So today at Ho(t)me(n) Depot, my orientation continued.
I worked until close at 10:30 p.m., and after my dinner break, met one-on-one with the Human Resources Manager so she could give me the run down on benefits, policies, and such. About half way through, we moved to the video portion of orientation, which was me sitting alone in the training room, watching a "Welcome To Home Depot" film.
At the outset, given the number of actors I knew in NYC who supported themselves by doing industrial videos like this, I wondered casually if I would see anyone I recognized. (This sometimes happens with jurors or uniformed police extras on Law And Order... "Hey! I know him! He's a bottom!")
So, the "Welcome To Home Depot" video was pretty well produced.
Not too far into it, I felt my eyes tearing up.
By the time the Human Resources Manager returned, there I was choking on sobs.
She covered well. There was a sort of country-feel anthemic little song playing--acoustic guitars, major key, male vocalist--and she said something like, "Yeah, that song gets to me sometimes, too. I guess."
I did my best to compose myself, but I was totally busted.
Okay. On the one hand, it's not hard to get me to cry at movies. If there's a dog in it, let's just say I'm not going to go see it on a first date because that will be the last date. (I made that mistake once already. I can still see the look on the guy's face when he turned to me and said, "Are you alright? It's just a movie.")
But the thing that really got me was the leit motif of, "Welcome home. We're glad you're here."
After the long hard journey I've been on, it's not too hard to connect those dots.
Going into orientation, the Baron had some words of advice to me: Just this once, don't drink the Kool-Aid.
"Kool-Aid" is a reference to Jim Jones and the People's Temple, when out of love and devotion to their leader, his followers drank grape Kool-Aid laced with arsenic in the Jungles of Central America. For the Baron, it's short-hand for this tendency I have to embrace new experiences, like an orphan who thinks that every time he sees visitors sitting in the lobby thinks that it's finally over and he's finally found a family to love him ("Welcome home. We're glad you're here.").
The Baron offered this advice because he's usually there when I'm inevitably disappointed, doing his best to offer comforting words when what's running through his mind is, "Duh. It's a job. Why are you so surprised?"
After the Home Depot orientation video, I have totally drank the Kool-Aid.
Apologies to the Baron.