October 2015

A New Day Has Dawned

19 October 2015
11:23 EDT (-04:00 GMT)

It's been 12 years since I started working in America’s greatest space agency. I never thought it would be that long. I thought I’d be there a few months at most: not 12 years. Throughout those years, I often thought I would end up being a lifer: someone who spent an entire career in one organization, never experiencing the joys and thrills of working somewhere else. I was convinced I would say good night to my coworkers one Friday afternoon as they shuffled out and headed home for the weekend, and at some point before I, too, took off, fate would hit me, and I would be found Monday morning, a bloated, cold carcass still sitting in front of my computer and staring at the screen of my computer thanks to the creepy effects of rigor mortis.

This past Friday, I walked out of NASA Headquarters for the last time as a NASA employee. As of this morning, I am officially a civilian employee of the United States Coast Guard. It’s very exciting and scary. I can’t believe that I am starting a new job with a completely different organization. What if I'm really not as good as I think and they decide that they made a mistake hiring me (technically, I’m on a probationary period because I'm now a supervisor…but I think it’s formality since I'm already vested in the government). I’m sure I’ll be fine, but just thinking about all the new faces, names, titles, topics, acronyms…it’s all so overwhelming. But then I stop and think; how bad can it really be? I mean it’s not like I’m going back to my old job today, right? Change is always good. It may not be the right change, and it may be something that I’ll regret, but at least I'm trying something new; I’ll never know if I'm good at it or if this is a great job if I don’t try. And so, with that in mind, I’m super excited to be heading into my new office with new people, new gossip, new drama, new adventures, new everything!

To be honest, I had no idea I was actually going to get the job. My first interview was back at the end of May when I was in Hawaii. It was a horrible interview. I was holed up inside a tiny car sweating (I had closed the windows to deaden the noise of traffic all around me). I was in excruciating pain from my tumble into the Waimea River…but that’s a completely different story. I felt that I wasn’t prepared for the interview. Then, a few weeks later, I got a call asking if I was still interested in the position and if I’d like to call in for a phone interview. This was kind of odd, but I said sure. I got an email a few hours later saying they had made a mistake (I figured…they accidentally put a check by my name instead of an X). Would I like to come in for a face-to-face interview? Seriously? Yes, of course (but I was convinced they were just trying to save face at this point since they accidentally called me). Again, I was as prepared as I could be, but I felt I was a bit too flippant with some answers and too aggressive with others. That was it; I thanked them and walked out the door, destined to remain at NASA forever.

A few weeks later, I got an email offering me the position. What?? But, yea, here I am in my brand spanking new office with my brand spanking new job. I’ve already made a friend or two, found my new stapler, arranged my thumbtacks and generally inhaled and enjoyed that new cubical smell…oh, not such a good smell actually…but it’s my new cubical at my new job!