Over the top

The first week of a new job at a company is not for the faint-hearted.

New lingo.  New buildings to navigate.  New process.  Absolutely new people and personalities.  And everyone is sizing you up, seeing if you were what or who they imagined.

My style is to be self-effacing in a hopefully-charming way and admit the shortcomings up-front:  I have absolutely no idea what that means, I say.  And then I hear myself say it over and over.  Perhaps I should be building up an attitude of strength, confidence, no-problem-ness.  Except I have no idea what that acronym is.  I’ve never seen a PowerPoint deck that detailed.  I’ve never heard of a process that starts with K instead of E.  No value judgement here, folks; I have way too little knowledge to even think of having an opinion.  All I see and hear is a blur of pretty women (this is pretty women central), names, numbers and terms that swim around in my brain looking for some familiar pond to settle in (is what you do content management?  where do they list style numbers?  is OTT a merch term or a business term I should be ashamed of not knowing?)

I thought I knew plenty.  It turns out my knowledge is shaped into molds created by my own experiences as distinctively as little apparel-business snowflakes.  I’m in e-commerce.  I’m in apparel.  I’ve been doing both for over a decade.  And it took until today to learn that OTT means “over the top” a signifier of an item that makes a major statement, that has enormous visual presence, that won’t drive volume but enhances the brand in a very specific way.  I didn’t sleep through that class.  I just didn’t work at places that needed that term or liked acronyms so much.

Which makes me so glad I made this move.  Even in your own industry, in your own narrow niche, there’s so much to learn.

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