As I just recently started my first job, I know the concerns attached to it. One of my greatest concerns was, "what if no one wants to sit by me at lunch." Literally, the thought of eating alone in the corner, or worse, alone at my desk, was more terrifying than anything related to job performance. I've learned from my internships, there is always someone left out of the office clique, and I was determined that this couldn't be me. Ostracization conflicts with my border-collie like need to be liked.
And, just like High School, at work, everyone is constantly and acutely aware of what everyone else is wearing. Seriously, especially given that everyone in the office is female, work is a fashion show. What's her face got a new dress from Kohls--on sale!!! So and so got new "shatter" nail polish! Do you know Sally Hansen makes a cheaper version than the original kind by OPI? Yep, you can get it at Kroger, and I have a coupon! P.S. That is one thing that's different from High School, we have a couple extreme coupon'ers in the office. Our office manager even got Wal-mart to pay her after she worked her voodoo with the Sunday coupon section. Given I'm pretty new to grocery shopping (I don't know how much ANYTHING costs, I estimated Wheat Thins to be 3.79$ a box and laundry detergent to be 1.99$ a gallon jug--which entertained the masses. It's like when Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development thinks a single banana costs 10$) I think I need to pass on coupons until I'm a little more savvy.
Oh, and the volunteers I work with, aren't charmingly similar to High School, like my coworkers (who I like a lot. I'm just making observations about the work/high school similarities, not judgements) but instead are, in some cases, a lot like a gaggle of mean girls. A lot of the volunteer issues dealt with by staff people center around this volunteer not liking this other volunteer or gossip as to whether so and so is equipped to plan the campout this year. Honestly? The fate of the free world doesn't depend on these volunteers, but some of them take their jobs more seriously than George W. Bush took his presidency (ironic because in his case, the fate of the free world very much depended on him...). I hear my coworkers dealing with volunteers sometimes and it's hard not to think, "Oh my God, this cannot be how grown women behave."
And in trying to find my niche at work, which I think I'm discovering little by little, I realize it's very similar to the niche I forged in high school. The funny-chubby girl. Although, I don't think I'm that chubby anymore, I still, am the girl people come to for jokes, not the girl whose fashion tips people covet. Like, yesterday, I was talking about how my cat likes to burrow into my ass cheeks at night, and how sometimes, horrifyingly, I don't even notice. Like, you know you have a big ass when a small animal can be nestled in there and you don't even feel it. I was telling people this and I thought to myself, "High School survival 101, self-deprecating humor."