Tag Archives: life

Dispatches from the Land of the Sober People, pt. 1 (maybe)

Dear wine friends,

Any of you who know me in real life (so like, all of you right?) know that I can A.) drink you under the table and B.) probably will fall asleep under that table with a calzone shortly thereafter, so I understand if the title for this post makes little sense.

BUT. Now that I successfully changed careers (what up!) I am moving onto the long laundry list of things I’d like to at least attempt to achieve before I hit my oh-so-quickly-approaching 30s. The first time I typed that, I accidentally typed ’20s.’ Le sigh.

Anyway, that list involves stuff like “have a savings account that doesn’t charge you money every month for being a savings account with no money in it” and “develop a morning routine that doesn’t consist solely of rolling out of bed, grabbing the first semi-non-smelly thing off the floor and buying a diet coke on the way to work” but as both of those sound pretty difficult, I’ve decided to tackle the seemingly easiest thing on my list which involves partaking in a lesser-known New York City ritual known as The Dry Month.

The first time I heard about The Dry Month was my first winter in the city, and I think my head damn near exploded when I was like, “hey [coworker], we’re going to happy hour because Tuesday” and he was like, “oh, no, I’m cool. I’m doing a dry February.” At first I was like, “oh is that a new workout craze how many calories does it burn?” and then it hit me. He was not drinking for an entire month, likely as a means to reset his body back to a level of health somewhere between hanging-on-by-a-thread and feeling-ok-but-I-have-these-weird-rashes after the massive amount of damage that can be done when you combine the holidays with the fact that no one here has to worry about driving.

And then I was like “ohhhh February makes sense because it’s two less days.”

Since then, I’ve heard of Dry Month participants on occasion, but it’s usually more like someone making a sweeping declaration that he/she is going to do so and then immediately failing because New York.

When it comes down to it, I’d liken the idea of not drinking for a month to that of a juice cleanse, signing up for unlimited hot yoga, or getting one of those body wraps that makes you look like a mummy for ten minutes but then somehow compresses your body so that you “lose three inches”. We all say we’re going to do it one day. We all resolve to do it at the beginning of most weeks and fail before we’ve even told anyone we’re going to do it, and we’re all terrified of those who actually accomplish it because that means that we could probably do it too but it sounds really fucking annoying. Or, in the case of the body resizing mummification, it simply sounds terrifying.

I’ve been holding the dry month over my own head for the three years I’ve lived here, but it was hitting a weight that I dare not speak of post-this-holiday-season that made me realize I am being a fat, drunk, lazyass who needs to prove she can do something more than drink a bottle of skinny girl margaritas for dinner and still remember why bodega has the best candy selection on Seamless(kinda a point of pride but I digress).

As I’m writing this, I have officially begun day 7 of my dry month (which I have named Sovember because it technically started mid-January and ends on Valentine’s Day) but really it’s just midnight of day 6 so no biggie. The only remarkable thing about tonight is that it’s the first Friday night since– I don’t remember the last Friday I haven’t gone out to some capacity. I am about to go to bed (so I can sleep and edit this post tomorrow), and while I fully intend to report back as Sovember progresses, I figured I’d leave you with some of my initial impressions of what it’s like not drinking in the Functionally-Alcoholic Apple(maybe we should start calling it the Big Cider?).

