It had nothing to do with the actual job. The people were nice enough and the job was super easy, mindless even. But just being back inside an office with no windows made my skin crawl. Maybe I'm just not cut out to work in an office environment. Does the Peace Corps allow dogs? If so, I'm joining immediately.
At lunch time on the first day, I seriously considered calling and saying I got into a car accident and wouldn't be able to come back. But I refrained, because every time I've ever called in fake sick to work, I ended up getting the actual illness weeks later (flu, food poisoning, sprained ankle--you name it).
I think the ladies at the office were having a hard time figuring me out.
"So you're in college?" someone asked.
"No. I've been done with college for a while," I replied.
"But you're only looking for temp work? Not full time?"
"Well, I've been living in L.A. but decided to leave my job to do some traveling. I'm just hanging out in Oakhurst until my next trip."
Cricket, cricket, cricket. They looked at me like I had three heads and was speaking in tongues.
"And, uh," I continued, "My sister had a baby so I wanted to spend time with my family."
This they could understand. If there's one thing small town folk never question, it's time spent with family.
"And I'm only doing temp work because I'm heading back to L.A. in a month or so."
"L.A.?! You don't want to live in Oakhurst?"
If I did, I wouldn't be moving to L.A.
"Nah," I said.
"Why would you want to live in L.A.?" one lady pressed.
Because in L.A. no one questions my living preference.
"I just like it there."
"Don't you love it here?"
"I love both cities equally."
Why did I suddenly feel like I had children and they were challenging me to choose between them?
Not that my social skills were any better. I ran out of small talk the first day, and I'm usually great at making conversation. Today I showed up for work and just blurted out, "I saw a dead deer on the side of the road this morning."
What the...? What's wrong with me? Who says that?
One morning I was convinced this lady wanted to set me up with her son.
"How old are you?" she asked.
"My son is 28."
Uh-oh. Here we go.
"He lives in the Bay area."
Kinda far away for a set-up, but whatever.
"He's got a great job up there."
"They just had a baby."
Now in the movie version of this, my response would have been something like, "Okay, he wins! He's better than me! He lives in a real home with a real spouse and a real baby and has a real job! He's the winner! He beat me fair and square! You happy?! He probably had clear skin and straigh teeth growing up too. Well, la di freakin' da!"
But in real life I just said, "Cool."
Man, I am dreading going back to the "real" world. But I'm not gonna think about it right now. Time to pack for the Bahamas, baby!