I don’t fit into my office. This is not a new secret. Like, I don’t fit in so bad that it’s nearly comical. It’s almost like I’m a mystical being stuck in a land of protocol and unyeilding emails. Actually that is almost exactly what it’s like, it’s hard to be a Lauren in a 9-5 kind of world.
And the best part of all of it… is that my boss hasn’t the slightest idea. And the worst part is… I think he’s such a nice boss, that I kind of never want him to know how hard it is to work with some of the other people in our tiny office space.
Now several times last year I thought of quitting my job, without any back up plan. And not for reasons people usually do… No one ever has a great boss, and bad coworkers. No one has ever said that! And no one ever says when they are in a bad work environment that they love the work they create. Which… I do. I like the clients I deal with. I love the idea of something I draw being built and occupied by people who are learning, and working and changing the world with their existences and thoughts and dreams. Right now at this moment, that is what architecture means to me.
Things I don’t like about work is being harassed by coworkers, being asked to quit to make certain people feel better about themselves (several times, actually) and feeling totally unappreciated for all the actual effort I put into creating a product that we are proud to put our names on.
I have actually tried to think through these issues a lot in the last few days. How can you get past these kinds of work problems?
The first one… well I’ve tried a few things. Including ignoring, trying to talk it through, and finally giving up. And then I stumbled upon these little words from every cool chick’s homegirl, Tina Fey:
“So, my unsolicited advice to women in the workplace is this. When faced with sexism, or ageism, or lookism, or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question: “Is this person in between me and what I want to do?” If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you’re in charge, don’t hire the people who were jerky to you.” -Tina Fey, Bossypants
I have taken these words to heart, and my days have felt so much lighter and brighter than they used to. I can do my work really well, and I will be in charge of a firm someday. And maybe I’m also better about this type of situation due to the fact I may (or may not) have concealed and color coordinated weapons on me pretty much at all times.
And secondly, I’m not going to disappear to ease other people consciences. You are an adult, I am an adult, we make our own decisions. And I’m sticking around to get stuff done, and you can’t be rid of me so easily. Also you have no right to banish a good fairy, unless your name is on the business, which it is not.
And well the other one…. Hmm, there isn’t much I can do about this. All bosses everywhere do this in some shape of form… I mean if you keep pulling off impossible deadlines for them, they think that you can do so much more. Sometimes to fulfill my boss’s requests I find myself alone in the office in the dark of the night clicking and clacking away at the computer just to meet the deadline. And then after it’s all printed, he will say, no lets go back to the other thing we were at a few days ago. And then I will smile and know I tried. This actually happens a lot, and it used to make me really mad. But now I think he requests crazy things because he believes I can make magic. So now instead of getting upset when my work is shelved… when I complete the impossible tasks he asks of me, I just feel a little bit magical.
And well all of the analogies in this post came from my truly desperate grasps at happiness. Online Quizzes. Yes, when I feel a little blue I take internet quizzes that tell me things like I should paint my walls blue… or eat a margherita pizza. So this time when I was feeling a little down I took an internet quiz about Fairy tales and even the internet agreed:
And then I applied that knowledge to my actual existence, and found that it’s not really too far off. Eccentric, cheerful, probably coated in glitter. Maybe being a fairy isn’t so bad, as long as someone thinks you’re magical.
p.s. Sorry Amber who reads this blog, but you know how it is ;)