30 May 2012

Professionalism: where do YOU stand?

My least favorite thing about work is this: never quite knowing what is appropriate. This is my first job of any kind, let alone an office job, and I have no idea what to call people. I've stuck with first names so far and that seems ok; everyone else calls each other by first name, so this makes sense.And then what can I wear? I'm decently attractive and female, so my heels can't be too tall, not too much makeup, not too much jewelry, absolutely no cleavage, or suddenly I'm not being "profesh". Or am I just oversensitive? Being afraid of being negatively judged makes every glance seem like a condemnation.
Then, there's the worst thing of all- what can I say? I know these people decently well; or, at least, the people they are at work. They ask about my weekend, and where do I draw the line? How much can they stand to hear about me sitting at home watching movie after movie with my parents? If we talk about tattoos, can I talk about my ideas for new ones? Too personal? Is that even more personal than the ink I actually have?
It's so frustrating to be learning a new professional situation and have to be simultaneously feeling out an entirely new social climate. I want to be friendly, because I genuinely like my coworkers, and I want them to like me. However, I don't want to be overly personal; but then, I don't want to be some kind of ice queen. Why does the line have to be metaphorical?? Can't there be a physical line for office etiquette? I'm a good kinesthetic learner, so if I had to actually go stand across the line whenever I commit a faux pas, I think I'd understand this much better and much more quickly.
Advice appreciated on this one! Remember, I work for NPR; they don't keep us too caged up around here.
Backstage at the 5/30/2012 Houston Symphony Orchestra Sounds Like Fun! concert at Seven Lakes High School.

29 May 2012

I said I was a musician, so I thought I'd share a bit of my music- making with you. This is a recent recording of me playing Rhapsody by Wilson Osborne, which is originally a bassoon piece. It was transcribed for clarinet, and is played on the bass clarinet pretty often because that puts it in the original octave. Enjoy!

It's these moments that I live in

 Adam Golka, Sophie Shao, and Frank Huang on The Front Row (live session)
A shot of the main broadcasting studio

And so the curtain rises

Hello, hopefully soon-to-be loyal readership. This is my first post about my glorious life as an intern! I suppose, in some ways, it's been a pretty classy unpaid job-- I haven't had to fetch coffee or refreshments yet, and I've been treated like part of the team by the actual employees. So far, so good!
I have, of course, been delegated to the grunt work-- what else would you expect, volunteers always get the crap gigs. I spend lots of time with my good friend D in the music library (She went to library school and has her own Library of Congress reference number, and I want to be her when I grow up. The first day I met her, I saw that she had a Beirut CD and several cat sculptures on her desk, and I knew we'd get along just fine.) I take the first half hour of every morning to organize and then, as of recently, reshelf the CD's that our radio programmers have pulled from the stacks in the last 24 hours. Honestly, it's alright though, because the people I work with and for are actually super awesome (and I'm not just saying that because they could be reading this, which I hope to God they never do). I mean, it's NPR... there's quite a few of us with a little more piercing or ink than are perhaps considered "professional", but we're just the liberal media anyway, right?
But anyway. Sometimes I do things that make me feel like Cinderella, or Psyche doing Aphrodite's impossible tasks for the love of Cupid. Such as dusting and vacuuming the entire music library-- in a skirt and heels, no less! I also get to do things that seem important, such as putting together the information packets for The Front Row, a show that we air from 12 to 1 every weekday, and is aired on our sister station, 88.7 (KUHF), at 11 pm. If you listen closely to the end, some days I even get a mention as a "production intern". My job truly is so much more than that, though; throughout the summer and probably though my paid internship in the fall, I'll keep posting all kinds of media to help you understand what it is that I do behind the scenes to keep my station running smoothly, and also to help you understand more about me as a person and not as a scurrying intern.
So take my hand, and we'll be off to Never- Never Land!