  • Easiest diet ever. Holy shit you guys. Did you know how many calories are in alcohol? I totally did because I track my calories unless chicken wings, Saturdays, mimosas or candy are involved (ie. I track my calories on Mondays, sometimes) but SERIOUSLY. I feel like I can eat anything and everything and still be under the calorie limit my fitness app gives me every day without seeing skinny bitches on the train and wanting to start screaming “IT’S BECAUSE OF YOU THAT I FEEL THIS WAY.”
  • I have a lot of free time. I’ve developed a theory that the nail art movement was invented and is wholly maintained by sober people, because that’s really the only non drinking/eating activity that I can come up with for when I want to shut off my brain while I’m watching TV. My nails have never looked so good, y’all.
  • I think I’m less sleepy, but I still have all those nightmares. I’m hella anxious, but as I’ve learned to manage the constant fear of impending doom in my waking life, most of it has flowed over into my subconscious, leaving me with vivid, ever-changing and chronic nightmares. I’ve heard from science (or Distractify, can’t remember which) that alcohol interrupts your sleep and as my sleep is constantly interrupted by basically every type of nightmare mentioned in any dream journal thing, I had started to almost hope it was alcohol-related so that I don’t have to plan for eventual deal-with-my-anxiety therapy or whatever. On the bright side, I wake up refreshed! On the not so bright side, it’s usually the dreams about creepy murderers or my teeth falling out while I’m flying through space and I’m naked and I totally forgot to drop that one class and now it’s finals time and I’m gonna fail that is waking me up in a quick jolt of panic so I can subsequently feel refreshed.
  • I hate the gym slightly less. But still a lot. I still hate the gym so, so much. I guess what else am I gonna do with all this free time, though? Hell, I might even try cardio hip hop one of these days.

All in all, I was pretty sure by now I would be curled up in the fetal position holding an empty bottle of rosé while whispering the lyrics to “I Will Always Love You” through by tears, but given that I was able to eat a bag of jelly beans tonight without exceeding my calorie limit, I’m no worse for the wear.

More to come probablyIguessunlessIgetbored.

Peace, love and take a shot for me, 

BWCE

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New Approach

Recently, I decided that I was going to post every Tuesday and Thursday. I was like, “This is my goal. I’m gonna make it happen.”

So far I’m 0 for 3, which kind of makes sense considering the fact that this is basically a blog about how I’m terrible at being a grown up who accomplishes anything other than consecutive hangovers. It’s not for lack of trying or brainstorming, it’s just that the more I write (and the more I’m aware that people read what I write), the more I’m like, “Oh shit, I should probably make pictures. People like pictures! I should also talk about Kanye, I think that’s something bloggers do,” and then I spend like five hours re-reading Hyperbole and a Half and hating myself.

It’s time for a new approach: I promise all of you I will *try* my hardest to post every Tuesday and Thursday morning. If I don’t, feel free to publicly ridicule me (Antoine, I’m looking at you). I’m serious – I respond very well to negative reinforcement. I’d say it was my Baptist upbringing, but baby, I was born this way (FULL OF GUILT).

Basically, if I don’t have a post prepared, I’m just going to talk about some shit that’s going on. That’s what I did last night. Here’s what’s going on in my life:

1. TV is back – OMG how did I live through December without it? Do you guys know how much TV I watch? For every movie I hate (all movies that aren’t romcoms), there’s at least three TV shows I FUCKING LOVE. My problem is that I have a super good memory, so I have to wait a really long time before re-watching an episode of something, so when new TV isn’t on I got through this weird crisis for like two weeks. I get home, there’s nothing on, I contemplate going to bed at 8 PM, I feel depressed because who goes to bed at 8 PM? Eventually I remember Netflix exists, I realize there are SO MANY episodes of It’s Always Sunny that I haven’t yet seen and just around the time I’m getting used to life without TV, it comes back. We have a complicated relationship, me and TV. Which leads me to…

2. Girls – I am the latest person to arrive at the Girls Is Awesome party. It is awesome. The only problem is that it reminds me so much of my college relationship that every time I watch it I go to sleep and have nightmares about being back in that relationship. I want the nightmares to stop, but I want Girls to keep going. No idea what to do other than forego sleep. Which leads me to…

3. Winter Spiders – Something is feasting on my body while I sleep. Yes, New Yorkers, I know you’re thinking it’s bed bugs. IT’S NOT BED BUGS. The bites are not in threes, it is happening in two separate apartments, and no one else is getting bitten. My coworker told me that he once had these tiny, black spiders that lived near his ceiling and bit him in the winter, but Googling ‘Winter Spiders’ has proven to be inconclusive, so I don’t know what to think. Either there are secret winter spiders that feast only on my body (seriously, one of them bit the vein on my neck. Terrifying) or the place I buy my diet coke every morning is lacing my morning beverage with meth and the spiders are imaginary. Which leads me to…

