Work Is Weird

4 09 2014

This probably isn’t news to anyone who’s been in the “real world” work force for more than, like, a year, but I’ve figured out that no one EVER reads emails. Even if they open them and reply to them, I don’t think anybody ever actually reads them.

Almost every time I send an email update about my job, I’ll start with the sentence, “We are on X far and this is what I found.” Nine times out of ten, the only response I’ll get is, “How far are we?”

I really want to be passive aggressive and respond like, “As I said in the first sentence of my last email, X.”

I’ve also asked questions before like, “Should I do A or B with this?” And the response will be, “Yes, do that.”


Lately none of my bosses seem to even be READING my updates. I feel like I’m just throwing nonsense out into the void.

I want to do an experiment to see how far they actually read into my emails (or if they read them at all). I’m REALLY tempted to start signing off with:

“My mother is a fish,”

Instead of:

Juuuuust to see if they actually notice. I’m betting they won’t. I don’t think I trust that assumption enough to actually make that bet though.


18 Things I Want (right now!)

8 08 2012

Got this idea from a post on Thought Catalog. Here are 18 things I want right at this very minute, without stopping to think:

1. A really, really, REALLY delicious cup of coffee
2. A turnover or pastry of some sort
3. For me and my friends to all live wherever we want in the world, but to still somehow be able to see each other whenver we want
4. To go to U of Chicago for grad school in history
5. Some sort of class/intellectual outlet for all of my thoughts
6. The new season of How I Met Your Mother (RIGHT NOW!)
7. I want to read about the Holocaust
8. I want to be inspired so I write something really, REALLY good
9. A hug
10. My arrival information about Prague
11. October to be here
12. 5:00
13. My best friends. Here. Now.
14. My hip to stop hurting
15. A Coke
16. Someone to get drunk with this evening
17. An hour to play catch with my dad
18. To not live at home anymore.

“Real” Adulthood?

27 07 2012

Reasons Why I’m a “Real” Adult
* I have a real, big-person, 40-hour-a-week office job. And I actually have my own office.

* I drink more than I did before, but I never get drunk. I’ve mastered the art of drinking 2-3 beers a night, but slowly and over the course of 4 or 5 hours.  Big difference from Mystery Beer Night at college, where I’d drink 3 beers in an hour and then drunkenly watch Golden Girls until 2 in the morning.

* I go to bed early. Gone are the days when I’d regularly be up until 3 or 4 in the morning. Last semester, there’d be nights I’d go to bed at 2 or 2:30 and be like, “Wow! I went to bed EARLY last night.” Not anymore. Now if I make it to 12:30, I’m practically falling asleep sitting up. I don’t know if something innately changes the second you get your diploma or what. Actually, it’s probably because now I have to be at work at 8:00 each morning, so sleeping in until 10:30 isn’t really an option. Whatever the reason, now I keep “real” adult hours (mostly).

* I routinely decline invitations to go out if I’ll be out past 11. When my siblings start watching a movie or playing a video game after 11:30 I’ll be like, “WHAT?! At THIS time of night???” My sister thinks there’s something wrong with me. Up until March, I was right there with them, staying up until 3:00 every night.

* I don’t care that any of the above things make me “lame” in the eyes of the “young people.” Even though up until May, I thought that not getting drunk when you drink was kind of lame and I would NEVER go to bed before midnight. Drinking just a bit and maybe getting a bit buzzed and then being in bed by 11:30 is not lame. It’s really, really nice.

* I use the phrase, “When I was your age…” far, far too often when talking to teenagers. Sometimes it’s a full-on “kids these days” rant: “So nothing’s happening on Facebook and no one’s posted anything on Twitter? When I was your age, Facebook wasn’t popular and Twitter didn’t even exist! When we wanted to know what was going on with our friends, we would actually talk to them in real life. We had actual conversations and we got together in the evenings or after school and went to the coffee shop and TALKED. We didn’t sit by ourselves and talk to each other on the COMPUTER.!” I’m pretty sure that I actually got a blank stare and Whatever in response to that. Well, whatever right back atcha. It’s still true. Punks.

Reasons Why I’m NOT a “Real” Adult
* I’m writing this blog post at work instead of actually doing, you know, work. I haven’t actually done much work besides surfing the internet and looking up cheap flights to Prague (things that are not in my job description).

