Happy Face/Sad Face

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Howdy from the last day I sit in this chair, at this desk, in a cube, in a SEA of cubes, in an office. At least, I hope.

I’ve waited for this day for what seems like forever. I was thinking last night about a time a few years ago when I was just making my own cards and going to the South End Market and every year I would barely break even. I felt like I was killing myself at night after work to make cards, and spending half my weekend in a parking lot in Boston, for what? To make just enough money to KEEP DOING THAT? It’s not like it was so much fun that making just enough to continue doing it was worth it.

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Once I realized I didn’t want to make cards full-time, just sell them, this day has been a carrot on a stick. The day I can quit my job. The day I stop being a tiny pin in a huge machine that was someone else’s dream.

I’ll miss this office, I really will. It’s the people in here that have kept me from banging my head on my desk or jumping out the only open-able window. Mr. Corner Office has always been good for a chuckle, whether he’s emailing me from a meeting telling me to come get him in 15 minutes and just “say the furniture guy is here” or spraying his office with Febreze while giggling to himself. Phil and his “I just ate a lemon” face and Lillian, scurrying around yelling at everyone. And the guy who sits in the office across from me who has a button that yells “NO!!!” which he uses against Lillian when she comes to yell at him.

Every time I see some horrifying thing about Australia on the internet, I can ask George if it’s true (Yes, swooping season is real and yes, one time a spider got into his friend’s house that was so big, he just gave it the room.) And he says “G’day” occasionally but never “THAT’S a knife.” Laura, my sprinkled-donut fairy, sometimes leaving a bag of them on my desk when the mood strikes. These people made the years I spent doing a job that was just a job, a little easier. And I’m not even talking about the couple years that my best friend worked here. Now THAT was a hoot. I’m sad to not see these people every day anymore.

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The reason I have to say goodbye though…the reason makes it just a little easy to bear. Each of those people I mentioned has a boss. Someone they have to make sure knows they were working, that they are worth the money they’re being paid. Someone is watching them. No one watches me. I make sure I’m working. And believe me, me. I’m werkin’

Every time I’ve ever left a job, I feel relief thinking about all the things I don’t have to deal with anymore. But there’s always new things at the next place I’ll have to deal with and learn. Of course that’s true in this case too, but I can’t wait to learn all the new things at my next “job.” (Except accounting software. Ew.)

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The other day I sat in an awkward meeting where people discussed who would do this and that while they search for a New Me. Upcoming projects, new ways of handling meetings, things they wanted to change before New Me arrived. I was so happy to not have to do any of that crap! I don’t have to learn how to use the conference room equipment ever! I don’t have to learn how to use the new Word templates! When a new project really fires up and starts getting complicated, I won’t be here! I don’t have to deal with ANY OF THIS! All I have to do is decide where my new shipment of Ban.do agendas are going to go! The worst thing I can think of happening right now (besides falling flat on my face, having to come crawling back to Tetra Tech, and learn to use the conference room equipment after all…) is people coming my first week and picking me clean and I have to scramble to reorder a shit ton of product.

With the relief of never having stupid office crap to deal with ever again, comes, of course, the reality of the fact that I have to make enough money to sustain a healthy product line and pay the bills. I have never been good with finances, math, money…and I’ve already fucked up a fair amount of times. This is scary as all get out, you guys. I’m hoping at least after my first month, some of that fear will dissipate with a little of the unknown washed away by time. And numbers. It’s weird knowing I can do this, knowing it will be awesome and having every reason to think it will be, but also wondering if anyone will be there when I open the door. I don’t think there will be a line around the block at 9:59 but a couple excited people would be nice. And 10:01 is ok too.

If anyone is in the area of Natick, or Boston, or Massachusetts, or Planet Earth, please coming to my opening! I will unlock my dreamy mint door on 1 North Main Street at 10:00 AM, Saturday the 11th of June. I’d love to have someone there besides my mother who loves paper the way I do.

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Images are artwork from my Get To Work Book by Elise Cripe. Above art by Paper Epiphanies.

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