office space

by Miss What's-Your-Name-Again?

Dear Student,

Yesterday you asked me what it was like to work in an office. I just stared at you for a minute, and then told you to go away (in my defense, I had just demanded that NO ONE GET UP OUT OF THEIR SEATS, OR TOUCH ANYONE ELSE, IF ANYONE TOUCHES ANYONE ELSE AGAIN I AM SENDING YOU ALL TO THE OFFICE.) I do, however, have first-hand knowledge on the subject, and will now take the time to answer.

Occasionally, when I am not suffering your miserable attitudes, or telling you the incorrect way to do a math problem, I am in fact temping in an office. This might come as a surprise to you, but sometimes I need a break from children, yet I cannot take a break from making money, so this is a reasonable compromise. So on those days when you’re hanging with that other sub who is a retired teacher and literally One Million Years Old, I am off elsewhere, in my business-casual finest, being a grown-up.

Below, for your review, please find some pros and cons as found in the realm of the ubiquitous “office worker:”


You make friends! Your OWN age! And you talk about grown-up things, sometimes with curse words, and do things like get lattes from Starbucks (I know what you’re thinking, I don’t drink Starbucks, I hate Starbucks, but sometimes you have to do things you hate to make people like you.  …Forget I said that.)


There are still mean girls.  And now they wear Louboutins.  So that makes them pretty, mean, and, quite often, inordinately tall.


You wear all sorts of fancy things; dresses, skirts, nice blouses. And, better still, all without a speck of glitter glue, or finger paint, or smelly magic marker on ANY of them. You can even wear earrings if you want (unfortunately, as you know, I don’t own any that match, and it is slightly less acceptable to wear 6 mismatched earrings in the office than it was at school, where I am just awesome for having 6 holes in my ears.)


There is a stunning lack of spirit days. In fact, save one “jeans and leggings day” before Labor Day Weekend (which I repeatedly referred to as “free-dress day,” causing considerable confusion within my department), there are none. No crazy hair, no pajama day. I attribute this to lack of a student government.


Three words: NO.  HALLPASSES.  EVER. If you have to go somewhere, you just leave. And if you look like you’re very busy, no one bothers you. Often, I just grab a folder and carry it around with me, even if I am just going to the bathroom to play Candy Crush.


No nurse. I got this thing in my eye and panicked, and they referred me to a FIRST AID KIT?! There are extremely poor accommodations for mild hypochondriacs in the working world. I called my mother, who didn’t even offer to come and get me, who instead rather callously told me I was “Twenty-hmmf years old and could handle this on my own.” So, additionally, in the working world, mothers remain essentially the same. At least my mother does.

In conclusion, office life has its benefits and drawbacks. But, if I leave you with anything, I hope it is excitement for what awaits you in your post-graduate, early, shit-job office years. There will be corporate intramural sports, holiday mixers, Friday parking-pass raffles, happy hours. Just make sure to keep a proper, extensive first-aid kit on hand.


Miss What’s-Your-Name-Again?