* Last weekend I got really, really, really drunk and wound up skinnydipping in my pool. Also, last Tuesday I went to the pub (on a work night!) and had three beers and a rum and Coke. Maybe I haven’t completely mastered the drinking in moderation thing yet.

* I don’t know how to cook. My family’s in Spain this weekend. I’m not. I stayed behind to work and hold down the fort (and go party at Nordic Fest this weekend…reason I’m not an adult #4?). I have been living on cereal, fast food, frozen food, and canned soup. Canned soup on the stove is pretty much maxing out my culinary abilities. Well, I can also make eggs. As long as they’re scrambled, hard-boiled, or over-easy. When I move out of my parents’ house in October, I am probably going to starve.

* I have NO idea about things like paying credit card bills, 401(k)s, mortgages, health insurance/life insurance/whateverthehellelse insurance, how to open a new bank account, how to do my taxes (but my parents are both accountants. I probably won’t have to do my own taxes for a long time), etc. Did I miss the class in college where they taught you how to do all of these adult things?

* I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I just kind of fake it and make it up as I go along. I don’t “have it together” yet. When kids want me to do stuff for them or ask me questions or I’m going somewhere I’ve never been I’m just like, “….okaaaaaay…ummm….let’s give this a shot.” I never actually know what I’m doing. The world is big and weird and there’s all this STUFF you have to know. I don’t know any of it. I’m just making it up. Is this how it is for everybody? Will I ever know what I’m doing, or have all those big, together-having-it, all-knowing adults just been making it up too?

* I really, really don’t feel like an adult. I feel like I’m kind of just faking it in this weird world and someday soon they’ll find me out. And then maybe the college people will come rescue me and put me back with my kind in our little academic bubble. It just seems like all the real adults know what they’re doing and know how to do things (see the above two points) and I don’t. But again, maybe no one ever feels like an adult. Maybe it was all a lie and I’ll never fully know how to do everything I need to.

How To Seduce Me

26 06 2012

If you really, REALLY want me to do something for you (like, say, take a job that you REALLY want me to take but I’m not sure I want to keep), just let me look through old documents. That’s all it takes.

I’m a sucker for history. And when I can see things for myself that were actually PART of history, I get really excited. Today I went to the State Historical Society to look through a few of the hundreds of boxes of documents, manuscripts, letters, scrapbooks, etc that belonged to a U.S. Congressman from Iowa. They’re all at least 100 years old. I held in my hand letters from office of Teddy Roosevelt. I saw his signature.

But, anyway. The people I’m temping for right now want me to take a permanent job. My job would be to scan all of these documents and create a sort of digital library, and then to do research and potentially write a book about this congressman from my town.

I definitely was not seeing this job as a permanent thing. I was going to keep applying for jobs, move to Chicago or some other awesome big city, and then get out of here. But then I went to the historical society and I got to talk with a REAL ARCHIVIST and I got to see all of these THOUSANDS of pages of documents that few people have ever seen. And they are all there waiting for ME to read them and do things with them.

And now…how can I leave? How can I not take this job? Now that I’ve seen these cool old things I’ll get to work with, it’s like…I MUST stay. I MUST. Those documents need me.

So…if you ever want to make me do something or want to seduce me, just show me old documents. At the least, it’ll make me want to drop everything and do whatever you want me to do as long as I can keep looking at them.

Things Are Happening

28 05 2012

I’ve been a college graduate for just over a week now, and it’s getting kind of crazy.My brother graduated from high school last week, so my parents have been putting the graduates to good use. The past week has been spent cleaning. I’ve swept, scrubbed, power washed and power blown a deck, scrubbed down furniture, washed windows (it’s really scary hanging out of a second story window to wash the outside), shampooing carpets, Orange-Glo-ing cabinets, squeegeeing garage floors, dusting shelves and cabinets that haven’t been properly dusted in four years, picking up dog shit in the rain, and narrowly escaping staining a deck, thanks to a freak rainstorm. I’ve managed to find some time for reading and watching my brother play soccer, but most of my time has been spent doing all sorts of chores. Graduation=mass cleaning. My brother’s graduation party was this weekend, though, so hopefully the chore list will stop being so intense. I guess doing all these chores is better than sitting around pining for my dorm room and friends, so I won’t complain too much. It’d just be nice to have time to unpack my room.

