Just a Small Town Girl

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When I started riding the train, I was a missing fanny pack, camera, and an opened map away from being a complete tourist. I was lost. I was scared. And,it was very very obvious that I did not belong. New riders stick out. They aren’t on their cell phones, they aren’t staring at the ground or checking their watch. They have their train tickets in hand, just in case it is ticket check day. They stand near the schedule, and check it five times. They double-check by asking the most approachable person they can find. They make eye contact with panhandlers. They will get on the wrong train at least once in their first week.

My first day of work, I missed the the 5:25 am train and brilliantly decided that I would just pick up the train at the next station. Furthermore, since the train moved faster than the legal speed limit (I can’t afford to pay for tickets, so I do not speed), I missed the train at the next several stations. In a quick re-routing decision I decided to pick up the train at the transfer point in Dallas, where I would just ride the DART to work, no worries.

I parked my car, figured out which train to get on- thank you kind, approachable people who only mildly laughed at me and rolled your eyes twice. I got to work, I survived day one, and I even made it back to the transfer station. Success! I got in my car, and went to leave and I realized-  oh no!!!! Wait, it was not a success – they have locked all of the gates!!! I couldn’t get my car out of the parking lot! I roamed around aimlessly in a panic until I find a nice worker and ask him how to get my car out of the parking lot. He laughed at me and said, “You’re not from around here are you?” I smiled a very guilty smile… I might as well have been wearing a neon sign “Newby rider alert!!!!” . He shook his head, laughed a lot, and said “small town girl moves to the big city, come on I will let you out.” It wasn’t a DART parking lot- but the gates were open at 6 AM! OOPS!!!! ***note to self!!!!

He saved me, and he was right, I was a small town girl in the big city. (I still AM!!!!)

This morning I watched a timid newby rider curl into the corner seat of the train and try to disappear in to the window. I remember that feeling well. I didn’t want to be in the way. I felt like a guest in someone else’s home. I didn’t have a place. I didn’t know anyone, and further more, I really really don’t like strangers!

People watching has saved me. I learned to see the humor in the things around me. I learned to share it with you. When I meet train newbies, I always think back on that day not very long ago, and I remember what it felt like to have no idea where I was going or how to get there. I relied on people to be kind when I needed to ask a question, and for the most part, they were. I try to be kind and gracious to newbies. I try to smile at strangers, say please and thank you, and good morning. Even though in many many ways, I am still scared out of my mind.

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About Andi

This chapter in my life is called, "Managing Millennials". People always say that I have a way with words, and that I am great at managing Millennials. The secret truth to my success? I worked at a public high school. I was an educator that specialized in behavior and building relationships. So what happens when the sweet little kids that inspired me to sponsor clubs, put in extra hours and spend my own money all enter the workforce???? They drive you crazy! I can help! I understand why these participation trophy earning young adults are driving you crazy in the work place. I understand that the fact that we are inheriting a technology talented pool of workers that sit at their desk with ear buds in their ears and celebrate medicocricy in the name if effort. I understand that you are not used to emojis and GIFs in business communication, and that you don't want to stand around on a break discussing memes, vines, YouTube epic fail videos and what you binge watched on Netflix. I once told my students that they would learn to follow my rules because I refused to be miserable for the next 1488 hours of my life. Ninety percent of the time... They did. Now, I tell my millennials that same thing, "Welcome to the workforce. There are policies and procedures in place that will help us get along for the next 2080 hours of our lives." Welcome to my blog, "Let The Managers Say Amen."

7 responses »

  1. There is a First Time for everything, in Life we learn by our mistakes, and we have all heard the sayings “To err is human” and “you live and you learn”. We make mistakes every day, large and small, failures and faux pas. But failure and mistakes still don’t feel like an awesome learning opportunity.
    You are truly a country girl bye Heart, and that makes you who you are!

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  2. I remember the first time I rode a train. It was in New York City and I missed my stop and by the time I got off the train the first two people I came accross told me I was in a neighbor hood that I did not belong in. That still strikes me to this day.

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  3. I know this feeling. I am a small town girl myself, and every time I go to NYC, I have no idea what I’m doing on the train at all lol! I always think I look like a complete fool, but the more I go the more I learn

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