i remember now

I told you in my last post that I’m temping in an office for the next three weeks. I wrote, “I’m actually excited to go back to an office environment to remind myself what it’s like.

Well, I remember now! IT SUCKS.

I mean, it’s fine. But it’s not my thing.

So far I’m doing a good job, staying focused and not allowing myself to feel like a fraud. I’m keeping in perspective that I’m more than someone’s assistant. It also helps that I know it’s only temporary, and that I have a full, colorful career on the outside.

But I also remember all too well when this corporate world was my every day and I didn’t always feel so hopeful. It makes me sad to think about the years I spent feeling trapped and unhappy.

So, why does it suck? Well, first of all I’m exhausted! After an hour working on a legal document I need three coffees and a hard smack in the face. The harsh lighting makes me feel grouchy, my commute this morning almost resulted in the death of everyone in my immediate vicinity, and the stupid printer jams all the time! It’s 2010! How is that still happening?!

I also can’t stand the fact that I’m always hungry, thirsty or really have to pee when I’m sitting at that desk. I can’t seem to strike a balance of physical contentment no matter what I do.

Still, I have had a few positive reminders that I’ll definitely take with me when these three weeks are over:

1. After lots of years of experience, I’m good at this type of job. I don’t like the work, but if I was so broke that I didn’t have another choice, I’ve got this skill set to fall back on.

2. Making it my business to do a good job no matter what task is in front of me is more fun (fun?) and easier than being pissed off and resentful. Taking notes instead of pretending I’ll remember everything helps too.

3. Getting older makes some things harder, but it makes a lot of things easier. I remember when I started my first-ever law firm job at age 23. I was terrified. Now I’m just amused.

4. If you’re not happy in your job you don’t have to work there. I’ve already passed so many people in the halls of the office who look a little dead inside. I want to slide them a note that says “Remember, you have options…”

6 thoughts on “i remember now

  1. It sounds like your attitude about this whole thing is really making it work for you. Way to go, lady! It’s so terrific that returning to an office is reminding you of how much freedom you (and others) have.

  2. This is great- you get to remember how much of a GOOD choice you made for yourself, how much richer your life is now having made that choice, that you can fall back on something should you need to and that you inspire others (b/c while maybe you can’t directly slip a note to those people in the hallway – you have slipped notes (this blog) to many many people who have felt dead inside and wanted out) 🙂

  3. Love this! Clarity rocks… Glad you have something to turn to for cash, but even happier that you have the talent to actually spend the majority of your time exploring other options and doing what you love. Awesome stuff Jen and yes, I just used “rocks” and “awesome” in my comment, apparently I’m channeling my inner 7th grader today.

  4. There’s a line in the film “The Great Debaters” where Forest Whitaker tells his son, “You do what you HAVE to do, so that you can do what you WANT to do.” So true. Hang in there, Jen.

  5. I think I love you… 😉
    Just found you thanks to @whenigrowupcoach.
    I read your “quitting journey” and you’re bringing damn tears to my eyes.
    It’s not that my job sucks (or is it?). It’s more about what I want to do, how, when, how awesome.
    And I’m on the edge.. just on the edge.. Actually in Poland for a month having those thoughts of my own “quitting journey”.
    Push me!


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