Wednesday, January 24

I feel like this story, about a woman fired for keeping a journal of every mundane thing she didn’t do at work, is so popular because so many people relate to it. Not in a ‘we all keep inane journals in the office’ sort of way, but more because everyone has spent time at work doing non-work things. At my old job, wow, I could have narrated 300 pages of “wtf am I doing?” per day.

Speaking of which, sometimes I still really miss my secretary job. Which in no way means I am unsatisfied with my current employment—I am very much in love with copywriting and advertising and the people I work with and doing things everyday that relate to both my schooling and own personal passions. I miss my old job for different reasons.

Like that feeling of being in charge and in control of everything happening in the office. Want to know where so-and-so is? Wondering what happened to that document? I've always liked being the keeper of all information—it's something that's obvious in the dozens of 'feelers' I keep in every social circle, and my constant need to gossip and be the first provider of anything interesting. So I miss that—being the resident problem solver and provider of any possible fact or idea necessary was a pretty cool responsibility. (I also enjoyed that I, failed chemistry student and math class drop-out, was able to quickly become a chemical engineering expert.)

I'm also kind of shocked at myself for missing certain things about the old job. I mean, I loved my engineers to the point of being able to do nothing but cry at my going-away party—so missing them is a total given. But why do I miss being a secretary? It makes me think that there's something inherent in me that likes… serving others? Being involved but not responsible? Eeep.

But then there's the good chance that the nostalgia I have for my old employment is, more than anything, highly romanticized. I was bored out of my mind most days and spent a great deal of time googling media internships and copy-pasting every even-minutely relevant job posting. I sat at a desk (albeit the largest desk) in a sterile cubicle-farm for nine hours every day and wasn't able to listen to music, but could wonder what the web "nanny" and activity tracker on my computer was picking up. I also did a lot of filing that I dreaded and had constant thoughts of "I better not be here when this project is wraps up in six months because I am not prepared to deal with all the paperwork…" I didn't fit in with my older, serious co-workers, had to maintain a whole other wardrobe of business-casual clothing, and constantly battled the urge to have mid-day naps in the office prayer room.

So when it comes down to it, I think I just miss being a secretary because it was my first love, so to say. A carefree, idealistic time when I didn’t have to relate my work to a larger career plan and had my boss in the palm of my hand. Which, naturally, is something you can only do for a short period of time before the existential self-loathing crisis sets in. I think I timed it just right.