02.25.05 | 8:43 a.m.

Did I mention that I have a new job? I do.

This is my fifth day in corporateland, and so far, so good. It has been once big series of planning meetings, and somehow I have been treated to four lunches on the company dime. Also, many of these meetings are off site, which makes it seem less like work.

In the sea of cubes, my cube’s pretty spacious (think manager-level size), only I can’t access half of the Internet site that I once could. I also can’t figure out how to listen to music on my computer… and I have yet to been given my own identity, which means I have assumed the previous person’s. As of Monday I have become Melanie Boehmerm. I receive and send out emails under that “alias,” have access to all Melanie’s files, and have taken the role of answering questions from passersby of my cube as to the status of Melanie’s newborn daughter Carys – who was born on February 15, weighing a healthy eight pounds.

I even have Melanie’s stash of ketchup packets and fat free hot chocolate at my disposal. Ah, life is good.

Aside from the motherhood thing, Melanie and I differ on some other levels – starting with the fact that she is a devout Mormon … to the extent that pictures of Jesus once graced her/my cube’s three walls.

But enough about my job, let me tell you about my new gym – staffed by some of Buffalo Grove’s finest idiots… tonight I have my first cardio kickboxing class. Should be interesting. Lunch today will consist of me driving to Target to stock up on gym-wear, since I was probably an embarrassment last night in my father’s t-shirt from the 70s and some ratty army green sweatpants.

But you should see me at work. I had pantyhose and pumps (yes, I just used the word pumps) on yesterday… I didn’t even know I owned pantyhose. I am so “The Apprentice” bound. And even though it is Friday and most of the company is in jeans (even the district higher ups), my boss is old-school and doesn’t think jeans are a good representation of the company. So I have on $30 H&M dark brown pinstripe suit pants, as opposed to my obnoxiously overpriced jeans that cost embarrassingly four times that much.

And my boss is sick today, which means my 7:45 am and 9:30 am meetings have both been rescheduled.