“I guess this is your official welcome,” said the VP of my office, as she handed me my very first paycheck of my first post-graduate, “real world”, putting-the-degree-to-use JOB. For three weeks I have been going into that office and working on different projects, but tearing off those perforated edges seemed to make everything a bit more real. It kind of hit me this morning as I got out of my car and headed into the office: I’m going to work. I’m not going to class or just visiting this place. I am going into this building, as I do every Monday through Friday, to work. Every weekday, I go into an office where my time is worth something (right now, it’s not worth that much, and even less after taxes). And every two weeks, the company shows me how much they value my time (and every month, I show my landlord how much I value having a place to live).
So far, everything has been going well. I’m currently juggling a couple projects, and my boss is impressed with how much progress I have made on them. It will be a great moment to receive my projects back from the printer and hold my work in my hands. As I have been working on these projects, I have come to appreciate my graphics professor’s “client-based” approach to teaching and grading our work. I turn in version after version and receive revision after revision, until at last, the client (my boss) is pleased with what she sees. Though sometimes I don’t understand why she wants what she wants, I am able to disassociate myself from the work. When an idea is shot down, I don’t have to go down with it. As my co-worker told me during my first days at the office, “If she changes everything you did, don’t take it personally.” My co-workers are really great and make working a lot of fun. Today, the art department had a Pixie Stix eating contest, which ended up being more of a joke than a competition. At least once a day, I hear, “That reminds me of this one movie…” or “Who was that guy who was in…”. Lunch consists of half an hour of Sports Center or cheesy sci-fi movies, and when the opportunity arises, practical jokes are sure to happen.