4. This week was the two year anniversary of that time Austin was paralyzed – On the topic of things you can buy that end up hurting you, two years ago Austin bought some soup that gave him food poisoning, and then his body decided to have a crazy immune reaction (known as Guillain-Barré Syndrome) in which his nerves freaked out and he was 90% paralyzed for like three weeks and had to re-learn how to walk. We celebrated the anniversary by walking to Westside Market and buying snacks. Which leads me to…

5. Trying to be healthy – For Christmas, my parents bought me a six month hot yoga membership. I got into hot yoga last spring, and I’ve been planning on asking for it for Christmas since September, when I realized that I really can’t afford it on top of a gym membership. I’m an incredibly anxious person, and I tend to have a lot of panic attacks about stupid shit, so I’ve found that the only way to calm my mind is to stand in a room that is so fucking hot that all you can think is, “OMG this is SO fucking hot. Can you open the door. OPEN THE DOOR. OPEN IT!!!” for 90 minutes. So this week I’ve gone to hot yoga four times. The best benefit I’ve realized so far is that the other night I got super drunk off two drinks. The cheapest way to get drunk is always the best way, which leads me to…

6. Budgeting – I am bad with money. I don’t shop EVER, I don’t go to Starbucks (anymore), I never take cabs and I bring my lunch to the office, but I am absolutely, 100% terrible with money. I think the Winter Spiders are also draining my bank account while I sleep. That being said, one of the things I have become VERY used to is having somewhere between two to fifteen dollars to my name for the second week of every month. The first time this happened I think I cried like three times that week. I was like, “Butttttttt I want a diet cokeeeeee,” now I’m like, “whatevs, I’m guess I’ll eat rice cakes for dinner again.” The moral of the story is people adjust. I wish I had a better moral, like here’s how you don’t go broke one out of every four weeks. Sorry.

This leads me to nothing, so I guess this is the end of my post.

Peace, Love and I really hope you don’t have a case of the Winter Spiders like I do, 

BWCE

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Things I accomplished at 26

When I turned 26, I realized that I was entering the no man’s land that would become the rest of my twenties. Ok to be honest, at the exact moment I turned 26 I was standing on the second level of an Atlanta club, feeling very confused about how much it looked like Libation while repeatedly saying, “This club is in a strip mall?” So maybe I didn’t realize it that second, but sometime over the next week the feeling sunk in that 26 is one of those throw away years.

College was so long ago that when I pass college campuses I find myself lamenting my lost youth (it’s too soon, I know) and thinking about ‘kids these days’ and how good they have it with their tablets and that cruise ship version of study abroad.  True adult life feels ever-so-slightly out of my reach too… It’s not like I’m saving money or going on vacations that don’t involve my parents buying my plane tickets and I’m certainly not getting married and popping out babies anytime soon. It feels like if Life and I could sit down and have a conversation, it would involve Life not letting me get in a word edgewise because it’s too busy yelling, “Hey, you! Welcome to your late twenties. You can rent a car, drink, and see R-rated movies just like when you were 25. Do you know what you have to look forward to? Oh you do? Stuff like a family, marriage, a paycheck that covers more than your rent and 1/25th of your metrocard… Yeah that’s coming your way, but guess what, mo’fucka? You’re not getting shit until you are AT LEAST 30 years old. You gotta have a couple wrinkles before you get that. Enjoy the soul-crushing levels of anxiety you’re about to experience even though this is the least responsibility you’re going to have for the rest of your life.”

In the past year I’ve felt more anxious, confused and filled with self-doubt than ever before. It’s really for no reason that I can pin down, and rationally speaking it’s pretty idiotic because everything is going ok. I try to quell the fear that my world is about to come crashing down at any second. I’ve taken up Yoga (both Bikram and the one that involves me falling a lot), I keep track of my dreams and use google to analyze what they’re telling me, and I even find myself repeating my own mantras like, “This is not your reality,” and, “Be the person you look up to.” 21-year-old me would hate me right now.

