Well guys, I did it. I got the job. And moved to Philly. And let me tell you, there were moments leading up to this when I couldn’t breathe because I was so scared of all of this. But you know what? It’s looking like the best decision I ever made.
My first night here before I started work, I had that “What the hell have I done” feeling. I moved eight hours away from my village to a HUGE city after applying and accepting a job on a whim. The day I applied here, it was just one of five applications I was filling out just for the sake of knowing I was actively trying to find a job. I didn’t consider at the time that it might actually work out and that I’d end up here. Sunday I was homesick and terrified, and I spent most of the night studying bus maps to make sure I made it to work on time the next day.
That map studying? Yeah, it didn’t help. I was late for my first day of work. Talk about insanely embarrassing. My feet hurt from walking from the stop beyond where I needed to be all the way to the store, my hair was one ginormous ball of frizz, and I felt like I was breathing in water it was so humid. I couldn’t believe how awful it was all turning out after only a few hours.
And then I walked in the store.
As soon as they saw me, my boss yelled, “IT’S FINALLY ELLEN DAY!!!!!” and I can’t remember a time when I felt more welcomed. It was only a few hours before I was a part of the jokes and had been taken to “the best Chinese restaurant in the city.” And I had my right hand woman telling me that my favorite movie was in her top three. And I spent an hour in my boss’s office talking to him and the other manager, and the most serious question they asked me was “If you were on death row, what would your last meal be?” And when I couldn’t come up with an answer, they told me I would have to eventually provide one.
That first day, the feeling in my chest was one that I was slightly familiar with. It was the same one from welcome weekend, when I looked up the library after walking almost all the way around campus and saw the sign that said “You Belong Here.” This time was so much more subtle. It was running around like crazy with everyone else because the VP was showing up the next day. It was agreeing that ordering odd numbers of things is the worst just because. It was my boss telling me at the end of the day that he had a present for me and handing me a Phillies hat, because what better welcome is there?
This entire process has been one of the craziest, most exhausting things I have ever done. But after only five days, I can tell. It will be the most rewarding.