Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why the first day of work is the worst day of work

So I started work the other day. My first real job ever. I didn't tell any of my co-workers that it was my first job, but I think they realized it. Probably because when the administrative lady asked me if I filled out my W-4 forms I looked at her for a solid 10 seconds. Then I got uncomfortable and broke out into this goofy smile and looked from her to my boss about 20 times.

My face was exactly like Tom Haverford's:

After a while they both just kind of trailed off and told me to get my forms in by Friday. So... one more day to figure out what tax forms are aaaaaand how money works!

Why the first day of work is the worst day of work

1) Paperwork that you don't comprehend and will never have the capacity to understand

Have you filled out your W-4s and your Y-3s and savings & loans and stock options and insurance and healthcare?

No. I haven't done those things because I'm 22 and I don't know what you're talking about. Please don't stand there and wait for me to fill out these forms. Because I don't know what I'm doing. And unless I can somehow learn to understand them through osmosis, you're gonna be standing there for a looooong time.

2) Not having anything to do

Oh man when your laptop is exposed to the rest of the office... life sucks. There ain't no Facebook surfing for you, no sir. You feel like you need to be doing important things. But you don't know how to do anything yet. So you spend the first day exploring the homepage for the company you now work for.

"Hm, yes. I'm very interested in this press release you guys put out 2 years ago. So interested, in fact, that I'm going to spend the next 20 minutes reading it. Then I'll scroll through the pictures of your company BBQ again."

3) Being afraid to go to the bathroom

This might just be me. But my office is just one GIANT room with lots of windows and bright colors. So when I get up, everybody's watching. I don't want to spend too long in there, and I don't want to walk too weird on my way there. It should be inconspicuous. So I try to walk normal. And pee really quickly.

Unfortunately for me, someone else in my office seems to be on my pee schedule. Without fail, after I sit at my desk for 10 minutes with inner turmoil on whether I should visit the loo, I finally get up and this guy gets out of his chair and walks to the bathroom. Then I have to pretend like I was awkwardly half out of my chair for a different reason.

Rearranging my feet, or something. I don't know.

4) They usually ask you where the office should go for lunch. 

Most people think this is a nice treat. I think it is torture and this is why:
  1. They've lived in the city for 5 years and you've lived there for 5 seconds so you have no idea where the closest McDonald's is, let alone normal people food. So anything you pick is not going to be what they want. 
  2. You are just trying to get through the day unnoticed. So asking the new person to make a decision that will probably infuriate half the office is just... cruel and unusual. It almost made me want to pick a really unpopular food so that I could just get the hate out in the open. 
Co-worker: "Hey Hannah, what do you want for lunch?"
Me: "You know what I could REALLY go for? Long John Silvers. But if you guys don't have that, I'm not picky. I'm just really craving some day-old shellfish right now."

This was my face when I was asked to pick where the entire office went for lunch.

To conclude this post, I would like to regale you with a (kind of long & rambling) story of going home after work. Sit down, my children. Let me tell you a tale:

"Yesterday, I bought Worcestershire sauce and raw chicken breast (the usual). When the bag guy stared at me for a second too long I panicked and said I didn't want a bag. So I left the store holding raw chicken in one hand and Worcestershire sauce in the other. I was wearing uncomfortable shoes all day so I was also limping. Because of the blisters. When I got in my car I took off my shoes. 

When I arrive at my apt, I got out of my car. I was carrying shoes, my laptop, raw chicken and Worcestershire sauce. I tripped on my way out of the car and made a noise like, "HeyyaaahhhhhohcrapI'mgonnafallnope-therewego." 

Not for the first time, I find myself identifying with a foal

Unfortunately, our neighbor was standing outside my car with a bag of garbage. He saw the whole thing. We smiled awkwardly and I went inside. 

But it was stuffy inside. I went to open a window. First I had to pull open the blinds. I went to open the blinds, and realized the window was already open. So naturally I shouted out to myself something along the lines of "OH IT'S ALREADY OPEN. HAHA YOU IDIOT." Then I pulled aside the curtains. And who was outside my window? Yes. Young garbage guy. Walking back to his apartment after taking out the garbage. He heard me talking to myself. Again. So we smiled at each other again. And I backed away slowly from the window and shame-snarfed 3 brownies. The End."

**editors note: That was NOT the end. Today I got out of my car carrying my phone, my laptop, a panini, this weird french dip sandwich with horseradish and an empty bag of snap pea crisps. Why was the bag empty? Because traffic was long and I was hungry. Don't hate. Appreciate. 

So obviously it was difficult for me to get out of the car again. As I lumbered out, I said to myself "Careful now, Hannah. Lets not be silly." Yes, it was in the voice of the Mad Hatter from Disney's Alice In Wonderland.

Look at 7 min 13 seconds in if you want an example of my tone of voice.

And yes, it was out loud. Because I am nothing if not vocal about my shortcomings. And WHO should bike by at that very moment to witness this whole debacle? OH THAT'S RIGHT. THE VERY SAME NEIGHBOR AS YESTERDAY. I wish I was lying, but he and I seem to be on the same schedule. 

But thankfully not the same pee schedule. 



  1. 1. I believe they are called W-2s not W-4s but by uncertainty tells you exactly how much more I know than you. Every time I have to fill them out (and it has been a lot of times at this point) I am positive I'm doing it wrong and the IRS police are going to be like "YOU PUT A ONE BUT YOU SHOULD HAVE PUT A ZERO BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT THE HEAD OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD" or whatever and I go to jail

    2. When they gave my all those papers on my first FIRST day of work, I was like "yes yes of course I know exactly what these are" and then brought them all home so I could have a REAL adult explain them to me. And even then I think I cried through the whole thing and actually got the wrong kind of dental insurance.

    3. YES about making you decide where to go to lunch!!

  2. I honestly thought they were W-4s. That was not a bit. So... that's embarrassing.

    Also, am I supposed to put zero for head of household? Because I put 1 and I struggled about it for a while.

  3. W2's (or I9's if your a contractor and "I-9'd) are just a way of the man to train you to fill out mindless forms. A few years back I filled mine out wrong (or more likely HR couldn't read them and transposed wrong when they entered them into the system). It took three years before they realized the form had the wrong SSN, which is really the only info they are collecting on those puppies. My boss accused me of being a Russian sleeper agent and I filed out the forms again. Nyet IRS police, nyet pay issues.

    1. Well I think the most logical choice is to assume everyone is a Russian sleeper agent

  4. First, I'd like to say a big FU to wordpress for losing my comment because I wasn't signed in. Secondly, what I actually said was, you are my new best friend, in a non-stalkerish way. Because we're like THISSSSS. *makes miming motion with hands to show how similar we are*

    It was probably better the first time.

    1. I appreciate all stalkers, whether they be friend or foe.

  5. what did you end up picking for lunch? I'm DYYYYING to know.

    also, I put a 0 next to head of household. I didn't want to seem full of myself. not you apparently.... oh I'm sorry!

    1. I debated putting a 0 for a LONG time. An embarrassing long amount of time.