Working Girl

I haven’t had a 9-5 in over six years.

Now that I’m back in the “legitimate” working world, I have some observations.

  • I forgot how many people smoke. Most, if not all, of the people I hang out with don’t. I don’t know why, but it’s always funny to me when I see people speed walking with a cigarette in hand. It’s also sort of sad/funny to me that businesses will make having a designated smoking area a priority, but won’t think about accommodating nursing mothers. (My job has a room, which I thought was pretty awesome.)
  • It’s impossible not to want to eat out for lunch. There is somewhere to go on every block, at least two or three places. It’s also nearly impossible to eat for less than $10. A co-worker pointed out the Subway sandwich of the day, but also conceded you can only do this so much. Plus, it’s an excuse to get out of the office, which is a must when it’s 70 degrees in November.
  • Speaking of food, I’m always trying to figure out where the skinny girls go to lunch. I assume it’s salad in their to go bags.
  • Still on the topic of food, I try hard to eat at places I can’t find in the suburbs. This means I do my best to avoid Chipotle and Panera, even though they do serve things I like.
  • Why are there so many Potbelly’s and when did this happen?
  • Time becomes far too important. Not that it wasn’t before, but everything is about minutes and hours and schedules and deadlines. The train is late. Traffic is bad. Three people are ahead of you to use the microwave. The elevator is stopping at every floor. Someone on the street is walking too slow. Someone behind you gets into the same revolving door as you because they don’t want to miss their train (actually happened to me on the way home from my first day.) Everyone wants to stand on the escalator. Which, I mean, is fine, but my understanding of a moving staircase is that it goes faster when you keep moving and if you didn’t want to actually do any work you’d take the elevator. (I DON’T ALWAYS WALK UP THE ESCALATOR, YOU GUYS.)
  • The dress code at my job is casual. This is great, but I still fret over what I should wear. I used to have a job where the only person who really saw me was a baby. Then I spent over a year in maternity clothes. (Yes, I know pregnancy is only ten months.) Now I’m working downtown and can’t really show up in yoga pants. Though that would actually be OK according to policy. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that I care way too much about it and no one notices or cares. It’s true! A cute outfit is still cute even if it’s worn more than once a month.
  • The last cubicle I had was actually pretty big and nice and I never thought I would mourn it until I saw how small my new one is. As the only girl in my training group, I of course asked if we could decorate them.
  • Because at the end of the day, working is just like high school. Who smokes, what you eat, what you wear and how you bedazzle your personal spaces matter. Not to mention, everyone looks like they’re ten years younger than me.

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