Oh Hello, 9 to 5!

30 11 2009

Today, for the first time in a looong time, I set my alarm, dragged myself out of bed, took a bus to work, and sat at a desk in front of a computer for 10 straight hours.  Man, full-time jobs are crazy!

I forgot to eat breakfast, so my stomach was devouring itself by 11 am, but I was afraid to leave for lunch because I didn’t want to look like a slacker-fatty on my first day.  My eyes started burning from staring at the computer screen around 2.  By 4, my muscles were tight and achy from sitting still for so long, and by 6:30, I was so sleepy I had to prop my head up with my hands.

I looked around the room at the end of the day, and everyone in the office was still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  No one else needed 12 cups of coffee, no one else had bright red, screen-burned eyeballs.  I know I’ll get used to it, but man, I am seriously out of job-shape!

Don’t mistake this for complaining.  I’m thrilled to have this job.  The staff is smart, the work is fun, this is exactly what I want to be doing with my life.  At previous jobs, I felt the guy in Office Space who would  dream about massacring the fax machine in slo-mo.  This job is cake compared to that.

Still, it’s a tough transition from owning most of my time to being owned by a giant, news-eating superblog.  I feel like Godzilla ate my face.

But, in a good way.

Any tips, you crazy 9-to-5ers?  What is your secret for success?




9 responses

1 12 2009

I kind of operate like that dude in the basement in Office Space, in that I stay the f*ck out of the spotlight and no one knows what I’m doing (or not.) As long as they don’t rescind the paycheck like they did my man, I don’t need to burn the motherf*cker down.

Congrats again on the gig, that is the sh1t.

1 12 2009

This American Life podcasts (all NPR podcasts for that matter) and g-chat

How did anyone sit at a desk for 8 hours before the invention of the internet? Must have had lots of whiskey and cigarettes….

1 12 2009

1)Serious yoga-intensity stretching when you remember that the splintery, broken feeling is not the chair, but your back, shoulders and neck.
2)Brief forays into the interwebs prompted by gchat status of others.
3)Believing that the entire world can only be accessed through your computer screen. It makes the previous point more like an actual break.
4)Imagining your co-workers are Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, and Jane Fonda
5)Figuring out a treat that requires going to another part of the office e.g. hot water for tea, trip to fridge, surreptitiously checking out hot co-workers.
6)If coffee is your treat, providing yourself with an actual milk product to put in it. I find that the commercial lie called creamer gnaws at my soul, removing nearly all benefit of coffee.
7)Don’t eat lunch at your desk, unless everyone else does it. But sneak out for short walks where you can stare at other people on their short walks and wonder if you want their job instead.
8)Make your bathroom breaks entertaining/informative by participating in graffiti conversations

2 12 2009
seasoned pro (hardly)

A few tips…and forgive me if any of these sound maternal/obvious.

1) it’ll take about a month or two to really get into the routine anyway. That being said…
2)…make sure you’re getting enough sleep! we’re talking 8 hours here.
3) if you can walk to work, do it. you’ll be surprised how much it will wake you up in the mornings. i think it’s probably about 2 miles to the office for you? maybe a little more than half an hour with all the crosswalks, etc? totally worth it though. it’s like coffee without the caffeine, and lots of solid people watching (there are some true freaks roaming around at 8 am in this city). frooj mentioned listening to This American Life podcasts–I usually do this on my ipod on the walk TO work every day. It’s nice to wake up and be exposed to something that isn’t immediately work related. helps me keep my sanity.
4) keep snacks at your desk. i have everything from granola bars to apples to peanut butter to cookies to an emergency supply of excedrin and GasX (yeah, what up)
5) I agree with Geof on #7–I sneak out sometimes for walks on nice days, and it’s totally worth it.
6) Also agree with Geof on #6–sometimes simple stretches are good. if you feel like a weirdo doing these at work, sign up for some yoga classes a few nights a week.

2 12 2009

1. I agree with most of geof’s tactics
2. make interns do everything that you dont want to do or are bad at. for instance, I have managed to hide my complete incompetence with excel behind young bright college faces.
2. dont keep snacks at your desk as the above poster recommended. this is a sure fire way to get chair-ass. instead, eat your snacks in the form of trips to dlisted, dear prudence on slate, and obscure wikipedia entries. I think of these as palate cleansers and they help keep weight off.
3. try a colon cleanse. do lunges all the way down the hall on your multiple trips to the toilet. be careful doing this because you are, after all, on a colon cleanse. but its a handy excuse to go to the bathroom 20 times a day.
4. shopping at lunch
5.sometimes, when things are really bad, I have been known to crawl under my desk costanza style or shut the door and put my head down on my desk for a cat nap. naps are underrated and do wonders for productivity.
6. stop drinking so much caffeine because this is a vicious cycle and it stresses out the adrenal system leading to decreased immune function, weight gain, and fatigue. drink no more than 2 cups before noon. take an iron supplement instead. over time, this will give you more energy.
7. get up every now and then and do an inversion. either lie down and get your butt against the wall and out your feet up it and stay there for 2-3 minutes, or do a head stand, or a couple attempts at some hand stands using the wall. fresh blood to the head from an inversion wakes you up, makes you alert and energized, and is great for the lymphatic system. dont do this immediately after eating.
8. keep a knife at your desk. this is handy for peeling and cutting weird fruit that you bring to have as a healthy bite, as well as for self-defense if anyone tries to attack you. you never know.

2 12 2009

Geof’s #6 is exactly what is happening to my soul right now. Powdered creamer. It’s a recession folks. And I’m the only one that buys half and half for the fridge. REPLACE THE CREAMER WHEN YOU DRINK ALL OF MINE.

Another tip: Don’t stay at a job you hate. This tip is not necessarily for our District Ramblings host, but rather, a general comment partially reflective of my current state.

2 12 2009

you need to get yourself one of these. then you will never have to share half and half again.


2 12 2009

or open a restaurant already

2 12 2009

I just act like a huge grouch and curse a lot and then I’m generally left to work hard on my own so the time goes by quicker.

Mind numbing codeine-effervescents help me too.

I always tell myself its raining outside while I’m in the office.


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