i started my new short-term job today, and while it definitely hasn't been as dreadful as i expected (so far...), it's still a little bit weird. there is a long list of rules to abide by and in the new hire packet, they made sure to mention multiple times that they could terminate my employment at will at any time for any reason. yikes. on top of all this, i'm sitting in a room with 99 other people (no exaggeration, there are literally 100 of us in one room -- i got assigned to the big room) at a computer that is about a foot from the nice lady next to me. we're all at long tables -- no cubicles or faux walls -- it's like a little test scoring sweatshop. within our room, charmingly known as "barton springs", we have all been assigned to teams with team leaders. we really don't have to work together, it's more of a way of assigning someone who knows what she's doing to guide a group of about 8 of us to make sure we're doing everything correctly. i am one of three in my group that's aged somewhere between 25 and 32, the rest are all older ladies and gentlemen.
now, many people don't know this about me, but i'm actually pretty shy at first. i also hate small talk. i don't like chatting about little unimportant things. i'd much rather read a magazine or stare at the ceiling, but since i will be working in really close quarters with these people, i thought i should at least participate in some of the 'get to know you' chatter. after answering multiple questions about my life, this pleasant but (overly) talkative nigerian lady looks at my shirt and says "does your shirt say blondie?", to which i respond "yes". she then jokes that she wishes my hair were blond, because then she could just call me blondie. i told her she could call me blondie if she wanted to, but then helpfully pointed out the giant name placards that we all have at the top of our computers.
this is when things got weird for me. here is our convo:
lady: oh yes, sara, i see. i'll know your name. sara...that is a christian name. are you a christian?
me: ... uhhh...yes?
lady: you hesitated on your answer
my work neighbor: when there's hesitation...it means she was raised christian.
*aight lemme interject here. that's fucking bold, right? (and not just because i bolded it. heyooo.) i mean, i had been talking with this lady for like 7 minutes. why..what...how was i supposed to answer that? i'm not going to go into my spiritual beliefs with some stranger, whom i am pretty sure is a devout christian. i'm not gonna answer with a resounding "NO!!" and i'm not gonna pull a cross from under my shirt and wave it around. i mean...that's a weird question to ask an almost complete stranger, right? okay....*
lady: i ask because sara is a christian name, so why else would they give it to you?
me: there are plenty of reasons people are named what they are, regardless of the background of the name...
lady: so who are you named after?
me: (i know only that my dad once told me the drive from brownsville, tx north toward kingsville passes towns called ricardo and sarita. this is true, though i don't know if it's the true reason we are named as such) Uh...my dad named me?
lady: well, why did he name you that?
me: i don't know..he liked the name?
lady: well didn't you ever ask him?
me: my parents divorced when i was two, so i didn't get a chance to (!!!)
who do i think i am? why was that my default go to answer when i was backed in a corner? especially because i talk to my dad pretty often these days. and why did she keep pushing it? luckily things weren't uncomfortable or anything, she took that as a satisfying answer and moved her line of questioning on to something else. but, i mean...how should i have handled this?