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Employed, at last! :-) (and thoughts on the Secret)

I didn’t post yesterday because I was gone all day and too exhausted when I got home after midnight. But wonderful news…I am now employed! The job is good, it looks like something I can do and can learn to do. It’s a two-person office (basically) and I really like the lady who’ll be my supervisor. She was very personable at the interview. We have a number of things in common.

The pay is also good. Since I’m doing this temp-to-hire (what my super did, when she was hired for this position a few years ago), I’ll start off making $15 per hour. Then after about a month, I’ll become a salaried employee working directly for the company and making somewhere in the mid 30ks. That figure may depend on my performance in the first month (the diff, say between 33k and 36k). I intend to do my job well and do my best to enjoy it. Because if you can’t find something to enjoy in your work…that’s very depressing.

The hours are 9-5, with a 1/2 hour lunch. Practical. I’ll commute by Metro. Probably will take the bus to the metro station here, but I’ll walk from the station there…it’s not too far. One thing I learned yesterday is not to wear heels for the walk, though. It’s quite dramatically uphill. I’ll probably bring heels to wear once I get inside. Plus, practical shoes make me less nervous.

I’ll write more about the job after I start. For now, I’ll just say that it’s essentially tenant relations (for offices, not apartments, thank goodness!). My supervisor’s name is Bobbie (she’s a girl, her real name’s Roberta).

Some advantages of this job besides work and pay include friendship. Mr. Micah and I have good friends who live a few blocks from my building. Plus, the wife of the couple goes to grad school in the SAME building where I’m working!!!! Pretty ideal. I may have mentioned some of this before. Anyway, good times. 🙂

Achievements for today:

Achievement #1: I made two dinners today, one big dish of Kusherie and one of Groundnut Stew. We had some of the Groundnut stew for our actual dinner. And rice. This, combined with the leftover Baked Lentils and Cheese and with the Vegetable Curry I’m making tomorrow should hold us through the week. Leftovers! Plus, I can take some of these to the office for my lunch. I need to find something small and microwaveable to carry them in.

Achievement #2: Does being a cheap date count? We Metroed to Silver Spring and walked to Borders there for coffee, in celebration of my employment. So I think I get points for being rational about it and not going out and buying all kinds of stuff. Though after I get my first paycheck, there’s at least one book I haven’t been able to get through the library that I’d like to read. But our library is pretty good. Also, while I was there I looked at a book on personal finance, Zero Debt for College Grads. There was some useful stuff about student loans. I don’t have any, but Mr. M does. Lots. Which is ok, since I don’t have any and we’ll figure out how to pay them off. We don’t have to start until next year, though I hope to get a jump on it by then.

Non-financial Achievements: Quick list here–edited hubby’s latest article (goodness, he’s prolific), worked on quilt that I’d neglected for a few months. And last night we went to my lil’ brother-in-law’s play, based on Twelve Angry Men, but it was called “Jury,” since it had men and women. Very very well done for a highschool drama camp. Lots of driving, but good family time. Lil’ bro is going to college in Texas next week, so it’s probably the last time we’ll see him before Christmas.

Opinion: I also looked at The Secret while I was there, a book so…..that I won’t link to it. I wanted to see for myself what I’d already heard from other people, those who loved and those who hated it. My opinion is that it’s 95% crap mixed with 5% truth. And that 5% truth is what gets people. I think that they’re right about being positive. It’s a good way to be. It probably improves your quality of life, because you’re more open to making good decisions and to taking chances. It probably improves your health because you’re more proactive and because you don’t give up. It certainly improves how you interact with those around you.

But the law of attraction is bullcrap. My mother, for example, is not a negative person. She’s very upbeat, cute, adventurous, fairly optimistic, takes good care of herself, treats others well, all kinds of good stuff. She also has terminal cancer. Her attitude has led her to look for all kinds of treatment options, be open to experimental ones, and learn a lot about her disease so that she can talk to doctors intelligently about her options, etc. And by knowing this much, I think she’s also helped find the right medicines for her treatment.

She suffers but doesn’t get angry with people or become mean and pessimistic (and believe me, I’ve seen this happen). But according to The Secret, it’s her fault she has cancer. And the Jews fault that the Nazis killed them (!!!!) not vice-versa. And women’s faults that they get raped. Children’s faults that they get molested. What the hell? When reading it, my Id kept whispering “She should get cancer and suffer and no amount of positive thinking or attraction should get her better.” But most of me doesn’t want to wish that on anyone.

I did know one woman who was ill and whose attitude made it worse for her. She was convinced that everyone was out to get her, she thought that nothing would work out right, and she was often right. Sort of. I had to stop associating with her because she was so negative and critical that I couldn’t take it. I tried to help her see things more positively, I tried just being a positive presence in her life, but she wouldn’t accept anything.

Eesh. To sum up, The Secret is bullcrap prosperity gospel for people who don’t believe in God. Think about it…the prosperity gospel says “Pray to God and you’ll get what you want, he can’t help it.” TS says “Your thoughts can make the universe give you what you want, that’s how things are.” And just like the prosperity gospel has a darker side which seems to assume that people who don’t receive (healing, money, whatever) are in sin, don’t have enough faith….it’s their fault, TS blames people for all their misfortunes as well.

Life sometimes sucks. It sometimes rocks. Take it with a good attitude and it will be easier. But there is no Secret. And sometimes bad things happen to good people. The best thing you can do is try to redeem the situation, find good things from it.

Things I should get tomorrow for Monday: Microwaveable containers for lunches, some kind of lunchbox/cooler carrying thing to bring the lunches to work. I think there’s a fridge there and a microwave. There’s a nice little snack area by the water cooler.

PostScript: The curtains work really really well! When they’re closed, it’s perfectly dark in there.

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