The past few weeks have been tough ones for me. I started a new job, helped with our family Thanksgiving dinner, we had a death in the family, and I helped organized and cook for the funeral lunch.
The new job has been hard enough for me to deal with let alone all the other things going on.
I am not used to getting up so early. Not working for a year had my sleeping habits skewed. Buying clothes and going through that torment was rough.
Now trying to fit in at a new company. This has turned out to be a challenge for me. I am not used to that, in the past I have been able to make at least one connection and made a friend by the 2nd day.
This has not been the case this time around. I have been struggling trying to make new friends. I know I am a goober and have my own unique ways. But really??? Still no connections. I think I have lost my touch.
The company I am working for is one of the most different and odd places I have ever been in. There are no cliques. Everyone pretty much keeps to themselves. It took 5 days before I heard laughter in the office. That just blows my mind.
I know this is a workplace, but come on….no laughing? Even outside where the smokers gather…no one talks to each other. Just weird.
I have never been in an office setting where there is silence and you can hear every cough, sneeze and phone conversation. Did I mention this office holds around 100 people?
I have been trying to make friends by jumping into light conversations with a joke but they seem to ignore me. I have introduced myself to over 50 people and I get nothing in return.
I was beginning to get paranoid, thinking they don’t want to have anything to do with the ‘fat’ girl or the old woman. Yes, I am the oldest person on my team. Even my 3 supervisors could be my children. I was thinking maybe I was the smelly kid in the classroom or my attire didn’t fit in.
I know none of those are true. I am not the only ’big’ person there, I am not the oldest person in the facility, my clothes are just as nice as everyone else’s and I shower every morning.
What am I doing wrong? I may not be the most social individual but I can carry on a conversation.
Today something happened. I was setting with one of my team members shadowing her. We began to talk and she was sharing all kinds of information about her family and baby. I let her do all the talking and didn’t share one piece of personal information.
What I did though was share my personality as she spoke. I made sarcastic comments that directed back to my behavior and listened carefully to her stories and asked questions.
After a few hours setting with her, one of our team members jumps into the conversation. He looks me in the eye and says…..Can I ask you a person question? I said, sure just ask long as it’s not my weight. We all laughed at that one.
He asked me how old I was. I responded honestly. He had a big grin on his face and said, thank goodness, I am no longer the ‘old man’ on the team, we now have an old lady. I had to laugh. I know how he feels.
That was that. I made 2 friends within minutes all because I gave them the opportunity to share with me.
I have been doubting my choice by accepting the job offer after the past couple of weeks. But now, I think I will hang in there a little longer to see where this weird ride takes me.
You are never too old to learn how to make friends.