At My Old Job

Posted By on December 5, 2008

I noticed today that I have this tendency when I start at new jobs to mention, as many times as I can, that I did actually have previous employment. I did not just come to this job off the street and pretend I know what I’m doing. I am employable! I swear!

I do this with the simple phrase “at my old job.”

I know that I do it because it is my way of telling people “oh, yeah, I totally know what I’m doing. We did that at my old job.” It is my way of letting people know that I really am competent. That I was hired for a reason. And that I’m willing to put my nose to the grindstone and hit the ground running and all kinds of other cliches.

I’m guessing the only time I never did this was my first job, which was when I worked with my dad and didn’t know a damn thing about working in an office. But I’d imagine since I was an angsty teen, most of the words that came out were whiny and made people stabby.

When I started at the Niners, I don’t think I did it a lot. My job prior to the 49ers was working in the Arizona State Sports Information department. So while still sports media relations, college and the NFL were a little different. The best difference was clips were printed out on the computer, NOT pasted to gold pieces of paper. I would venture to guess those student interns at ASU are still cutting clips and pasting them to the same gold paper. Over 10 years later.

But I was young! And fresh! And impressionable! Also, if something wasn’t done how I was used to doing it, at the Niners I just CHANGED the way we did it. Oh to be 22 and have your first job again and not know about office politics.

When I left the Niners, things were a lot different. So many people assumed because you worked in sports, you couldn’t work in the corporate atmosphere. Like working in the NFL is just naked men and sexual harassment and free shoes galore! Well, it is like that but we did do actual WORK. The same kind of work that people in PR agencies and corporate offices do. Just different clients.

For six years in the NFL I had to prove that I was more than a woman, that I was a capable PR person, that I wasn’t there to sleep with players. Every new coach that came in was another time I had to prove myself. I proved myself with my work and with my not sleeping with players. It got old, let me tell you. Before I left, the 49ers had hired Mike Nolan. And there we were, his first day on the job, and every time he needed something, he looked around me and asked for a guy. Looked me right in the eye, as a Public Relations MANAGER, and asked me to get someone lower than me to do something for him because that person was a male. After six years of that, I had ENOUGH. And also, I’ll always think Mike Nolan is a ginormous douchebag because of this. I was so happy when he was shit-canned.

(This was so not the direction I had planned for this post, FYI. Yay for stream of consciousness.)

Once I got out of football, I had to prove myself on other levels. I had to prove my knowledge of products and services outside of first downs and nickel defense. I had to prove that I was competent. I had to prove that the person they interviewed was the person they had indeed been hired. I had to come through.

It’s a hard pill to swallow. When you start a new job, you’re coming off an old job where you proved yourself and, hopefully, they trusted you. So part of your brain thinks that you can just step right in and it will all be the same at the new job. But every company is different. And you have to learn how thing are run.

I swear I’m not trying to be a dick when I mention how things were done at my old job. I’m not trying to make things run the same way just because I don’t like change. I honestly think it is because when it comes to proving myself, I’m always going to being that female in a man’s world of football and having to prove myself over and over for all the wrong reasons.

About the author

Kristabella, who also answers to “Hey! Drunk Girl!”, is a reformed band geek with an amazing ability to drink most people under the table. You can read her inane ramblings here, where she talks about her exciting life as a spinster with two cats and a fascination for Bacon.


27 Responses to “At My Old Job”

  1. Mahnee says:

    I think there’s always going to be times and reasons to say “at my old job”. I find myself doing it…and not necessarily referring to the last job I had…it could be one from a zillion years ago. Like yesterday…”At my old job (a zillion years ago) we got our birthdays off with pay”. I said that A LOT yesterday. Didn’t help.

  2. slynnro says:

    This is why I’m putting off getting a new job. So not ready to start over again.

    slynnros last blog post..Assorted Tales Friday (Because I Have Been Told My Bullet Points Are Too Long For Bullet Points)

  3. Rhi says:

    I do this very same thing, but mainly to illustrate that I used to work for companies that knew what they hell they were doing.

