Mar 13 2016

An Invitation

Published by at 7:07 pm under Work & Jobs

I’m about to start a new full-time job: a temporary, short-term (four- to six-week) position at UC Berkeley. It came about when my tenant Elana, who works there, recommended me to a human resources manager. A few days later I went to campus for an interview, or really more of a Hi, there. I’m Ginna kind of thing.

By chance, that day there was an available job: updating the multi-hundred-page website for the College of Letters and Science, the biggest college on campus. So on the spot I had an interview with the young woman managing the project. I answered all her questions with confidence. Do you know Drupal? she asked. (Drupal is open-source software for managing Web content.) Oh, yes, I know it! I replied enthusiastically. I didn’t give the conversation another thought until the middle of the night two weeks later, just after they’d hired me, when I awoke in a panic. You see, I don’t know Drupal from a hole in the ground. It was an issue of semantics. What I meant when I said I knew it was that knew of it. Oops. With help from programmer friends Molly, Jill and Stephen, I got to learn a little about it, but I still have barely a clue.

Last Tuesday I went for a training and orientation, but I don’t start in earnest until tomorrow. In the meantime, we’ve set up my Cal e-mail account and a bunch of other preparatory things. I shouldn’t check work e-mail from home because I’d like to keep Work separate from Life, but yesterday I checked anyway. And I found an invitation in my in-box:


Wow, a little party for me. My boss invited five or six people, including us. I’m kinda touched that they do this sort of thing, and I also think they are smart to do it; I really need to know my colleagues in order to be able to do my job, so this is a good way to get familiar with new names and faces. I need all the help I can get on this front. On orientation day, I met a dozen people who, if they were in a lineup, I’d never be able to identify. Often you hear people say, “I’m bad with names but good with faces,” or vice versa. I’m terrible at both.

So there’s that. And the Drupal problem. And that I’ve never been instrumental on a project so big. So wish me luck. I’m super nervous. Elana and Molly told me about the Impostor Syndrome, which refers to [according to Wikipedia]:

…high-achieving individuals marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as “fraud”.[1] Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.

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