After four years of college, you looked forward to your very first office job. You envisioned a nice desk, a big chair you could lean back in and an intern to bring you coffee -- preferably a cute, business undergrad.
Yet here you are, in a grey cube, in an uncomfortable chair, drinking sh*tty coffee from the 1980s communal coffee pot.
You and all your friends talk about the things you’re looking forward to in your new career-driven lives. Assistants, promotions, a beautiful apartment to come home to with a walk-in closet, not to mention all the money you’ll undeniably be banking each week.
And no one has the decency to tell you the truth -- not your parents, not your professors, not even your older cousins who never fail to tell you that you look hungover as hell in front of your whole family at Easter.
The fact of the matter is, not to be morbid, but a lot of things die when you get an office job. That sounds intense, I know, but it's true. It’s really an epidemic.
Well, the jig is up; cat's out of the bag; insert another stupid cliché here. I’ll tell you the truth, and you might want to sit down and chug a glass of wine while you read this. Here are all the things in your life that die when you start your new, “wonderful” life in an office post-graduation.
You have it all planned out: yogurt for breakfast, salad on your lunch break and you’ll keep some granola bars in your desk drawers for snacks. That freshman 15 and senior surge will essentially melt away.
Oh, wait, there are donuts... and cookies, and pastries and catered lunches that consist of fried chicken, pasta and your choice of canned soda.
You eat to be polite, or because “it's just one donut,” or because your boss is paying. Whatever the reason, your diet is suffering a slow, painful death in the form of platters of Christmas cookies and leftover subs from business meetings.
Goodbye, skinny black dress pants from Express! Hello, cotton sweater dress, scarf and cardigan.
Only the president and CFO get an office with a door, and even with the door shut, you can still make out everything they say. Start getting used to being poked and prodded about anything you say or anything anyone else overhears, ever.
Phone conversations, a quick comment to a coworker, a laugh -- all these things are noticed and noted. I once gasped and had someone ask me about it.
But it gets worse; just wait until someone in the office has a baby. You’d think all the attention would be on her, but it spreads like wildfire. All of a sudden, as a 22-year-old new professional, you’re answering questions like (and this is a direct quote), “Do you think you’ll be popping out some little puppies soon?”
Your Social Life
Forty hours a week looks like part-time compared to your schooling, studying, partying and homeworking days of college. Ha. Ha.
Those 40 hours don’t account for your commute, your errands, your after-work nap and the countless hours you’re going to lose because you’re just plain exhausted. Sitting in a chair eight hours a day, five days a week is exhausting. Don’t believe me? Just wait a few weeks.
Slowly but surely, 9 pm is bedtime and weeknights are not for drinking. Your social life dwindles; you work full-time and so do all you’re friends, so they are all equally as exhausted.
In fact, when you do get together, you bitch about how exhausted you all are while you drink two glasses of wine and discover you’re too buzzed to drive home.
So, congratulations on graduating from college and entering the workforce! There’s a nice, cozy, grey (purple, if your lucky) cube waiting somewhere for you to hang photos and spill coffee on. And when you get there, keep your head up. Some things will die, but others will flourish, like the most important thing: your career.
Photo Courtesy: MTV/The Hills