Ed. note: Stuck in a career that is on the road to nowhere? CPA flunk streak got you down? Want to march in boss's office all Costanza-like but not sure it's the right thing to do? Email us for advice and if things don't work out, you have full permission to blame Adrienne.
Hey GC (probably Adrienne),So I just started in a regional accounting firm, I had a high GPA but I couldn't suck up the student loans to go to a 'well-known' school, and I'm good with that. However, I up and left pretty much everyone I know to move to DC. Newly single, new to DC and I should add that I'm a girl. So I'm about to get thrown into busy season while still trying to study for a part of the CPA exam. Will I regret that? Probably. Now I know the kid from NY sent you a similiar plea recently but I'm not worried about meeting friends since I know a few people. I'm actually concerned about dating. I'm the only female new hire in my office. I'm not desperate but I know I'll be spending alot of time at the office around the same people. Should I mentally shove all my new co-workers straight into the friend zone? There's no policy in place against dating in the office. But from a career stand point what would you honestly suggest? Is it a taboo? I'm not talking about hooking up but the possibility of actually dating someone. Or should I just go out and try to find a decent looking banker (maybe even an accounting writer? Just kidding!). Thanks for the advice and hopefully the comments section isn't too harsh.Doubtful in DC
GIRL. Obviously I took dibs on this because A) Caleb hasn't dated in the last, uh, 4 years (or something) so he's useless to give any relationship advice and B) duh, I moved to DC too. As anyone who has done the same can tell you, it's major culture shock.
There are a few things to note about the Washington DC metro, and anyone who thinks I am wrong is welcome to call me out on any of these assumptions. First, people care most about who and what you know. The first question most people will ask you when you meet them is what school you went to, so for this DC transplant, there's no reward for doing the wise thing by skipping the big name school. That's fine, you can work around this by knowing a little bit about a lot of things and a lot about a few things. If you can impress people at dinner parties with your intimate - albeit esoteric - knowledge of financial statements or current events, you're golden. Second, the men here are extremely relationship-minded, which means it's much easier to secure yourself a "serious" man into the concept of a "serious" relationship with you.
The main point I want to get across to you is this: DON'T SHIT WHERE YOU EAT. This is never a good idea. It is especially a bad idea in a town like DC where a half-decent-looking girl with brains in her head can nail a relationship-ready dude complete with his own pedigree. As long as he can take you home to mom, you're set. If you need meaningless sex, I'm sure there's plenty of that to be found in this town too so don't make the mistake of seeking it out around the office. This almost always leads to issues and awkward holiday party interactions, that's not the tone you want to set fresh off the boat here. As the only female new hire, your fellow new hires will probably be pitching tents. They might not let on that they're into you but face it, you're a novelty.
Now, as any public accounting grunt who has fucked a coworker (or several) can tell you, the lifestyle sort of makes this "magic" happen. You'll be so consumed by work and isolated from humanity that suddenly screwing your idiot co-worker will seem like a good idea. Don't do this. Put an ad up on Craigslist Casual Encounters before you do this. You're an educated professional in a town packed with other educated professionals, many of whom are worth screwing if you're a single girl desperate not to hook up with your lame accounting colleagues. Have you seen those Hill interns? Come on now, snap out of it.
For now, however, I'd advise avoiding the relationship trap. Get settled, have fun with your friends (I have a few things I can drag you out to if you like indie music), get in a groove at work and recover from your last relationship. At some point, you'll actually stop looking and he'll land in your lap. Relationships are a lot of work (as I'm sure you know) and they can be a huge distraction; you have a lot on your plate as is, especially with the CPA exam. Do that first, then go track down Mr. Right. He'll be wandering DC while you're building the foundation of your adult life, looking busy on the Metro in his pea coat. In the meantime, if you want to hook up with any accounting writers (hey, you said it), you already have our email addresses. Just sayin.