Friday, May 09, 2008

The Devil Wears H&M -- week one

OK, OK. I'm the one wearing H&M. And there is not one single Miranda Priestly-type character in my whole office. But it's my first time working in fashion since I worked at La Senza when I was 19, so I'm bigging up things a touch.

I'm going to give you an overview here, and then I'm never going to discuss my coworkers or work in detail again. So get your fill.

The first week back to work was both heaven and hell. The job itself? Heaven. I work with predominantly 20-something girls who love fashion.

The office is sort of divided into two camps. On one side there are the just-want-to-talk-about-fashion-and-boyfriends girls. On the other side, the more intellectual girls who want to gossip about Gossip Girl and discuss how The Hills will ever sustain another season.

They say fantastic Gen Y things like, "That's so random!" or "I wish I had cable." They approach me like I'm from the future when they discover I have children and say, "You're a MOM? You SO don't look like a mom." (Why do I find that moderately insulting?) Little do they know that I totally look like a mom when I'm at home. I've just been trying EXTRA hard to look the part and reclaim some of my former fashionista self to win them over.

Then there are my bosses, who are athletic, healthy, glowing and inspiring. There is one dude, who is the only other parent as far as I can tell. He's only 10-months into parenthood, but at least I have someone to bitch about teething with.

There is my acquaintance, now a friend, who is so fun and down-to-earth that she makes me feel right at home. There is awesome talk of a boy she met online who is a nude model with an eleven inch penis. There is no such talk at the playground, so I relish these conversations.

There is weekly company-mandated pilates down the street at the studio of a former colleague of mine. I joined in the other day, worried that my 33-year-old ass (or more like my hip) would not keep up with the younglings. I panicked about removing my shoes and showing my pedicure-desperate feet. But at the "remove your shoes" station, no one had pedicured feet. Then I noticed the nervousness of the other girls at tackling the class and I was totally put at ease. It's nice when you see the bit of dorkiness in everyone.

(Of course I didn't get the memo that on pilates day everyone comes to work in their workout clothes. It was my second day in the office, so I put way too much effort into my outfit, only to find everyone in black yoga pants. Oh well.)

There is the great wall of freebies. As soon as anything comes in for review it gets distributed around the office ASAP. Anything baby or mom-related just confuses everyone, so it comes straight to me. PR people get wind of your new position and they start calling you and inviting you to a million fab things that you can't attend because you're either working or mothering. But it's equally fun listening to the younglings talk about where they've been the night before, or what dress they need to buy for which party that very night.

I love them. All of them. I want to put them in my purse and take them home with me. They are so freakin' cute and they remind me of days when I was more carefree. It's so good for my spirit to be around them. I still cannot believe that THIS is my job!

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