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Don’t Be Afraid Of The New — Jack’s Words Of Wisdom

Have you ever started something new, something so totally out of your element and different and strange? Kind of like starting a new job or moving to a new city or any other big type of life change.

It’s always awkward at first, and you probably struggle with the anxiety of meeting the people who have been there before you. (Or maybe that’s just me…)

Recently, I started a new job, one that’s similar to my previous one but still totally new. I took the tours, took all the handouts, asked all the questions — I was determined to look like I’d been there for years when I was really worried about walking into the men’s bathroom by accident.

It seemed to be going so well the first few days: My coworkers were welcoming, I had people to eat lunch with, and I was able to find a parking spot. Seemed great, right?

Then on my first night shift, I was working with people I had never met, I didn’t have a dinner buddy, and the place was much quieter.

So I first took the elevator up to the cafeteria, thinking that I’d at least have a nice meal and a place to sit, albeit alone, and I’d get through it and finish my shift.

No one told me the cafeteria was closed (it was also a weekend). Still not a big deal – I’ll just wander down to the vending room and find something edible there, I thought.

I got to the floor that I remembered on the tour, but it took 10 minutes of wandering through desks and cubicles and interrupting work to find that bag of chips that I just wanted to bring back to my desk. I somehow found my way back to the elevator, slightly embarrassed about getting lost, and hit the button for my floor.

Except it didn’t take me to my floor, and I didn’t notice until I stepped into the hallway. Everything on this floor was different and wasn’t included on my first-day tour. I walked up to the kind-of lobby, stared at the people working for a good three minutes (chips in hand!) and then bolted back to the elevator, mortified and lost.

I finally made it back to my desk in one piece, and while I realize in the afterthought that I may have overreacted, I thought more about how it relates to the bigger picture of life.

New things happen all the time, and life throws a lot your way. You either walk onto that strange floor, looking for your desk and acting like you own the place, or you let the uncertainty overwhelm you.

Needless to say, I still haven’t walked in on the men’s room — though it was a close call during my search for the water fountain.

Have a silly or embarrassing story you want to share with readers? Email your stories to, and you could be featured in Jack’s Words of Wisdom!

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