I sometimes wonder if it has to do with the fact that when I was a little kid, I had one vision for my life: I wanted to be 26, to have a job as a journalist in a big city, and to live in a tiny, kitschy apartment by myself with a bunch of guinea pigs. So, in counting the things I wanted as a six-year-old, as long as we cut out ‘journalist,’ ‘kitschy,’ and ‘alone,’ I’ve actually achieved my one life goal. Mission accomplished… What the fuck is next?

Today I turn 27, and it’s sort of like I’ve reached the first day of the rest of my life.

In the spirit of embracing, enjoying and not hating myself for every second of my late twenties, I’ve created a list of things I accomplished at 26 in almost chronological order. 27, if you can be half as a good (and involve fewer hangovers) as 26, I will be proud of you:

At 26… I:

  • Attempted to order one of everything on the Waffle House menu. I don’t how far I got down the menu before I was stopped, but I know I was given biscuits.
  • Migrated this blog to a WordPress and started blogging a lot more. Yay blog!
  • Learned that dreams about pissing yourself are a symbol for feelings of inadequacy. They can also mean you have to pee.
  • Santacon. That happened.
  • Ate Christmas dinner with hickeys on my neck. I THINK I managed to hide them from my family members (at least until they read this). Who gives someone a hickey after high school?
  • Finally stopped taking cabs everywhere. My bank account has not benefited. At all. WTF?
  • Did not cry while listening to Ke$ha… It’s harder than it sounds.
  • Was vegan for at least 4 days. #spicyspecialfail
  • Ate only meat for at least 3 days. #calzonefail
  • Went to the emergency room and the only retain blurry memories of being discharged by a very sweet and flamboyantly gay male nurse.
  • Went on a date with someone off craiglist and DIDN’T GET MURDERED.
  • Quit my first real job.
  • Learned that dreams about the apocalypse symbolize fear over a huge change in your life.
  • Went to a “spiritual-themed” Mexican wedding in Mexico City, added to my list of awesome weddings attended.
  • Experienced my second summer in NYC, actually did things people do in NYC during the summer. New York in the summer is fun!
  • Got better at expressing my emotions.
  • Expressed wayyyy too many of my emotions – my boyfriend has several videos of my drunk crying that I should probably post on FB.
  • Got doored by a cab, joined the ranks of hipster bikers everywhere.
  • Learned that dreams about being barefoot in a public place mean you need to take life less seriously.
  • Went to my first bachelorette party.
  • Threw up in three airports AND one airplane bathroom on my way back from my first bachelorette party.
  • Survived Hurricane Sandy!

And then of course there’s all the mushy stuff – boyfriend, friends, family, love, growth, memories, the meaning of life, blablabla. All that stuff is the best.

Happy birthday to me, Happy Holidays to all. Thank you so much for reading and participating in my life and giving me a few less reasons to be anxious along the way.

Peace, love and hopefully someone will gift me some xanax soon,

BWCE

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Jobxiety?

The other night I went to this course at Skillshare, a really awesome General Assembly-esque place near Chinatown. I’m sure there’s a neighborhood name but because I live up on 106th I haven’t differentiated the neighborhoods down there yet. It’s all just a blob of stuff I can’t afford and well-dressed, skinny chicks who make me die a little every time I see them.

Skillshare has one of those spaces that makes you feel all “OMG I live in the coolest city in the whole wide world, I can’t believe they’re using a giant mirror as a door.” SO this class was a crash course in the New York start-up scene, something I know well as a former start-up-er. The class itself was great, but for most of it I found myself having one of my quarter-life-crisis what the hell am I doing with my life career breakdowns. Don’t worry, it’s not as dramatic as it seems. Or maybe it is, but these happen so frequently I guess I’m used to it.

I’ve been a “working professional” for slightly over two years, and have managed an awesome job. I have really wonderful coworkers, my bosses are cool, and on top of all of that I make a living wage and get paid time off for a bunch of Jewish holidays (like today, woo hoo!). I’ve got a really great thing going for me.

