Saturday, January 30, 2010

Office Space

My New Year's resolutions are going fabulously. Actually, they're pretty much an epic fail in every which way. But what'll you do... you do what you have time for. Que sera, sera and all that.
I've been at my internship for about two weeks now and I have discovered that I am one of those people who tells boring office stories. I'm aware when I tell them that they're nothing overly exciting, but when work and class pretty much comprise my whole day, that's what I have to talk about. So, for your enjoyment, or lack thereof, here are some of my "boring office stories."
Story 1: I work in an office with many rooms. In my room, there are 3 cubicles: my own (yes, I have my own cubicle... nbd), one belonging to a male co-worker, and one belonging to an older female co-worker. It's my first week, and I'm hard at work, thirsting to prove myself, being what I assume is generally a typical intern.

Older female co-worker (OFC) walks over to introduce herself. I introduce myself.

"Hi, Jen." She pauses. "Listen. Are you cool?"

My brow furrows for a split-second before I respond with a hesitant "Sure?"

There is an awkward silence as we each try to work out what the other one meant. It appears to hit us at the same time. She bursts out laughing and I feel my face flush with color as I realize "Oh dear, sweet lord, she meant temperature. The woman was trying to ask if I was cold."

OFC: "Well, that broke the ice."

Me: "I tend to break the ice by embarrassing myself fairly often."

Story 2: I've been given a list of people to call. I have a couple of survey-type questions to ask them. No. I'm not telemarketing. These are people and companies that the company that I work for work with. I call one office and am told that the woman I'm calling to speak with isn't in. Ok. Who cares? I thank the woman I spoke with and hang up. Then I realize that someone else in that office is on my list. Awkward, but whatever. I call back.
Guess who answers the phone? The woman (Nancy) who "isn't in." Interesting. I ask her my first question and then abruptly she tells me she "has to take this call."

Ok. I'm understanding. The woman's trying to do her job and I'm just an intern doing a job.

"Ok, I understand. Thank you for your--"


I shake off the anger. It's one person. Small in the grand scheme of things.

She calls me back. I try to tell myself that I should appreciate that. But I can't because every question that I have to ask her is a negative response. The meeting's room wasn't close enough to the bathroom. The food wasn't good. She "really hates" my survey. What she was there for was information, and it wasn't great, it wasn't terrible, so whatever the mid-grade I have on my scale is, it's that (which, by the way, is a C because I asked her for a letter grade, but I guess she's so far gone from such mundane things as letter grades, that that didn't occur to her). She spoke to me like I was beneath her.

I finally get through the survey, which now, at about 5 or 6 questions, seems horrendously long. I hang up the phone, shake my fist at it, stick out my tongue, and hear a chuckle behind me.

Oh. Hi. It's one of my bosses. Cool.

"Bad call?"

"She was not nice."

"Who was it?"

"A woman named Nancy? She was not nice. Literally a Negative Nancy."

Story 3: My boss handed me my paycheck and I said "Oh, truuuuue."

Story 4: I accidentally asked a client to "like hold for a second."

Obviously, I'm coming off like a complete professional in every which way. But at least I have my business-y wardrobe. And my cubicle.

(And my paycheck.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Exercise for fun? Pah!

It makes me sad to realize that I am never going to be one of those women who can wake up in the morning and start the day off right with a nice, healthy run. I'm never even going to be one of those women who can count "exercising" as one of her hobbies.

Because I hate it.

Here's the thing about me. I like to be busy. I like having a To Do list and crossing off one item at a time as I work through it.

But when it comes to exercising, there are days when it takes a lot of self-bullying to schlep myself off to the gym. And in the morning? Fuhgheddaboutit. Despite my best intentions, it takes nothing short of an act of God for me to drag my sleepy butt out of bed, into work-out clothes, and out the door for mere exercise for nothing.

But I do it anyway. Because I don't want to join the hordes of Americans in the obese weight bracket. And because I don't want be unhealthy, the endorphins are nice, blah, blah, blah. I once read somewhere that Virgos exercise only because they know intellectually that even though they don't particularly like it, it's good for them. I definitely fit the mold in this case.

This semester, I enrolled in Step Aerobics, thinking, "Hey, those two credit hours will do it for me, I'll have no problem getting up for that. And it's not like 10:30's really that early anyway."

10:30 is that early. (And I don't care what you say, you grown-up real-worlders.)

But regardless, I've fought through the sleep haze to head to class. My face is naked (because really, do I want to apply make-up twice?). And today, the instructor wants us to run a mile. A mile.

