I was once a fresh faced, naive little twenty-two year old. Working in an office in the city sounding exciting and different than anything my semi-suburban, semi-rural former classmates were doing. I entered into the world of florescent lighting and free Diet Coke with expectations of greatness and opportunity. This would be my CHANCE, you see. This would be my break in life. I’d be someone.
Fast forward eight years. Just eight years. Here I am, pushing thirty (hold me) and I am slowly, but surely withering away to a pale, lifeless corpse whose sole motivation in life is to update client systems and decrease the number of files in my workload. Words like initiative, accuracy, team building and cooperative flood my every waking moment. When I awaken in the morning I am reminded that in a matter of hours (okay, minutes.. I sleep in until the last possible second) I will once again be sitting at a grey desk, staring at two computer monitors and feeling my life slip away. I’m defenseless against it all. There’s no point in avoiding it.
Because that is what offices do to you. They lure you in at a young age, impressing you and captivating you with things like fancy coffee machines and more money than you were making at a register. You’re overwhelmed at the idea of a salary with a two in front of it rather than a one. And all of the glitz and glamour of a job without a nametag distracts you from the one, very important problem.
Working in an office will rob you of your will to live.
Don’t try pretending that your job is different. Unless you work at Google or an office with regular beer, nacho or nap breaks you are slowly losing the will to live. Maybe you aren’t aware of it yet, but give it time. Soon enough you’ll see that the same routine day in and day out is turning you from a happy, outgoing person into a miserable, stressed and possibly alcoholic person. It happens to the best of us. Don’t be ashamed. Embrace your own fate. Go on. Embrace the stale, unloving and harsh reality that is your life.
Still not convinced? Allow me to give some examples.
Once upon a time you tried to look your best every morning. There were new people to impress. You wanted to show them how dedicated you were. You wanted to prove yourself. And now? Now you roll into work with something that could stand to be ironed. You’ve figured out that a long sweater and a scarf can almost make yoga pants acceptable. Some days you don’t bother to do your hair. Some days you don’t bother to do your makeup. On the rare occasion that you do return to your former glory of well pressed and smashing ensembles, your co-workers assume you either have a date that night or an interview for a better job.
Your inbox is a disaster. A few years back you prided yourself on returning each email promptly and politely. Once it was taken care of it was one simple click of the mouse and that email was gone from your lovely little inbox. Your calendar was color coded, your reminders all in a row. Now you have over 200 e-mails sitting around and you don’t feel like taking care of a single one of them. Sure, they’re important, but they’ll still be important tomorrow and the day after that. Maybe one weekend you’ll come in and clean it up, but… well. Maybe not.
That person sitting next to you use to be a stranger. You had no idea about their life outside of the office. You didn’t really want to know. They were a co-worker, a colleague.. not a friend. Maybe you hoped they’d be a friend one day and you’d go out for drinks, giggling over the good looking men you worked with. Now? You hate that effing witch sitting next to you. You hate her with an unholy passion that rivals the Hatfields’ hatred of the McCoys. Every single detail you know about her life makes you hate her more. You are sick of hearing about her doctor’s appointments, the men she’s dating and her latest argument with her mother. The best (or worst, really) part is that you don’t ever speak to this woman. Instead you know every detail of her life because you overhear all of her conversations. Doesn’t she have work to do? Doesn’t she understand you don’t want to hear about it? And then you find yourself eyeing that letter opener and wondering how much force it would take to shut her up for good and you realize…
You’ve changed. You’ve become a different person all together. The young, naïve and happy person of your past is long gone. In their place is a bitter, cranky and resentful shadow of your former self. All because you chose to work in an office. And that office, my friends, killed your will to live.