An Allie Update

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So, to let the cat out of the bag… I am starting a new job the week after Thanksgiving.

alieblue wardrobe oxygen washington DC city nations capitalIt’s a different field, but similar job description and duties. I have been at my current company for almost three years and while it is a very good company full of very nice people (who do on occasion wear Quacker Factory), I was ready to move and grow in a different direction.

The new job is in D.C. proper (arial view is stock photo, not where job is) and in a different field, so you may see a slight change in my attire and outlook – from my past working in the city, the life and even the air is so much different from the suburbs of Maryland. I am looking forward to it.

I was instant messaging with my friend yesterday who is on the hunt for a new job and we were discussing to questions we wish you could ask during the interview process…

1. Will you stick me in an office or a cube?
2. If it is a cube, how tall are the walls and how much privacy will I get?
3. If it is a cube, do your current employees understand and adhere to cubicle etiquette (not using speakerphone, using headphones for music, not taking off their shoes or bring tunafish sandwiches for lunch)
4. If it is an office, is it an actual office or a converted supply closet?
5. If it is an office, will I be sharing it with another person (or a 10’6’ stack of file boxes)?
6. Do you provide us with goodies like coffee and snacks? Cuz it’s nice when I don’t have to go to Starbucks every morning… my wallet likes free coffee, especially if it’s good
7. Describe your most annoying and disgusting coworker and let me know his proximity to my future desk, in inches.
8. Do you recycle? If you say you do, do you actually recycle the stuff or have the cleaning crew toss it with the rest of the trash (I do not kid, a company on my resume used to do this, saying the recycling boxes and bins helped employees “sleep better at night” but they didn’t want to front the cost of actual recycling).
9. Am I allowed to decorate my desk area, or do you like things sterile and uniform (another company would not even let us pick our calendars for fear of them being offensive to colleagues. Sucks to be in a gray box all day without a picture of family, a goofy cartoon pinned up, a calendar my mom makes every year from Snapfish)?
10. Do you have a holiday party? How fancy, how much does it cost and can I bring a date?

I didn’t ask any of the above, but did find out the attire at this job seems to be even more casual than my current company (except when meeting with clients) and everyone seems to genuinely like one another and joke around and hang out with each other. Staff varies in age, but seems to have far more employees near my own age and it’s in a central/good part of the city where I will be able to meet up with lots of my friends for lunch and after work. So, yay! Just had to share with you guys!

(this also explains why I had a few weird fashion days lately and a Friday with no pictures but a pinstriped pantsuit)

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Congratulations Allie! All the best in your new endeavor. Glad that your move doesn’t include a relocation from the MWT blog 🙂

    I enjoy your writing, POV and always find good ideas and insights.


  2. If your feet don’t stink, then you don’t have to worry about the “rule.” Unfort. some coworkers I have do need to heed by this rule before I hurl my Thai Kitchen noodle bowl!

  3. I never knew taking off your shoes was against cube etiquette! If so, I break that rule daily, lol. But, my feet don’t smell. Maybe it differs between men and women?

    I’m also guilty of the “not eating smelly food at your desk” rule, but my coworkers go out every day so generally aren’t around while I’m eating.

  4. Oh my, I am so happy for you. I am starting a new job also. Just found out today and I am so excited so I know how you feel. But now I’m even more excited to see your new wardrobe choices. I’m a daily reader and I’ve bought many things based off of your suggestions. Good Luck!!

  5. Congratulations! I assumed you were joking about the questions. While they are probably in the minds of 99.9% of job hunters, in reality I can’t imagine asking an HR person those exact questions. (I work in HR). In any case, it’s good to know I’m not alone in wondering those things.

  6. He he–about the recycling…at my old job, it was part of my job to “recycle.” People would bring me things they wanted “recycled”–boxes, old toners, things like that–and I would put it in the “recycling bin” and then on Friday, my student assistant and I would cart it out to the dumpster and throw it away. My boss used the same logic that your old company did, and every Friday she would ask us, “Did you do the recycling?” and then wink really big. God, did it suck.

  7. Hi Allie,

    Congrats on your new job.

    I love your blogs. Thanks for doing them.

    Had to comment on the questions you wish you could ask – you can ask them, really. Just differently than you typed them. ok, for me, maybe not the holiday party or disgusting coworker ones, but the others…yes. 🙂

    If you feel you’re close to getting the job, you can always ask for a copy of their HR guide – the employee rules & regs – for the purpose of getting a feel for the corporate culture.

    It’s ok to ask where your desk will be, or what is the workspace for the group you’ll be in. If it really matters to you, you need to know before accepting the job. This happed to me once – I asked, was unhappy with tall wall no window cube, and I kept looking until I found a job that met all my requirements.

    It’s ok to ask for a little tour of the office. Take notice: what’s in the lunchroom? are there recycle bins? Take quick peeks in the cubes and offices, and notice if people have personal items. Call their HQ afterwards and ask if they recycle (I’m in WA state – blows my mind that in DC recycling isn’t madatory)

    Salary discussion time is a good time to ask about benefits and perks: parking, coffee, casual fridays, etc.

    Interview the company as much as they interview you. Jobs are like clothing – if they don’t fit, they’re not going to work out. 🙂


  8. Congratulations and good luck! It’s so exciting to start a new job!!! Hope their medical insurance is better than the previous company had! (remembering your hands post…)


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