Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Today as I was walking to the BART station, a familiar sight passed in front of me. An old Philadelphia street trolley was running along Market St. in San Francisco. When I saw the trolley with the word "PHILA" plastered on it, this wide grin spread across my face. I never thought I'd be so happy to see something familiar from Philly. I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

This week I'm actually headed back to my former home for the Whitney M Young Jr. Conference. It'll be my second trip back since moving away. Last month I went back for a recruiting event. It was weird to be a visitor in a place I called home so many years. I know Philly like the back of my hand, so it was odd to be in a cab for once and know whether or not the cabbie was trying to take the long, stupid way to my destination. I'm still in near constant state of being lost in San Francisco - I hardly ever know when the cabbie is going the wrong way. Although the other day, I was VERY proud to be able to tell the cabbie he was going the wrong way. And on another day I was actually able to direct a tourist - sure it was only one block away, but hey, it's something.

The trip this week will feel exceptionally weird because I'll be manning a career fair booth. Being on the other side of the recruiting table is SOOO weird. People act so nervous around me, and sometimes avoid returning my phone calls and emails. I think I'm pretty approachable, so it's hard to process these reactions. And it can also be frustrating when you see people drop the ball. As a student, sometimes all it takes to make the interview list is reaching out and connecting with people at the firm you're interested in - when you don't do this it makes it hard for people to advocate for you. I remember how much I hated doing this stuff when I was at Wharton - but I still did it. It's sad to see people avoid doing it. It's like watching people shoot themselves in the foot.

So this week will feel weird. Weird to be in Philly. Weird to have people nervous around me. What I am excited about is seeing some of my old classmates. WMY is a homecoming of sorts for a lot of AAMBAA alums. It'll be great to catch up with people and hang out.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Life is good.

For the last 6 years or so, I wake up after election day pissed off and totally avoiding the news. This past Wednesday was a different experience - one I've missed. I've definitely had a bit of a spring in my step this week.

Work continues to be pretty cool, although the honeymoon period is over with the client. It's interesting to see how the team manages the client relationship and how they think about who needs to be looped in to ensure buy-in of our ideas. I'm also becoming more independent in my work. Although whenever I'm feeling super confident about my ability to do my job, something will happen to make me feel like an absolute idiot. Like earlier this week, I volunteered to do extra work. Good right? Well I just didn't get the assignment. And it felt like everyone else in the room did. Who ever made up the phrase that "there's no such thing as a dumb question" was a big ole liar, and this week, I was living proof of that. What truly sucks is I had my moment of dumbness in front of a partner. Great. Now he probably thinks I'm an idiot. Hopefully I'll be able to redeem myself.

Things are picking up socially, and I find myself totally falling in love with San Francisco. This city is wonderful - in some ways it reminds me of New York. Lots of activity at night, and a bit gritty. I love walking down the street and seeing some random group making music or dancing or whatever. But the people are so much nicer here. I really love it.

And I've committed myself to not saying no to hanging out with folks. Because I live in the suburbs, its really easy to come up with excuses to not hang out with people in the city. I've decided, I'm not doing that. So yes, it means I have to drive into the city, find parking and the like. But I think it's worth it.

I'd still like to volunteer or do some other activity, but I'm glad that my social calendar is beginning to fill.

Slowly but surely, I'm beginning to make the Bay area my new home.

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