Here we are, embarking on week five of my temporary career endeavor. It’s been quite a culture shock for me, and I’m not quite sure I will ever adjust! So for now, I wear mostly black, along with my glasses instead of contacts, to try to give off a somewhat professional aura.
One guy in the office found out that I’m hip to the counter-culture and he said he wouldn’t have guessed it judging by looks, so I guess my costumes are doing the trick. I say costumes because that’s exactly what I feel like I’m wearing most days. I had to charge some “business casual” attire to my credit card prior to beginning employment, and although I didn’t purchase anything distastefully, I still don’t feel comfortable dressing in it. Today my color variation consists of black and grey, aside from small splashes of iridescence in my jewelry, and this is depressing to me. I dig brightness! (Mama don’t you take my kodachrome away!) I guess I could have invested in a more vibrant work wardrobe, but I don’t want to give off an impression of inadequacy. (Why is that girl wearing such color? She must have experimented with psychedelics. Call the temp agency for a replacement, STAT!) This morning as I walked from my car to the office I inspected the black pea coat I reluctantly took out of my closet and wore, and I began to grumble about how I looked like I was going to a “fuckin’ funeral.” Looks like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays…
It seems by week five that I barely need an alarm clock to wake up anymore, as I am officially a well-trained puppy dog. As long as I behaved myself the night before, my body now wakes up only moments before the alarm, and though it is still dark out, I feel ready to get up. It still takes me longer than necessary to get myself together in the morning, and I would definitely be a complete mess if I had a kid!
Traffic on my commute is usually heavy, though I usually manage not to let it ruin my day. Yesterday I did find myself screaming an obscenity in the car at 8 AM, which is not what I consider to be an ideal energy level for that hour of the day, but it happened. I find I listen to a lot of Railroad Earth during my congested commutes. They soothe my soul and make me feel happy and down to earth, even though I am part of a flock of sheep being herded to or from the pen, contributing so much pollution to the planet the band (and the driver) is singing about. (The inconvenience of public transit makes it a last resort option for me.)
It’s been a while since I’ve been in an office environment. I must say the company I am working for doesn’t seem too terrible and everyone I meet is very nice. I was hired through a temp. agency to fill the role of “Marketing Assistant” and I pretty much am completing administrative tasks for a team of three Marketing Managers. They’ve taken me out to lunch twice and I find I enjoy their company, and that is what makes this job seem “not so bad.” (Colorado attracts awesome people!) The pay is just enough for me to consider the commitment to be “worth it,” but I am well aware of how much I have succumbed to “the rat race” and “the man”. Between getting ready, commuting, and working, about 60 hours of my weeks are now dedicated to this job, but only getting paid for 40. Being that I “need” eight hours of sleep on most nights, that leaves me four hours of free time in the evenings, and some of that time is taken up by preparing, eating and cleaning up after supper. It’s horrible because I’m not even doing anything great during these 60 hours/week except fulfilling some stupid societal role that I don’t even agree with. The work I am doing is boring, and even if I was overloaded with it, though I may be busy, I would still be bored.
I don’t want to complain too much about it because I am scared it (and the paycheck!) will come to an end. It is all too obvious, and sad, as to how people get sucked in to this world. I guess some people must like this life, some people like being productive worker bees for the queen, they enjoy spending time producing Power Point presentations over the weekends to show at their team meeting on Monday morning. I presume that some (a few?) people are even excited about the work they are doing here. On the other hand, I also suspect a lot of people hate it, a lot of them would rather be anywhere but in the cube, but they are here because they’re conformed!
Ah, undoubtedly one of a CEO’s top five favorite words – conformity.
My thoughts about my cubicle are very bitter sweet. I sit in a giant cubicle with four desks in each corner. Luckily there is a divider between my desk and the one closest to me, so I have a cube wall to my left, behind me and in front of me to hang things on, and provide some privacy. To my right it is open and I can see two of my cube dwellers at all times. The area that became my cube was a printer station prior to my arrival. A pillar takes up some of my limited space and there is a big weird tube that runs across my cube floor, but I don’t really care. I’m actually glad I have a cube because some people sit in rows in the open, almost like a classroom. I somewhat feel special, or at least grateful I am not always visible. The other sweet part about my cube is that it came with a dry erase board and when I really find I am losing focus I take a short break to play with color.
I guess one good thing about being committed to a day job is that I feel extra-appreciative of my free time and weekends! Not that I ever needed an excuse for shakin’ it at a show or wandering in nature, but now more than ever I should be out in the world exerting energy when the opportunity is available to me because I spend all this time sitting during the week. Sometimes on my lunch break I find it necessary to put on the headphones and dance, hoop or run around for a little bit. I think today might be one of those days.
So, my good thoughts about the job are that: It’s decent pay and professional experience, it’s a big company with a lot of people to meet and network with, everyone is very nice and I do not feel stressed when here. A little discipline is probably good for me, and maybe this will lead into something better. I didn’t have to work hard to get the job and the temp agency tells me my boss is happy with my performance. Not sure when the job is supposed to run out, being that is temporary, but my boss has said a few times she hopes for it to become a permanent position and she is “happy I show up everyday.” Perfect.
My bad thoughts about the job need not be said. Obviously, there are things that suck, but I will leave it at “I am glad to have a job.” I don’t plan on quitting, up and leaving or moving to the mountains to be a ski bum. I feel like this is good for me, and I have to stick it out for now. All good things in all good time! Mostly, I’m just thrilled to be in the physical location that I am in! I’m workin’ to live, not livin’ to work….