Nevertheless, I find myself experiencing first-world-problem-style anxiety when it comes to what I’m doing with my life all the time. I’ve talked to a couple other people who have these feelings. I think there are enough of us (like 5) to qualify as a DSM-IV classified psychological disorder. So I’ve gone ahead and created some names to define what we’re going through.

JOBxiety

Manic JOBpression

Split CAREERality

ADJOBD

Post Par-JOB Depresion

JOBtism

Seasonal JOB Disorder

SchizoJOBnia

Post-Traumatic JOB Disorder

Career Dysfunction

Job-pes (ok, this one is a blend of herpes and the word job. But really… Everyone is illogically freaked out about herpes even though it’s not a big deal, so I think it fits).

If these terms don’t already explain it for you, here are some examples:

I’ve got the “Why does everyone else look like they’re so much more awake and happier to go to work than me” freak out. I’m thinking that’s post par-job depression, or seasonal job disorder if it’s summer and maybe rain causes it too. I have trouble wrapping my head around is the fact that while I really like work, I can always, without a doubt, think of at least 47 other things I’d like to do than go to work. #1 – 27 are different sleeping positions, # 28- 39 are ways to make a margarita, and the rest are TV shows. I’d like to think this is normal, but there are some people out there who seem reaaaaally excited about going to work. They’re like YES! MONDAY! AWESOME! I want to throw my coffee on those people in the elevator.

Then there’s schizojobnia or ADJOBD – depending on the severity level – where I become jealous of everyone else’s jobs. From accountants to web developers, I’m constantly sizing up what they do for a living and trying to figure out if it’s better than what I do. My boyfriend does finance-y things. Most mornings, when he’s leaving for work like two hours before I leave for work, I think to myself, “He’s just going to go research things all day… That sounds like fun!” And then I get super jealous of him, and I wish that I had studied finance, and I completely disregard the fact that although he has been explaining it to me for the past two years, I still don’t understand exactly what happens when you short sell something. I think things cost more to buy things back? No idea.

Basically, if you have a job that is not one that I’ve already had (egs. Waffle House hostess; Beer Pong Referee; Studying for the LSAT), I have probably at one point or another stared you down, trying to drill into your brain and figure out whether or not you have a better job than me.

The worst of them, however, is Jobxiety. Jobxiety is when I throw myself a pity party because I haven’t yet become the CEO or something, of founded the next Instagram, or figured out how to support myself through ‘my art.’ It doesn’t matter that I don’t have any art; I’m mad at myself for not finding said art and then using it to magically generate rent-paying income. When I’m being logical, and not in a state of jobxiety, I know that I should focus on realistic, short-term goals, like doing my laundry more than once a month and making sure to always bring my lunch to work so that I don’t drain my bank account three days after payday. Sadly, I am less often logical, and more often like this:

And my cat’s Tumblr has more followers than mine…

Jobxiety is totally obnoxious.

I’ve been cycling through all of these issues since I first started working, and it wasn’t until the other day that I had an epiphany. Yes, while getting Joxiety, ADJOBD and Job-pes categorized as diseases could result in fun new prescriptions for everyone… There’s another way to handle all of this. It takes a little more effort and mental control, but it also doesn’t involve health insurance – which is good because a lot of us don’t have that yet. We (or at least I) need to remind ourselves of all the things we do have as young people. While it’s true that being the CEO of something would result in not having to eat hummus for dinner most nights, and that would sound even better at dinner parties than telling people I started a freaking movement… Which for the record, I did do. We’re in the quiet, organizing stage, I promise. But, if I was that CEO, I’d be missing out on a lot of the things that I won’t get to do when I’m an actual adult with things like kids and mortgages, because I’d already have that level of responsibility. Not too mention the fact that I can’t do my laundry does not build a strong case for my being skilled enough to take on that level of responsibility anyway.

