Saturday, September 12, 2009

I finally joined the real world.

I am officially working as a temp now, helping keep up the website of an organization in DC. It is the first time I've really been to work outside of the food industry or environmental advocacy field. Even though they are officially a nonprofit, they are a professional membership organization, and consequently are bigger, more formal, and relatively well funded compared to what I'm used to. They take up three floors of their office building, and they even have their own IT department--how novel! I feel so corporate!

After being there a week, I have all sorts of things to say about working in an office.

One thing I conveniently forgot in my two years of working from home is that office buildings are always cold--even when it's a hundred degrees outside. Last time I worked in an office, I had a wool sarape pretty much permanently attached to me. This time, though, growing more and more tired of being a slave to temperature, I am bravely wearing what I think I ought to be able to wear, and thus spending all day fighting off the goosebumps and nursing cups of tea. Ha! Take that, you fascist air conditioner! I may become addicted to caffeine, but I refuse to let you dictate what I wear!

Speaking of what I wear, I am finding the office dress code to be quite a challenge. Spending the last five years cultivating my quasi-hippie wardrobe has left me pretty unprepared for a business-casual environment. I estimate I can last a maximum of another week and a half before I have to start repeating outfits. I might be able to stretch it a few more weeks if I give in to my desire to be warm and break out the winter clothes. But after that, repeating outfits will become inevitable, and with that will come depression and a feeling of stagnation.

One of the things that I'm counting on to save me from feeling stagnant is the fact that I am just a temporary worker. My first day, it made me feel kind of inferior. When people called me a temp, I felt like they were saying, "You don't belong here, and don't you forget it!" But after my first experience in the lunchroom (see previous entry), my disillusionment with the area (I was spoiled by having my first job in DC be at Dupont Circle, a social hub of the city), and my only lukewarm interest in the work, I learned to be quite pleased to be just a temp. Now when people introduce me as such, I feel relieved and re-energized. I'm like, "That's right! You don't own me! I'm not your slave! I'm more like your indentured servant!" It's kind of fun! If I can get more temporary engagements, I could have a string of new jobs, work in a string of new places, meet a string of new people (if any of them deign to meet me), and never get bored. Temping seems like something I might want to pursue for a while.

I have lots more to say about working in an office, but I seem to have recovered my long rambling style and should probably stop now and save it for another day. I'm off to enjoy my first weekend that actually is a weekend for me, rather than just another day identical to the rest of the week! I'm going to continue fighting the good fight by going out to the Veg Fest in short sleeves despite the 68-degree, looking-like-rain weather.