Being the new kid.
My family moved a lot when I was growing up, so I ended up going to a new school every two years. I was always the new kid. Don't get me wrong - being new has its perks too. You get a lot of attention, and everyone wants to be the one to show you the bathrooms and how the rules of the cafeteria and water fountains work. Kids like it when you share your exotic candy with them, like Pocky and Yan Yan. But you also go through a trial period; you're tested on whether or not you fit, and those first few weeks can make all the difference in getting "in" or not.
I generally adjusted pretty quickly and made friends and got invited to the popular kids' parties. I found that if I was nice enough, without being annoyingly dorky or overbearing, that was good enough. But every once in a while, there was an exception.
I remember Trisha, the "smart" girl when I transferred to Valley View in fourth grade. She was nice for a day or so, and then all of a sudden, she turned on me. She decided to start being mean for no reason whatsoever. (Later, I realized that she may have been threatened that I was kinda "smart" too.) She said mean things like, "You have poison OAK, like the OAK RIDGE BOYS!" I don't know what that meant exactly, but I wasn't used to anyone being so mean to me. I tried to be nice, and everyone else was nice. Trisha moved a few months later, and life was back to normal.
For the most part, I've found that if I extend genuine kindness and respect to people, then I get it back in return. It's pretty easy. Usually. But there's always a Trisha somewhere.
One of the sales guys I work with got upset at me yesterday. It wasn't a big deal, and it had to do with adjusting to each other's working styles. It wasn't awful, but it wasn't fun for me. It was hard because I was trying my best, and that's usually enough. As the newest one in the office, I didn't want to get off on the wrong foot with anyone so early. I know I have to deal with things like this during my transition, but it was the first time that I really, really missed my old job. This wouldn't have happened there. I was in a good groove with everyone I worked with before. And then I missed a lot of things about being home.
I mean, I missed a lot of things about being in San Francisco. I can't call it "home" anymore. I shouldn't. I have to start calling DC home, or I won't fully adjust here.
I wish I could just hurry up and get past this whole "new kid" phase. Or maybe I'll try offering out Pocky at the office in the meantime...