are you?!” for them. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the few who have made a special visit to meet me and introduce themselves. So cool!
Meeting literally hundreds of people in just a matter of weeks has been a bit overwhelming. I cannot remember but a handful of names and I only feel worse when they remember mine. Oh well! Most people understand and empathize. My first week in my home office was frustrating. Things kept changing and there were some miscommunications and I was very hormonal and was having some serious doubts by week’s end about my future here, but now I think it’ll all be okay. I haven’t made any work buddies yet, but I like reading articles and stuff on my lunch anyway. I’m considering bringing my Simpson’s Trivia (25th anniversary edition, yo!) and see if anyone would sit with me to play…but my shyness comes back to haunt me at the thought of that. Darn it!
It’s funny because my boyfriend sees me as this super friendly and outgoing gal who never struggles with social anxiety (he’s very introverted and shy), but I do and often but try my best to push myself out of my comfort zone when I can and usually reap the benefits of that. At a new job it can be extra tough though. I want to make friends and get to know people, but there are just so many and from so many different areas of expertise I get overwhelmed easily. Ha-ha!
It’s only been 2.5 years since I sold my cafe and re-entered the workforce, but it feels like a decade. People are always curious and excited to hear about that particular chapter of my life, which I’ve always tried to minimize for some reason. I’m proud of my accomplishments, but folks don’t want to hear how hard it was, they want to hear a dream fulfilled. Sadly, it was never quite that for me. It was fun, it had it’s moments, but mostly it was a holy terror! I’m so glad I didn’t allow it to ruin me financially, I have managed that part on my own! Ha-ha! Well, not entirely, but the debt I do have does make things uncomfortable. No biggie. I’m hoping to pay off my credit card debt by next year, fingers crossed.
I have been asked a few times to expand on what it is that a Director of Happiness does. It’s sort of a administrative/concierge/coordinator/event planner/and so much more combination, for a building of 300 employees. I do things like set up meetings and schedule all manner of stuffs, plan fun events, order supplies, send get well balloon bouquets to employees and order food for various things. I work for a large software consulting/developing company. My job is about making folks happy, making sure everything is operating smoothly and everyone has what they need to get their job done. We just got some bikes this week that people have been taking out for a spin…Fun! But I get hit with all types of questions and requests and so far it’s a natural fit for me.
I have recently been getting more questions and suggestions regarding Fatty Affair (from the fat community, not at work, obv.) and while I have no answers at the moment, it seems at least one smarty pants (well, I think she is) thinks I should do a fundraiser for the venue rental fees. I’m not entirely opposed to fundraising, but it does make me slightly uncomfortable. The point is to build community, to offer a safe and fun space and to have an accessible event in the south bay. I will always insist that the event be admission free, but we always have a bake sale to help raise funds during the event itself. Last year we did a big raffle, too, that was fun if not a bit chaotic. I’m just not sure how to raise funds without having something to offer.