Saturday, November 03, 2012

Fish Out of Water

The transition from being an unemployed twentysomething to a full-time working woman has been abrupt.

It's so weird to have an actual job title and get paid a wage. And I'm constantly aware of how cliche my entrance into the working world has been. 

I commute from home and listen to podcasts as the sky slowly turns from black to deep blue. 
I work in a nondescript glossy building in the heart of a bustling metropolitan city. 
I wear, like, nice sweaters and slacks with creases down the middle. 
I have a cubicle. 
I make a lot of copies. 
I change toner cartridges. 
I eat lunch in the break room while reading back issues of The New Yorker

I feel like such an impostor because for basically everyone on the floor, an office setting has been their home for the past 30 years. Me? I'm just like, WAT IS THIS PLACE. Seriously. There is zero exposure to clients. Just zero! I am in the office that houses the supervisors of the supervisors of the supervisors that CONTRACT the supervisors of the agencies that actually do the community work. It's so weird. I still am not quite sure what to think about being so far removed from the actual realities of "the people."

It's like, I know that they do (or at least fund/commission) good work--but all I can see are meeting upon meeting and report after report trying to prove to taxpayers that fraud isn't occurring. lol. Bureaucracy. 

Also, I'm drowning. The person I'm temping/backfilling for was in the position for TEN YEARS. Yah.  Ten years. I haven't ever been a secretary to anyone before. Hell, I haven't ever had a full-time job! So when co-workers on the floor ask me if I'm keeping up with things I just make my most pathetic face and yelp no! There are just so many things to juggle! I'm not just the secretary but I'm also fielding public inquiries and a surplus property program and HR/personnel paperwork and supervising a supported employee. It's just like, WAAAAH! 

Yesterday night I was so exhausted but I was still so wound up from work and thinking about work that I didn't fall asleep until 3am, probably. The job is demanding intellectually and emotionally and socially.

I just keep telling myself that this is a short-term, temporary position, and that as long as I don't screw anything major up, the person who ends up in the permanent position can just pick up all of the slack that I leave behind. Hahaha. 

I just hate, hate, hate not being competent and not knowing all the crazy different acronyms they use and the jargon and not knowing who's who and how to make scheduling decisions. I wish I were able to pick things up right away--or be perfect right away, but that it just not going to happen. UGH why do I have to be a perfectionist? And then I try to project to all of these program managers that I'm smart and understand what they're saying but honestly it's exhausting being professional (i.e., perfect) and ahhhhhh!

First weeks are hard. We'll see how long I last. :/


  1. that sounds super stressful. i hope things get easier for you. :/

  2. How was this week? I'm sorry the first week was hard, and I know how difficult it is to adjust to a new job. Let me say, no matter how many times you do it, it's still no fun. Also, thanks for writing about your job, I was just asking myself "I wonder how April is doing?" and then I see this descriptive post. I think all lunch rooms must be the same. They're great, don't you think? I can so picture you at work!