I just got back Friday night from my first training with my new job. This was a series of new things that I haven’t done before and I am sure many of these incidents colored my view of the Atlanta Georgia, and by default the south in general.
The training was my “onboarding” for my new audit job. It was basically a week long introduction to the agency, some general overview of what and how we audit, and also sort of a networking opportunity with all the other new hires. I have never worked for the feds before, and honestly this week alone I got more training then any other job gave me over the entire span of my career. The State Auditor’s Office didn’t even come close.
So this trip had a lot of firsts for me. It was my first airplane ride (except evidently I was on a plane when I was 2). It was the longest I have been gone from Jello in our 22+ year marriage (5 nights, 6 days, when the total time before this for all days combined was maybe 5 nights separate). It was my first time to the south so that was a cultural, and physical difference. I want to also note that I have never lived alone for that long. I lived with my family, then moved in with roommates then with Jello. I have never lived by myself except for the days that I was away from Jello, which combined were the same or less total days then I was at this training. Although by the end of the trip, I think I was acclimating.
In addition lately I am super stressed because I am at a new job, a new probationary period, we are moving in three weeks several towns over. I am commuting about 90 miles a day (further then I was to my previous job in Bellevue) and my work day right now is 11-12 hours a day with the commute.
With all these stresses, I must be very honest that I probably wasn’t the most unbiased observer (combined with my super progressive/liberal/lgbt friendly outlook). So this post is partially a disclaimer for my future observation posts about Atlanta Summer 2014 (and I have a lot of them coming I think). I am fortunate, I am going to get to go back to Atlanta in October (not in the horrific summer weather) for two weeks for more training. When I give updated posts then I am sure the bias won’t be so bad.
Overall though the trip was good. This is a good sign that the agency I work for takes me serious. I would talk about my initial week but honestly it was mostly a blur. The airplane trip went really well. The landing in Atlanta was evidently way worse then others had ever experienced (and it was a bit scary, but post about that later) but the return trip was fine. The stay at the hotel did suck, but that was a hotel issue, not a “south” or Atlanta problem.
I met a lot of nice people, had several interesting interactions, and even with my hatred of being gone from my hubbie it was a good experience. I think it will be even better in October (omg people talked about the humidity in the south, but I had NO IDEA).
I think the job is a good thing, I still have some anxiety and uncomfortableness but I suspect some of that is the fact I like to shoot myself in the foot. I will post a lot more about the trip in several future posts. There was quite a bit of culture shock for me, but like I said I had a lot of stresses going in. I am hoping writing about it might let me separate what was actual experience versus the gerbils in my head.