Working First Impressions

Random Observation/Comment #235: Working makes me feel old. I sit in front of a computer 8-9 hours during the day, and then I go out at night to eat extravagant meals, drink expensive hooch, and network with random people that follow similar routines.  What? I never said feeling old was all bad…

It’s extremely hard to beat (that’s what she said) my previous chapter involving: my backpacking-trip through Europe, studying artificial intelligence in Japan and Germany, and exploring the full liberal arts side of life.  Even though it’s not even going to be close to the same type of excitement and wonder, I enter this next phase of my life with an open-mind and a collection of ties.  I don’t expect to “beat” my previous year in terms of fun or awesomeness, but I think I will appreciate the change of pace and lifestyle in its own unique ways (or I’m just trying to be overly optimistic).  At least life continues to be an interesting journey filled with things to overanalyze and crazy people to meet.

My year-long practice of introducing myself to other travelers was quite helpful in a financial environment (which makes me all-the-more convincing when I tell my parents that I had actually learned something “real-life useful” in my travels).  Networking is part of life, and I’m glad I’ve learned how to listen intently and express my opinion in a fluent conversation.  Although work-topics don’t come close to the interesting stories involving hostels or picking up girls, there are some overlaps of discussions that relate goals and interests.  I feel a bit restricted with my particular vocabulary and phrasing, but I’m still myself.  (Plus, the HR events have kept me happy with open bars and free food.)

Overall, the idea of work had been given a really bad reputation in my mind.  I had always avoided committing to it because I’m such a free spirit badass.  Metaphorically speaking, I’m terrible at staying within the lines when I color (where the lines represent those normal ways of thinking and the coloring is… my currently sleep-deprived thought-process that can’t think of where I was going with this sentence).  When I thought of work, I thought of an orange Umpa Lumpa hitting a peg with a large mallet every 5 seconds, or a monkey typing on a typewriter wearing a suit and smoking a cigar – My idea of work was slightly skewed.  I didn’t see any orange midgets or monkeys (well, literal ones, anyway), and I learned that the scariness wasn’t giant-clown-scary, but more like hairless-cats-scary.  Really, the only bad thing is the lack of a nap and a large reliance on coffee – everything else I’ve found a solution for.

In general, projects are interesting if you can find ways to innovate within your scope and people are extremely helpful and out-going when imparting advice that has nothing to do with the task at hand.  I think I’ve become somewhat of a complaint department – who knew “How’s life?” would go on to a 20-minute rant about smelly dog farts.

Luckily, I am the master of cheer and fun.   I leave the desk every 40 minutes for 5 minutes to rest my eyes and my wrists, and just walk around the floor to chat with people.  I attend the meetings of every club possible to learn more about the philanthropic events I can join.  I avoid eating at my desk alone at all costs and try to make new friends or keep my face familiar to more people on a daily basis.  I can hardly call any of these solutions “fun,” but I’m always surprised at what people have to say when you get past the initial business shell.  Everyone just seems like they’re dying to let out a scream of stress – why not push the button for them?

~See Lemons Start Worky