Not always do I want to be known as “the girl that works out a lot” or “the fit girl”. Sometimes I really want to be incognito,for lack of a better term, especially in the work place.
A little bit of background about my work/job to put this in context. I work as an IT consultant and get to change jobs every couple of months. A month ago, I started a new contract for this great company and until I fully understand the dynamics of the team, I like to totally separate my private life from the workplace.
In an effort to scope out my environs, there are certain things I NEVER DO from the get go.
Like they say, First impressions last, but I don’t want to be known as “The girl that walked in with a gallon of water, a purse and a food bag on her first day!” day at work. That is only a good impression to people of like fitness minds.
I actually remember contemplating on day 1 if I would be able to successfully “pull off” having my meals + water with me and actually consuming them without much disruption or being called a freak in a new environment. For this reason, I replaced my gallon with 2 1 liter bottles, and packed 2 meals in small containers which I fitted into my BIG purse. Walking around with a bottle of water at the office was definitely the easy part especially since most corporate employees are known to OD on coffee, coke, Pepsi etc in order to stay focused…I meant stay awake… lmao! I found the break room tucked away at one end of the building where I was able to warm my food and enjoy it away from prying eyes.
I DO NOT wear any form of clothing that would ‘speak’ to my body conditioning. No short sleeves or sleeveless shirts, no short (above the knee) skirts or dresses…..slacks and long sleeved shirts serve the purpose well and help accentuate my serious corporate demeanor.
Regardless of how much I want to offer my wise council to new team mates by making comments such as “I wouldn’t eat that if I were you…it has too much salt…too many calories and not worth it…etc” I don’t! I stay in my lane….professional lane that is. That conversation would not make me a more or less productive part of the team.
Unfortunately, the only way that people bond in most cultures, is over food + drink. Same applies for corporate culture and this can get somewhat tricky. This new team loves to eat! I meant…bond! In 2 weeks we had been out to lunch 4 times for bonding purposes. Instead of declining the initiation, I showed up for the sole purpose of maintaining synergy with my ‘peeps’ but wouldn’t eat. My usual “Oh! I forgot about this luncheon and just ate a few minutes ago” excuse became old really quick.
Last week we had an entire day (8hrs) dedicated to team bonding and food was everywhere. The afternoon session was paintball which Involved something I’m good at….running…sweating…! Our team won and was recognized for playing a major role in the win. They nick names me G.I. Jane….Little did they know that I picked up the same nick name from my fitness family 2 years ago
I’m starting to ‘fit in’ and feel more relaxed with the team. I now even eat to my desk instead of eating in the break room. This comfort level thing was stepped up a notch when I bumped into a sweaty, exhausted dude at the gym yesterday morning; This dude happens to be my director, an avid athlete, that totally understand my ways and whose office is right in front of my cubicle. This morning when I walked in before I could make it to my desk, his first question was “I didn’t see you at the gym this morning” I smiled…..and told him I opted for track. I smiled and was flooded by a wave of relief simply because somebody, not just anybody, but the man that hired me and that I work for totally comprehends my lifestyle.
Some of you might argue that I should always be myself and not care about new people’s thoughts and opinions…and I agree….however I’m cognizant of the fact that I’m dependent on that paycheck to finance my fit lifestyle…and until it’s the other way round…I know when to tuck my tail and let ‘them’ know that I’m committed to the job
Perfect song for this – “You Gotta Know when to hold ‘em…know when fold ‘em….”