Anyway, the point is that in the midst of all this cleaning, family visiting, and babysitting*, things have started happening. Like, Real Life is creeping up on me really fast. The Universe is at work in my life, and all sorts of crazy things are happening.

It started on Wednesday when my dad came home from work and told me that the Lacey Project was back on. This is something that my dad’s boss has been trying to get going for several years. At the beginning of the 20th century this guy from my town, John F. Lacey, was a US Congressman. He was pretty much the father of conservation and the National Park movement. All the National Park stuff you associate with Teddy Roosevelt was actually legislation written and promoted by Lacey. The Iowa Historical Society has roughly 287 boxes worth of documents, diaries, and other things pertaining to him. My dad’s boss wants the stuff organized, digitized, and archived in some sort of online database. It’s now my job to make this happen. Since I kind of want to be an archivist/work in a museum, this is perfect. Of course, I have absolutely NO IDEA what I’m doing or how to build a database/storage software and I’m the only person working on this, but STILL. It’s a start, and if I can do this right, it’ll be awesome. I get to be a real historian! So, that is something I wasn’t expecting to happen. I went in for an interview on Friday and came out with a summer internship pay and the prospect of an extended contract and REAL SALARY if, at the end of the summer, I’m still around.

Then, I was talking to someone at my brother’s graduation party who offered me archive and library training at the local college library. There’s a chance I can connect this with my job and actually get paid for a training course, and then I’ll actually know how to be an archivist! Things are happening, guys.

THEN, Sunday afternoon, my brother and I went to visit our elderly neighbor lady. We’ve known Mary for years. We used to go over to her house sometimes when our mom was busy. We haven’t seen her for awhile, so we sat and chatted for awhile. Her daughter and good friend were also there, and they were doing housework and hanging out. I have to say: when I’m old, I want the kind of friendship that Mary and her friend, Emmy, have. I feel like Emmy practically lives there. Twice, the phone rang and it was for Emmy. They were laughing, teasing each other, and talking about some of their crazy college days. They went to college together and, before that, played Robin Hood in the vacant lot (which is now where my house is). They place bets on whether or not the substandard paper boy will deliver their papers, or how close he gets it to the front step, or whether or not he actually puts it in the right bin. They discuss books, literature, 60 Minutes, and sports. I want that. It’s cool. But. That’s not the point of this story.

The point is that Emmy mentioned she’d met the new lady living in the Frank Lloyd Wright house in my old backyard. She’s from Vienna. Emmy talked to her for awhile this morning and got her business card and cell phone number. It turns out that she’s a program coordinator for the Goethe Institut. For those of you who don’t know, it’s, like, THE way to learn German and study German culture. I’ve been really interested in the Goethe Institut since I studied abroad last summer. I’ve been looking at taking German classes there and getting involved with internships or volunteering. Now I have this woman’s card and cell phone number, and Emmy is meeting her for coffee later this week and she’s going to tell her about me. I might even get introduced. I guess she’s doing some recruiting for interns or language exchange partners or something of that ilk. So, the Universe has sent me another connection to a place/program I’ve been all but lusting after for nine months. THANKS, Universe! Help a sister out and get me a meeting, please!

So, really exciting things are happening. I’m rambling about them, so I’m sorry. But there are two sets of cousins watching three different movies, giggling, eating junk food and then throwing up, and they’re all keeping me awake. Also, it’s just really cool how so many things are starting to happen. I have a strong belief that life/the Universe will take me where I need to go, and that I will wind up being exactly who/where I need to be at the right time. In my first week in the Real World, it seems like the Universe has been reinforcing this idea. Again, thanks, Universe!

*I’ve basically spent the weekend hanging out with my 6-year-old cousin Lillie. She’s ADORABLE and absolutely hilarious (“Know what would be crazy? If while you were having a graduation party, you had a RUMMAGE SALE too!” and “Bro, we need a secret bro handshake.” [Yes, Arta, I taught my cousin to be a bro]), but incredibly energetic. I have spent countless hours playing Cops and Robbers/Spies/Escape the Crazy House. I can’t keep up!