My new cure for job disorders, is reminding myself that a.) I’m really lucky to have a good job and b.) I’m super lucky to have time to figure my life out. So next time we’re out to dinner, and I start railing on about how wouldn’t it be great to give it all up to be a bartender and live in Greenpoint and learn how to paint… don’t worry. That’s just my job-pes flaring up.

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Silicon Alley

There were days when I felt like I was part of something so special that I never before had and never would again be part of anything that worthwhile. The feeling usually came after getting up at six in the morning and doing a number of tasks that had nothing to do with my job title or at the end of a day when we’d accomplished some seemingly insurmountable goal. We’d sit on mismatched office furniture, beers in hand, and smile giddily at one another. A little later, when we’d taken it to the bar and moved on to liquor, we’d break off into pockets of two or three. The groups seemed distinct, but we were all tipsily whispering the same thing… “I mean, if this thing gets big… and I think this thing could get really big.

Hibben once described start-ups as the type of place where they “make you drink the Kool-Aid.” If you don’t get the reference, she’s referring to that death cult where they all wore the matching sneakers and drank cyanide laced Kool-Aid and waited for some alien god to come rescue them from their miserable lives. Ok, after wikipedia-ing the Jonestown cult I may have referenced another cult when I brought up the sneakers and the aliens (Haley’s comet… I think?).
Whatever, “Drinking the Kool-Aid” is the best description of start-up culture ever. Don’t get it? Here’s the formula used to get a group of individuals to drink the Kool-Aid:
Make them believe that (insert here: something more amazing than anything else) will happen so long as they all do (insert here: something others would find insane).

Cult: Make them believe that the aliens will save them; Jesus will accept only them to heaven; they’ll die and be reborn as a Coppola so long as they all kill themselves; kill other people.

Start-Up: Make them believe that they are working for the next Amazon/Zappos/Facebook so long as they all give up their relationships/social life/ health/free time… basically their 20s.

New York’s growing start-up scene is referred to as Silicon Alley. In a city where 80% of the people on the street from 7PM to 7AM are drunk, the start-up employees of Silicon Alley are drunk off the Kool-Aid 24/7. If you haven’t worked for a start-up, you might not know what I’m talking about. Let me break it down for you – anytime you see a frantic 20-something wearing a blazer and flip-flops carrying a venti cup of Starbucks and an iPad, talking on her cellphone in what seems to be a strange language but is actually just a bunch of acronyms… that’s a start-up employee. Her dreams are big, her ambitions are high, her idea of disconnecting from her job is the anxiety-filled 20 minutes on the subway when her iPhone can’t connect to her Gmail.
I remember the first night I drank the Kool-Aid. I’d been working at my start-up for a couple of weeks and was trying to get used to working a ‘grown-up’ job. I was exhausted, but concerned I’d get fired for sucking. So, when the co-founder needed someone to stay late and do data entry, I jumped at the opportunity. He bought us some beers, we listened to rap and we talked about personal things – not things so personal that they were inappropriate, but things more personal than you’d expect to talk to a boss about. He was a cool boss… how novel! That night I was drinking Corona light, but I was also drinking the Kool-Aid.
The next year was a blur of hard work and excitement. I was in a leadership program, I was starting a department, we were raising more capital, the New York Times featured our CEO. Fuck, it was exciting. At the same time I was working weekends, holidays and only for enough money to barely survive my first year in the city. The funny thing about a start-up is that you’re not working that hard because your bosses are mean or they demand it; like a cult, you believe that this is The One True Way to your success as an individual. I felt so incredibly lucky to be able to work all day Saturday or to answer emails at 3AM.
These are the type of stories you hear from people who started at Amazon, at Zappos and at Facebook. They were so enthralled in what was happening (and so sleep-deprived) that everything felt cinematic. Everyone in Silicon Alley is sure they’re working for the Next Big Thing and that’s what keeps the effects of the Kool-Aid lasting for months and sometimes years through all sorts of unfavorable conditions and roadblocks.
The thing Kool-Aid drinkers never anticipate is that the delirium might wear off. For me it was almost overnight. One day I woke up, went into the office and instead of feeling SO INCREDIBLY EXCITED I was SO INCREDIBLY EXHAUSTED. I no longer believed that all of the other things I’d given up were worth it. I hoped it was just a phase at first; for all of the insanity my job brought to my life, I’d never imagined that I’d want to leave. But I couldn’t stop feeling that way – I was off the Kool-Aid and I’d developed some sort of resistance to it. No amount of company happy hours or national press mentions could make me want to stay there, even though I so badly wanted to want to stay there.
There was one feeling that didn’t wear off immediately: the feeling of impending doom I got every time I thought about my life outside the start-up. I worried they’d create the position I’d been killing myself for right after I left or that I’d find my new job so stuffy and boring that I’d miss the chaos. I had this list of fears, the biggest of them being that I’d regret leaving because I’d miss start-up culture.
After a month of being at a non-start-up, I’ve had lots of time to think about start-up culture. It’s this mystifying combination of Kool-Aid ingredients. For every awesome Kool-Aid ingredient, there’s also a little bit of bad. I’ve started compiling a list, and I’d like to think it applies to most start-ups… Ok, maybe some of the bad ones are limited to my experience, but I know a couple other ex-start-up employees who tell similar stories.
Here’s what I’ve got:
Awesome Kool-Aid ingredient: We drink together! All the time!
Hangover-inducing badness: Drinking with your bosses = telling your bosses stuff you tell people when you’re drunk. Do you want the CEO of your company to know that if you hadn’t gotten THIS job, you’d probably be a stripper right now? No, I can assure you that you really don’t.
This shit is strong!: Everyone is so smart and talented and driven! The energy here is great!
Wait, is this everclear?: Everyone is battling to prove that they are the smartest, hardest working, and most in love with the company by putting in as much face time as possible. Have you ever sat in a room at 7:30 PM on a Friday when you’re completely done with you work, but you’re so determined to not be the first one out of the office? I used to try willing my coworkers to leave.  My friends would be texting me all the fun things they were doing and I’d be glaring at the person in front of me yelling with my brain, “JUST FUCKING LEAVE!”

