In March, I hit my one year mark of being a productive, 9 to 5 office warrior with my very own cube and an out-dated PC that feels like it has been injected with animal tranquilizers. For the year before this job, I had another full-time position that allowed me to work from home in my pajamas. This may seem like a writer’s dream, but in actuality it sucked all sorts of sloppy. For one, because I could work in my pajamas, I often DID work in my pajamas, and sometimes three days would go by and I would realize that—aside from my daily run and the canoodling I did with cat and my then live-in, now ex boyfriend—I would see no one! And had been wearing the same pajamas for days. During the cold winter months, I constantly had a microwaved Bed Buddy wrapped around my neck, to the point no matter how much I bathed I still smelled like the burnt rice that filled the thing. Mmmmn. I was a hermit, and I stopped wanting to go out. Although I was in terrific shape because I scheduled my day around long runs and yoga. Woo!
So, I am actually crazy about coming into an office every day, and appreciate it in a way I would not had I not spent the previous 12 months hermited in my dark home office, smelling like my cat and burnt rice. I love the people I work with, too, and some of them I would even choose to hang out with if we didn’t work together. However, I have noticed that topics that have been deemed “office appropriate” are minimal, and we talk about the same things every day. They are as follows:
Everyone likes to tease me about my veganism, and that’s cool, because I know I will probably live longer than the rest of them. Uhh what? But also we like to talk about healthy eating and our love for hot sauce—Sriracha fo’ lyfe! One of my co-workers (Whaddup, Nick!?!) is currently doing the “Paleo Diet” which amuses and intrigues me on the reg. It’s almost healthy! Except for, you know…the gobs and gobs of tempered flesh. Blech-o!
A handful of us are pretty into music and like to talk about our favorite artists. We trade music, burn cds as holiday gifts (okay that happened once…) and talk about all the ways we plan to piss away our paychecks on live music. I have spent more on live music this year than on groceries. Real talk. I think TV also falls into this category but I don’t ever understand the references, since I don’t watch TV, so I just grunt and nod dumbly.
We compare our days to the number of cups of coffee consumed. You know it’s gonna be a rough day for me if I’ve had three cups before eleven, and when a co-worker goes back for more java around 4, we all commiserate together.
When it’s raining, we complain about the rain. When it’s cold, we complain about the cold. When it’s gorgeous, we complain about having to be inside. A sample conversation goes like this:
Co worker: “Oh hey, Zoe, how you doin?”
Me: “Oh, great, except for all of the rain….makes me want to stay in bed…hate all that rain…gonna be good for the garden…yep…rain.”
The day of the week
Our editorial department loves to talk about our loathing of Tuesday. You see, Monday is expected to be brutal because you know you have a long week ahead of you. Unless you are you still running on your glorious relaxed weekend high, you know Monday will suck. Maybe you had a really busy boozy weekend and you’re recovering. Then Monday will suck even more. Wednesday is a great happy hour day, plus it marks the mid-week and allows me to make jokes (to myself…) about Hump Day. Thursday is fantastic because I can still count it as a legit drinking day since I am only a few years out of college…Usually I don’t drink on Thursdays but for some reason they still remind me of a weekend pre-game. Sort of like muscle memory. My body knows Thursday is for kickin’ back. Friday is awesome because, duh, it’s Friday, and you can spend the whole day saying TGIF!!! (lots of exclamations) and talking about weekend plans.
So…that just leaves Tuesday…You have no real purpose, Tuesday, other than to serve as a marker between the abominable Monday and Wednesday’s happy hour. Because we don’t expect you to be as terrible as Monday, every time you rear your fugly head, it is shocking. Like when you switch grocery lines last minute to a shorter, more promising line, and then the person in front of you needs a price check on their marked-down produce and then goes to their car to get their reusable bags. DAMN YOU! Tuesday, you are just monday with a trench coat and glasses.
Yep. We spend a lot of time bitching about Tuesday.
My coworkers who are under 30 all own cats. And we all like to talk about our cats, and trade funny cat stories, and make fun of ourselves for being weird cat people. Basically, it is training for talking about our children (which everyone over 30 who happen to be wifeyed and nuggeted does on the regular). We all know each other’s cats on a first-name basis, and know whose cat loves to chew on cords and headphones, and whose is completely bat-shit crazy and likes to parkour off all the walls and drive your room-mates nuts. (Cough. Not mine!)
For some reason, talking about WANTING to drink is okay. “Is it 5 yet?” “Is it Happy Hour yet?” “Who wants to ditch early and go get beer….ha ha ha ha…” As a joke, our boss put a sign on the desk of our elderly secretary that reads “Alice’s Wine Bar.” Sometimes on a Friday we crack open beer and wine and drink around it. It’s all very amusing to us, because poor Alice doesn’t drink and seems to be upset by the situation.
5 Things You Can’t Talk About at Work
It’s funny to talk about wanting to drink, and having a rough day, and wanting a beer. But it is NOT funny to talk about how hammered you got last night, or why your office cube has the unmistakable aroma of tequila and vomit…or is that urine? The idea of being driven to drink is funny…but the actuality of it is apparently not so much.
Obviously. No one wants to know! Especially because I am the only one in the office who isn’t some sort of wifeyed. Even my cat-chatting twenty-something co-workers have live-in others. My short-distance, weekend visiting boyfriend looks pithy in comparison.
Your Food/Sex Blog
I have one co-worker who secretly reads SexyTofu. I am sure everyone is aware of its existence because….well…they had to Google my name during the interview process. But my little passion project is like your weird drug-addled cousin. Everyone is aware it exists but (whisper) no one likes to talk about it.
My Lunch Naps
I like to sleep on my lunch break. If it’s nice out, I sleep on the green across from my building with no shoes on. I come back refreshed and with a bit of grass in my hair. If it’s not nice I sleep in my car….which is sometimes still parked in the office lot. A 20 minute nap makes me feel glorious! I am sure everyone has seen me doing this. We don’t talk about it.
SO what do you talk about at work? Do you hate Tuesday? Is it normal that, even though I really enjoy my job, my coworkers and I spend a lot of time complaining? What IS it with Americans and our passion for whining. Sheeeeesh.