Improvement. Day by day I see this work place improving through my judgmental eyes.
Whenever I thought of an office in New York City, I thought of many people in an office that takes up the whole floor of a building where people are sitting at their computers and typing away furiously. Never did I expect that I’d be working in an office space that was meant to be an apartment. However, just because I did not expect this outcome, does not mean that it is far from reality, in all actuality, it is pretty common. Cities are expensive, let alone New York City, and to have an office space that takes up a whole floor would cost a fortune, and I should have put two and two together and realized that a small non profit organization would most definitely not mirror the grandiose picture I had been painting in my head.
Here’s another expectation that I had painted with the wrong colors–I came to work on the first day wearing a nice polo dress and beautiful white wedges. I knew that an office in the village might mean that people dress in a chic/artsy sort of way, but I thought I better be safe than sorry–better over-dressed than under-dressed, and guess what? I was over-dressed. WAY over-dressed. The founder of the organization was wearing a t-shirt and gym shorts, and everyone else was dressed pretty casually. But you know what, that’s not really a big deal. I like to dress up nicely and if that’s what I like to do, no one was going to stop me.
So apart from the work space and dress code, the work environment and behavior did not meet my expectations either. I thought that everyone would be working with one another and talking with one another, and I was so shocked…everyone just sat at their computers and did their own work! If someone had to speak to one another they got up, whispered real softly to the person and then went back to his/her own desk. Oh my…this was the worst one for me. Thinking that I was not going to be able to talk KILLED me. haha are you kidding me? This place is as silent as a cemetery! I’m not going to lie…the first week was the hardest week with all these shocks coming at me, especially this one, but after we spoke to our supervisor, she said that “just because the others in the office remain silent, it doesn’t mean you guys have to! By all means, go ahead and talk to one another!” That was great–that communication with her truly showed me that with communication things can get better, and I am really very glad we had that conversation; it made the work environment so much better.
I think this entry has been a list of how what I expected was not what I am experiencing, however, it will also demonstrate how just because my expectations were not met, does not mean I should stop trying to make the best of it. In fact, the fact that my expectations were not met is what led me to work hard to find the beneficial rewards I can reap from my 10 weeks here.
There are so many things I have learned here and I am so excited to share them all, however, I am a bit tight on time with preparing for my presentation tomorrow with the other interns to the whole staff, so I will go now, but after the presentation tomorrow I will come back and right some more about how it went, what I learned, and what the next steps are for the last four weeks of my summer here at this wonderful organization!