I consider myself a generally fit person. I mean, I'm not going to compete in an Ironman competition any time soon, but I go to the gym and elliptical it up a couple of times a week. But to all those runners out there? I envy you. Nothing winds me faster. About twenty seconds in, I'm huffing and puffing, and feeling like something of a lard-ass. So I alternately ran/walked this mile in a time that I don't feel like revealing, while the really fit individuals blew past me.

So, I'll stick to schlepping to the gym (despite my hatred of it) in the afternoon or evening, when my make-up's already on and I don't feel like a total zombie. And all of the legitimate early bird exercise addicts... I salute you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dress for Success

I don't know what I want to do with my life.

Alright, so that's not entirely true, I wanna be a novelist one of these days, but I really mean in the meantime. What am I gonna do to bring home the proverbial bacon?

That's what I don't really know. Buuuuut, I what I do know is that I want to wear professional-ish clothes so bad.

Yes. I'm a dork. Stupid things make me stupid happy.

It seems like that dream is finally going to be realized, to a certain extent. I start my internship tomorrow (yay!). I'll get to use the professional wardrobe that I previously reserved for my sorority chapter meetings.

...And tonight, while planning my first day outfit, I realized why I usually wear dresses to chapter. I don't know how to dress professionally. I have a great deal of business-ish clothing, but I swear nothing goes together. The pants that fit great don't go with the flattering shirt and the clothes that do go together don't look right with any of my shoes!

But thank God for roommates. I ran into the upstairs loft in a pair of pants, with a shirt half-on, in something of a panic and begged for help. After my closet vomited collared shirts, slacks, and heels, they assured me that my shirt from The Limited and black pants from Banana Republic were fine.

So wish me luck! I'm gonna start earning a paycheck.

And then I'm taking someone shopping with me who knows more about this professional clothing thing. Talk about stress.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Resolutions, Shmesolutions... no, but really.

It's been a while.

Since my last blog, I've turned 21, gotten a (paid) internship, decided that I don't, in fact, want to move back home after graduation, and figured out a little of where I want my life to go.

And I think I've grown up a little.

Anyway, it's a New Year. It's one of those thing that I always want to capitalize, even if technically I know it could just be "new year." It's a new period of time when, let's face it, anything could happen.

...Ok, so that's true most of the time anyway, but a New Year just feels different. Your slate's wiped clean, you get a fresh start, it's back to the drawing board... pick your cliche, there's a hundred of them, and none of them are really true, but it's nice to pretend.

I feel like in some ways I'm back to the person I was before. I'm bubbly, I'm happy, and stupid little things like getting my homework done ahead of time, or wearing a fun, brightly-colored shirt when the day is dismal smack a grin on my face from ear-to-ear.

And this is... you guessed it, a resolutions post. I've got a shit ton of them. Let's handle the overly cliched ones first.

1) Hit the gym. Weight loss is pretty much the leading resolution every year, not for me in particular, but for the nation, heck, maybe even the western world as a whole. I'm not aiming so much to lose as to tone. And I'm not demanding anything ludicrous of myself such as having to go every day. I'm trying to learn that there are realistic and unrealistic goals... that would qualify as unrealistic. If I missed one day, I'd feel like I'd already failed. And with my schedule this semester, there are bound to be days that I can't make it. But I will bully myself into going when my only excuse is "I don't really feel like it."

2) Don't just shut a guy down when he's trying to flirt with me. I don't know why I did it before, but that's what I almost always reverted to. But when a guy is flirting and being respectful, the conversation can be perfectly pleasant. Plus, as an added bonus, a little light flirting serves as a great innocent ego boost.

3) Write. I'm going to write that again. WRITE. I've got to start writing again. It doesn't have to be anything of novel proportions (yet), but I'm setting a goal for myself to write at least 300 words at least 4 days a week. Of anything. Just so I get back into the practice. Blogging is a good start, I think, but at some point, I'm going to return to my first love: fiction.

4) Keep a To Do list going. This resolution took me by surprise. I like lists, but usually have trouble sticking to them. However, I've had an ongoing To Do list for about the past two weeks and find that it really helps me get things accomplished. I feel the dorkiest sense of satisfaction when I get to cross something off.

5) Quit the munchies. Again, I'm not all hard-core about weight loss or anything, but I don't want myself to wind up back where I was 2 years ago, which was 25-30 pounds heavier. Munching every now and then? Cool. All the time? Not so much. And if I find myself slacking... it's back to the Weight Watchers Points log book to get myself in check.

And now for a barrage of little things: Be positive. Drink a little less soda. Be honest. Drink less alcohol. Budget. Study. Read. Be confident. Work hard. Watch less T.V. Reconnect with people I've grown apart from. Try new things. Don't be such a Facebook creep. Be the person I want to be.
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