It is a beautiful fall morning. The shimmering sunlight bouncing its gentle rays off the colorful leaves on the trees. I get out of my car and fall into step with the rest of the herd which is making their way into the small funnel opening of the building. As the doors opened I could smell the stagnant, ink saturated air and step inside. The plethora of fluorescent lights produce a cold radiance and a humming sound that fits right into the environment. The long line of never ending cubicle walls are situated in front of me. I weave my path to my hole that I will be in for the next 8.5 hours. My "office" is very sparse. I have two picture printed off on 8.5 x11 paper - one of my husband, Matt, and one of our two cats, Ocyrus and Athena. My coffee cup (usually filled with tea) is present along with my lotion and water bottles. I have strategically placed papers on my desk which gives the illusion that I am actually working. Home away from home?
Needless to say, I don't really enjoy my job. One good thing that I can be assured of is that this is a temporary position. This thought is my second hope which drags me through the day. The first is that I have a wonderful loving husband whom I am helping support through college. This statement is not meant for anyone to say, look at me I am so generous and self-sacrificing. In fact, I feel very privileged in helping him progress in his studies, and I find joy in the ability to encourage him. I know he would do the same for me!
Due to the ever-present drab, monotonous, banal environment I work in I am often found trying to understand why a person would stay working here for 20+ years. Shortly after that though pops into my head, I am reminded how I was sucked into a similar, if not worse, environment when I worked for Quixtar. There were jokes going around, when I was hired in, that I was a "lifer". I kept laughing at it until one day I found that I had been working at this company for 5 years. I know that is a drop in a hat when some people work for a company for 20 or 30 years, but this experience gave me an understanding of the complacency that most people are compelled to within these situations.
When you are in this type of situation, you find a lot of the time you are going through the motions. You busy yourself with "important" meetings about up-coming projects, power lunches, and walks with co-workers. These habits gets a person into a routine, which generally allows them to become comfortable.
A lot of times people find that the more "friends" they have at work, the easier it becomes. Then, instead of just going to work for a set period of time, you can look forward to seeing all of your office "friends". The reason that I use quotes is because most of them are not really your friends. What would happen if you got fired? There would be some people who call or email, but most of them would forget your name within a couple of months. I found this first hand after leaving Quixtar. Invitations to our wedding was either accepted and they did not show up, or the RSVP was not sent back at all. At first it hurt my feelings, but after I realized what type of "friends" I associated myself with I was able to overcome the hurting.
After finally hauling myself out of the Quixtar life, I now can see that I do not want to work in an office for any time longer than I have to. I utilize this time on creating and accomplishing goals. I working here because there is a paycheck every other week, my husband and I have health insurance, along with the fact that I can see some end of the tunnel of corporate office work. I am glad that I was able to see the "fluorescent light" before I woke up one day at 42 hating the life that I had been living.