    Rhis last blog post..The Last Friday Bullets of My 20s

  4. Eww. The Mike Nolan story pissed me off and I don’t even know who he is. RUDE.

    nancypearlwannabes last blog post..Testing… Testing…

  5. Josie says:

    The Mike Nolan story reminded me of my current boss and the day he told me to mind my place.
    And if it wasn’t for having to start all over again, I would have left that day.

    Josies last blog post..Rambling randomness

  6. Lori says:

    First, I really hope they are not still taping them to gold paper. Second, in addition to nickel defenses, don’t forget dime packages!

  7. Candy says:

    I know exactly what you’re saying. I used to have this same problem. I’ve had to really break myself of the habit, because there is almost nothing that alienates a new employee quicker than being stuck on how they did things “at their old job.” So try hard. Because I want you to have friends. And a Secret Santa who won’t try to screw you.

    Candys last blog post..In Which I Drone On and On (Previously Titled “In Which I Wax Poetic,” until I wrote it and read it and thought blech.)

  8. I like the way a new job enables me to reinvent myself if I so desire. Uptight nerd at the last job? Well, I’m going to pretend to be cool at the new one (and still be a closet nerd).

    Jen on the Edges last blog post..Pet peeves + 2 good things

  9. “Also, if something wasn’t done how I was used to doing it, at the Niners I just CHANGED the way we did it. Oh to be 22 and have your first job again and not know about office politics.”

    HA! That’s how I was at my first real job out of college, too. At my current job, I just inwardly roll my eyes and don’t care enough to bother. Then again, this is a part-time temp job, so it’s probably healthy that I don’t care too much.

    And I do the same thing with the “at my old job” and I cringe every time I hear the words coming out of my mouth. Although, to be fair, it rarely annoys me when other people do it. I usually find it interesting to hear about their past experiences, especially if they’re bringing a good idea to the table. But it’s annoying if the person is constantly like, “At my old job, EVERYTHING WAS BETTER.”

    (I also do this every time I move to a new city. And it’s just as annoying.)

    Laurie | Your Ill-fitting Overcoats last blog post..Mini Vlog: Love is a ’94 Corolla

  10. Giggle Pixie says:

    I spent years quoting the “at my old job” shit, and I know I was doing it for the same reasons. I wasn’t trying to say my old job way was better, I was trying to prove that I have “done things” and “they were successful”, even if they were done a bit differently.

    I worked for 12 years for the Dept of the Army as an admin in a JAG office, part of that time in an offshoot office at Leavenworth Federal Prison. The rest of my 25+ career was spent at law enforcement agencies. Thus, my whole life I’ve worked in male dominated fields, and I’ve met many a dickhead like Mike Nolan.

    It’s a shame that it’s people like him who make us feel we have to continue to OVER-prove ourselves everywhere we go. But at the same time, in a way they’ve probably made us better at what we do than we ever thought we could have been.

    I’m sure you’re doing great at your NEW job, and they’re going to love you just the way you are!

    Giggle Pixies last blog post..Humor Blogger Contest!

  11. Corey says:

    I am the boss in my office, and my new employee constantly does this by saying, “At Donna’s office…” It makes me want to scream at him and stab myself in the ears. I finally did kind of yell (not loudly) that he was in COREY’s office not Donna’s.

    I’m sorry to read about that Mike Nolan dude. He sounds like a real asshole. People can be so dumb. And by that I mean men.

  12. Erin says:

    That Mike Nolan story reminded me of two things:

    1)My boss at my last “day job” who told me that the men in the sales office were just going to treat me however they wanted and I was going to smile and take it and just assume that their “requests” came with a “please” and “thank you” from him [the boss]. The men in the sales office? Total TOTAL assholes who, instead of using my name or asking for things would snap their fingers at me and call me “sweetie” when they wanted me to do their jobs for them. I? Couldn’t hold back the following: “Well when I punch them in the face, they can just assume it comes with an apology because I’m sure YOU didn’t mean to be a douche.” I gave my two weeks and the next day was told not to bother with my two weeks because they were letting me go because I “wasn’t able to do my job properly.” I didn’t much care because it made me eligible for Unemployment 🙂

    2) Boys are dumb.

