Week two at the new job has almost officially come to an end, and it was surprisingly good. They threw us in on actual orders right away, beginning Monday morning. I think most of us are processing pretty slowly, but it's expected and is actually preferred that way. We aren't messing anything up, and we're able to learn through our own mistakes as they come. The week started off a little rough, and there was definitely a point Monday afternoon, where I was just thinking, "I want to go home", but the rest of the day evened out, and I settled in. Since we've been processing actual orders, our job is to look through them and catch things that customers had either missed, or not taken the time/care to fix themselves. It's amazingly horrifying what some people send in, and the customers even get to see previews of their orders when they submit. They don't magically go from shit to glory. It's our team that makes it go from shit to glory, with a lot of strained eyes and carpal tunnel. It does seem like a lot of the processing is the same, and I can definitely see how it could get repetitive. I haven't minded that at all, so far, but I am also taking way more care than I probably will come December. Right now, it's more about testing the boundaries and getting our skill set up to speed with the demands of regular, full volume processing. Our assigned evaluators go through our completed orders and then send them off to print or back to us if changes are needed. So far I haven't had any awful mistakes that would likely have come back as reprints, so that's a relief. Although, my orders for today haven't been checked over yet, so that could change. Hopefully not! It's definitely a different kind of atmosphere here, too. I think that's the most amazing thing about it so far. My last job seemed to stifle fun and creativity, and here it's completely welcomed. The ten of us, plus our evaluators, all get along wonderfully so far. Both of our on-site evaluators have moved here from another location, so in a way, we're all new here. We're all in the same boat, and we all are essentially strangers. It's an even playing field, which is quite nice. At my last job, it was really tough at first, because I was going into a tight-knit group of close friends so it was difficult to break in and feel like I belonged. Here, it's different. Our entire team gets along great. I've had lunch with a few of them already, and it's definitely starting to feel more natural. Some people are already making vague future plans for things to do as group PDT Outings. Tonight, we're meeting up for our "First Official PDT Happy Hour". Yup. Right?! My old job didn't do anything even similar to that, so it really is refreshing to be in this new, fun environment. All in all, things are going pretty well. I have my own desk area, a private little lock box on wheels, two (!) computer screens, and my own phone number. Wowsers. I imagine it will be a lot more hectic when the orders ramp up, but I think we're going to be given plenty of time to really learn the process and therefore, plenty of opportunity to succeed. I'm definitely happy so far, and hopeful that things will continue to improve as we get to know the job and each other a little better. This weekend should be a nice relief from the past few stressful weeks, even though it will involve a ton of driving. But I'll get to see my puppies, my preggo friend, and my birthday cake. Yum and yay!

So. My first official week at my new job has been completed. Overall, I think it went pretty well, which is a huge relief. The training process was incredibly thorough, so there was a lot of information thrown at us in a relatively short period of time. Including myself, there were ten new hires for the Production Design Team, and everyone seems to get along great. There hasn't been a large amount of time for mingling and really getting to know each other, but I do like everyone so far. I think we'll be an incredibly strong team once we all get the hang of things. The position seems to involve a lot more customer contact than I was expecting, but we've been given a lovely little booklet of phone scripts to work through for a variety of possible concerns. We haven't had too much practice with that yet, but I think once there is actual back-and-forth dialogue with the customers, things should (hopefully) flow naturally. I have always been the kind of person to hate being on the phone, so I think this may provide my biggest challenge with the position. As much as I will probably dread making the first few calls, I am glad to get the experience and hopefully get over that phone-hatred that I've always had. We've been told that this week is going to involve a lot of shadowing and one-on-one time with specific evaluators we've been assigned to. I'm thankful that my assigned evaluator is actually located in the building, as some of us will have to work with evaluators from satellite locations. I'm anxious to see how this week will go, and I have a feeling we're going to be thrust pretty quickly into doing things on our own. Since college, I honestly don't think my brain has had to work this hard to actually learn and remember things. I understand most of the bits and pieces so far, but it's just a matter of putting everything together in the expected process. That might be a bit tough, so we'll have to see how that all goes. I'm just trying to keep my head up and stay positive, and not get too overwhelmed. We're all in the same boat, and it's to be expected. It's really incredible to think about how much has changed in one short week. I already feel like leaving my old job happened a really long time ago, which I find kind of funny. I spent so much of my life there, and I'm already barely looking back. I think that just goes to show that this was really a good change for me, and it truly was long overdue. This year really seems to be about forward progress, and I think a lot of that comes down to my mindset. It's amazing what we can accomplish if we refuse to get caught up in the shitty parts of life and give up. I really hope that good things will start falling into place, as long as I keep myself open to it and take some chances. I'll be sure to keep updating on the new job, and once things settle down a bit and cash flow gets going again, I'm hopeful to start focusing a little more on designing and selling through Ruby July. Hopefully this week goes as well as the last! I'll post again soon! :)

Throughout the course of our lives, we all experience a large variety of 'firsts and lasts'. With these 'firsts', we begin new and sometimes incredibly exciting adventures. With these 'lasts', we end these adventures and close these stories. .Without these 'lasts', we cannot begin another 'first'. I think this simple fact brings upon the biggest challenges all of us have to face in life. There is a drastic change brought on by every closing of one story and the beginning of a new one. It's amazing to me sometimes, how one singular choice has the potential to radically change the course of your entire life. Over the past two weeks, I have experienced a large amount of 'lasts'. Having been in a stable, steady job for the past five years, my life had admittedly become quite routine and rather uneventful. Very few things changed, and opportunities for personal and career growth were few and far in between. After receiving and accepting the Production Design position I mentioned in my previous post, I have had to quickly close down any residual storylines from my previous job and in some sense, my previous life. I have had to say good-bye to some really amazing friends (most of whom I hope to keep in contact with!), and I have had to say good-bye to every tiny part of the routine of which I had become so accustomed. Even something as minute as turning left instead of the right turn I'll be taking from now on, or setting my alarm to 5:55 instead of the new 6:15, all of these things are now in my past. Beginning tomorrow, a new chapter of my life is starting to be written, and it is scary as hell. I keep reminding myself, though, that without these risks and bold choices, I would potentially be blocking out anything new and wonderful from occurring. I feel like most of my options were worn out at my previous job, and with the new job, there is so much untapped potential. It is terrifying, but at the same time it is truly amazing. I'm really trying to go into it with a positive and hopeful mindset, which is overall quite different from the way I have reacted towards drastic changes in my past. I am hopeful that this decision could help bring me closer to some of the best days of my life. I will make new friends, try new things, and get the fresh start that I have needed, but been afraid of, for so long. This fresh start is very much overdue, and even though I am hesitant and honestly still scared, I am excited. This time last year, I was in the exact same place as I was this year. This time next year, essentially everything has the potential to be different.If any of you feel like there are things in your lives that are stale or old, make a single bold choice, and see where it could lead. Routine will continue to be routine, until we take the power to change it and mix it up. If there is something you've always wanted to try, or somewhere you've always wanted to go, do what it takes to get there. All it takes is one choice to change your entire life. So, here's to new chapters, new stories, and a whole bunch of new 'firsts'. Here we go! :D

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