I really love you guys, and I’m not just saying that because I’m drunk: You get to work with highly experienced department heads who pass their sage knowledge onto you.
Uhhh, my stomach doesn’t feel so good: Start-ups don’t always make the best hires and if they make the wrong one the “highly experienced” department head who becomes your boss may turn out the be a highly inadequate bitch from hell. You go from loving your old boss to wanting to jam pencils into your eyeballs every time your new boss says your name. You have nightmares about her asking you to step into the conference room and have a ‘quick chat.’ Even after freeing yourself from her reign of micromanagement and terror, you’ll never look at conference rooms the same way. Conference rooms are the place where your soul goes to die.

Wooooooooooooooo!: The office space is so open and unconventional!
Ugggghhhhhh: The lack of basic amenities. Do you have an office coffee pot? NO! NO! That takes away from margin! What about a fridge? There’s a mini fridge. It’s for 35 people. If you don’t like it, you can suck it up and go buy a burger at the McDonalds every day for lunch, because really, that’s all you can afford.
When you’re Kool-Aid drunk, you spend a lot of time telling yourself, “This will all be worth it!” You fantasize about being on the top floor of the corporate skyscraper. Sure, right now you’re doing manual labor while your friends are getting drunk at brunch, but you’re sure to be in the 30 under 30… or at least the 40 under 40. Is there a 50 under 50? You’re definitely going to be on that.
I mentioned earlier how scared I was that I’d regret leaving my start-up. I also worried that I’d regret putting in all that energy without it catapulting me to the top of the corporate ladder at an early age. In retrospect, I can honestly say that I have no regrets. In a year and a half I got an education I wouldn’t have at an entry-level job at some big company, and working non-stop helped me determine my own personal priorities.
Ok, so maybe there’s one thing I don’t love about my start-up past. I still flinch when my new boss asks me to step into the conference room for what has, thus far, only turned out to be staff birthday parties… but we all have our battle wounds.
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