Two weeks ago I started a new job and was very happy about it.
Ok, enough pleasantries.
While I am glad about my new job, adjusting to starting a new job has presented a few unpleasantries that I should have seen coming but totally didn’t. The most difficult aspects of starting the new job seem to fall under the categories of: sleep, returning to professionalism, and adjusting to much less free time.
While I was jobless my sleep schedule was pretty straightforward- I slept when I was tired. Now I have to conform my sleeping times around my work hours. Sure, that sounds logical, practical and similar to everyone else in the world, but my body sure seems to think that’s a stupid concept.
Censoring What Comes Out of my Mouth
I live alone, and I’m never around kids so the only time I would ever think, “Ok, make sure you don’t swear during this conversation”, is when I was talking to my parents. Now when I’m talking to people at work, I’ll think of something to say, realize it contains foul language and then my mind sounds like a GPS System after a surprise U-turn, “Re-directing course, calibrating new route”, while I re-plan what I want to say without swear words.
Censoring What Comes out of out Other Places and When
Before my job started my thought process before I used the restroom went like this, “I need to use the restroom. I’ll start walking there right now”. Now I think, “I need to use the restroom. Wait, when did I last use the restroom? Was it too recent? Is it an emergency, or can I hold out for a little bit longer? Can I get away from my desk for a couple minutes now? If I go right now are people gonna start calling me ‘Bathroom Boy’ or something?”.
Having a new job has also caused me to reluctantly reacquaint with my old frenemy: keeping my mouth closed while burping.
Frequently Checking the Clock
This Calvin and Hobbes comic sums it up well. I seldom did this when I wasn’t working, now it’s an hourly occurrence.
Cultivating Free Time
My free time used to be blooming everywhere I looked, like vegetables in a verdant garden. Whenever I needed any of it, there it was. When a friend invited me to do something on a night I was free I just accepted the invitation without hesitation.
Now when I’m making plans I think, “Sure I can go have a great time with your friends during this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it will mess with my sleep. So I damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Choose wisely.”
Much Less Time for Guilty Pleasure Internet Browsing
I used to sit on my computer and think, “Well, I’ve checked every website I was curious about. What other sites can I check out?” And then I’d fall down a rabbit hole on a salacious gossip site, or I’d check Twitter again for 87th time that half hour.
But now that my time is budgeted very differently, I barely have time to visit my favorite sites, and I have no time to visit crappy sites that I accidentally like against my will. It’s like cutting back on luxury items when your disposable income becomes a little tight, only instead of going without with $6 cups of Starbucks, I’m missing the very latest possibly-credible celebrity gossip on MediaTakeOut.com and CrazyDaysAndNights.net.
Being Vague While Recapping my Weekend
Even if I were to do something radical on a weekend, when a co-worker asks me what I did that weekend, I wouldn’t look over both shoulders and preface it with, “Dude….I saw some crazy junk on Friday…..”. Instead I’d go with the sanitized version of, “Oh, I had a pretty boring weekend. Went out for a bit on Friday with some friends, that was fun. Then I just caught up on my sleep, did laundry and made my lunch for Monday.”
My Perception of Alcohol Varies Depending on the Day
Before my job started I hardly ever turned down invitations to do some drinking, regardless of which day of the week it was. But I had to alter my always-say-yes policy to drinking, and in doing so, I found that my perception of alcohol has changed a little.
Now when someone talks about drinking on a weekend I think, “That sounds great, alcohol usually makes for a fun night.”, but when I’m invited to drink on a weekday I think, “Oohh, I don’t know. Alcohol is that stuff that messes up the quality of my sleep.”