  13. Ree says:

    Uh huh. I’m scared.

    Rees last blog post..Grace in Small Things: 3/365

  14. Jess says:

    Mike Nolan is an asshole. An UNEMPLOYED asshole, right? And the 49’s can suck it. And they’ll be comfortable doing so from their homes in January when they watch real football teams playing ball. Hee hee hee.

  15. ali says:

    i’ve been at the same job since 2000, which means i don’t have any other job to compare it to…which i guess is good…but also bad. but i guess it means i never say “at my old job” heh.

    alis last blog post..oh, Sean Avery. alternate title…Mommy, what’s sloppy seconds?!?

  16. Ann Marie says:

    There are Mike Nolan’s in every industry. I’ve spent half of my career being supervised by the bastards.

    Speaking of bastards, Mike Nolan definitely was one. Good riddance. I’m convinced DeBartolo put a curse on the org after he was pushed out.

    Ann Maries last blog post..Drained

  17. heather... says:

    I do that all the time. Well, I did. Since, ya know, I don’t have a job right now. But I guarantee you someday, when this economy turns around and I get hired somewhere else, I will say, “at my old job” to the point of obnoxiousness.

    heather…s last blog post..Pneumonia

  18. Ha, I think I do this to remind people that I ONCE HAD A JOB. And was not always a Lady of Leisure (read: self-employed and working from home!).

    Camels & Chocolates last blog post..Thank GOD the 90’s Aren’t Making a Comeback Anytime Soon

  19. Scarlet says:

    People do that at BN, too. It’s funny, “At my old store” and we all groan. But there it’s less of a “HEY I WORKED SOMEWHERE” and more “I AM PERFECT”.

  20. Angella says:

    I do the EXACT SAME THING.

    Well, I did. When I had a job 😉

    Angellas last blog post..Bodies In Motivation

  21. Lys says:

    Can I smack Mike Nolan for you? Seriously, that just blows. I remember (at my old job *LOL*) that when they would go looking for men to deal with instead of a woman, it would piss me the hell off. Add to that the “honey baby sweety” aspect of entertainment and you just feel like you need a shower to wash the ick off you after dealing with some of the executives and managers.

    Lyss last blog post..Holiday Mail Call, Round Two…

  22. Noelle says:

    It’s like when you get in a new relationship, it is very, very hard to avoid the words, “my old boyfriend…” But how are you supposed to edit out years of experience in your life like they never happened?

    Noelles last blog things

  23. aka Alice says:

    OMG…I just started a new job, teaching at a community college after 17 years of teaching high school…so this is soooo me right now…different industry (education…is that an industry?), but same line (where I used to teach, at my old school). The only difference, maybe, is that in education, new hires do tend to be new teachers, whereas I’ve been teaching for 17 years, so I do feel like I keep having to say, “I’ve been at this awhile….I do know how to teach” as some “experienced teacher” tells me how to do a lesson plan…GAH!

    aka Alices last blog post..Sweetness

  24. Moose says:

    I’m always tempted to whip out the “What’s this 8 a.m. shit? At my old job, I didn’t have to come in until 9:30!” But I restrain myself. As a nod to our troubled economy.

    Mooses last blog post..Next Time You See a Squirrel, Give It a Stern Talking To

  25. I feel like i got hired because of my past experience and the new employer is bringing me in for some fresh ideas, so I don’t feel too bad.

  26. Kerri Anne says:

    Having to prove yourself over and over again is one of life’s cruel jokes, I think. REAL FUNNY, life.

    Kerri Annes last blog post..Have Yourself A Felt Mustache Christmas

  27. rye says:

    I’ve been away for a long, long time. So a very late congrats on the (not so new) J-O-B!!

    ryes last blog post..Dell. Rhymes with hell.