Four months, two days.
That’s how long the span between my last shift at ABC Grandstand and my first shift at The Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinal was. More than one third of 2013. Holy hell.
If unemployment was a girlfriend, that’d be about the fourth-longest relationship of my adult life. Thankfully, unemployment and I have decided to see other people. She was costing me a fortune anyway.
I awoke on my first day of work knowing deep down that I’d be subject to some information overload. I assume starting a new job is always like that. Names, faces, login details, where’s the restroom, why aren’t I allowed to eat that chicken sandwich in the refrigerator?
And while I wrote half a notepad worth of those crucial facts (except the sandwich thing; I had to destroy the evidence), I think somehow I learnt even more life lessons in the four hours between climbing out of bed and when my colleague pulled up to drive me to the office. Things like:
- Shoveling snow is hard.
- Shoveling snow is GODDAMNED HARD.
- Snow looks beautiful and powdery and wonderful … until you’re shin-deep in it and shoveling so hard you’re sweating under your four layers of clothing in -21*C weather somehow.
- Eight inches of snow is quite a lot … when it’s burying your Dodge Avenger rental car.
- I need a large pair of gumboots.
- I need a pair of snow pants. Pants that aren’t made of absorbent fabric.
- Cabbies that don’t pay attention to the drivers in front of them don’t just exist in Australia. Same with ones who have poor personal hygiene.
- When you pre-pay for petrol at the gas station, nominating which pump to put the money in in the process, you can’t move the car and try to fill up at another pump when you realize your dumb ass parked with the fuel door on the opposite side. And, most importantly…
- that while many people I’ve met are incredulous that I’d leave Australia for the wintery wilds of Central Maine, with no previous experience in a northern winter, I somehow manage to meet and overcome these daily challenges and unfamiliar situations with something resembling relish.
No, not the hot dog type. Yet.