A few big things have happened in my life recently, the biggest being that I got a new job. I sort of hit the jackpot, actually, as I now work for one of the top rated companies in Chicago with all sorts of ridiculous benefits (Super amazing healthcare? Free on-site gym? Beer on Fridays? Once a month massages??). I am now making more money than I have ever made in my life, which, as a former non-profit worker, isn’t necessarily saying much, but I am finally where I feel that I “should” be at 35 years old as far as salary goes. And that, THAT, lets me sleep soundly at night. Especially as a single mother, security has become #1 on my list of priorities.
I am beyond excited, but more than that, I am grateful. I feel like I have been slogging through an at-times frustrating career path to get here. Crappy pay, some fantastic coworkers, some terrible bosses, some SUPER terrible bosses, sexual harassment (“Oh yeah? You’ll get used to it,” a la Girls), and generally being heavily overworked, underpaid, and under-appreciated. To be somewhere where that is no longer the case feels amazing.
So it’s my first week and I am going through orientation when they tell me they’ll need to take my photo for company use. Sure! I say. I have a new outfit, one that I allowed myself to purchase to celebrate the new job; I’m happy; I have been sleeping great and am ready to go. I stand in front of the designated spot and the photographer takes a couple photos on her digital camera. “Do you want to see?” she says. “You can pick out the one you like best.”
“Sure!” I say, chipper as ever. And then I see them.