Last summer and this summer I've been lucky enough to be the summer intern for the Randolph County Purdue Extension Office. Basically, that means that I deal with all things 4-H and do a lot of envelope stuffing and mailing label creating. Now as boring as the job may seem, I really do love it. My coworkers are awesome, and the work environment is good, which is something I've learned to be really thankful for. An office job may not sound like the most meaningful experience, but I've gleaned a few things from it. I might also add that a dear friend of mine told me to write an interesting 500-word article on working in an office, and I gladly accepted her challenge.
One of the first things I learned at my job was how to do my job and then how to do my job better. As I said before, a lot of my work (at the beginning of the summer, anyhow) involves putting papers in envelopes, slapping a mailing label on, and sending information out to the correct parties. Now, you probably wouldn't think so, but there are about as many different ways to stuff an envelope as there are to skin a cat. My first method of choice involved a lot of paper cuts. Paper cuts themselves aren't too bad, but when you add in a second job at a pizza place that involves sticking your hand in a container of jalapeños, paper cuts become your worst enemy. Let it be known, that I quickly learned a new way to stuff envelopes. In life, we all encounter these minor paper cuts. Maybe it's a poor choice in friends or a hurried decision on a major life event. Either way, we get ourselves into a pot of hot water (or hot pepper juice) and we have to learn from our mistakes. We learn how to do life, and then we learn how to do life better.
Another lesson I've learned at my job is that you're always going to need help because let's face it, you know nothing about pigs. Back in the day, I was an avid 4Her, but that did not include livestock showing by any means. The closest I've been to livestock is the dairy farm down the road from my house. I like animals and all, but I can tell an inquirer more fun facts about sea otters than I can useful information about ear tags. Thankfully, however, the rest of my office possesses a lot of experience and knowledge in the world of livestock and livestock showing. Now the average person may not have impatient parents asking them about how to register their farm animals online, but they will encounter a situation that they are in no way equipped for. So I charge you to call your fellow office workers of life and just suck it up and ask for some help when you need it.
Possibly one of the most important things my job has taught me is to be thankful for the boring days. Before the fair really starts to get going, things are pretty peaceful around the office. Now, this may mean that I spend all day cutting pictures out of magazines, but it definitely should not be overlooked. The excitement of fair week is a glorious thing, but there is also something to be said for the days where a misplaced mailing label is the biggest of my worries. In an extension for the metaphor of life, take moments to relax and enjoy the days where things aren't always chaotic. Maybe it's a nice Saturday where the kids are out of the house, or maybe it's just the hour you have before you go to bed. Either way, there are plenty of fun and exhilarating things to do out in the world, but sometimes taking a break can be just as refreshing.
While the hit TV series, "The Office," may have described office jobs to a T, the work that goes on in an office just as accurately describes some of the things you'll experience in life. The paper cuts of life will come at you without warning. You're minding your own business and then there's another annoying affliction to add to the count. In the end, you have to buck up and put a life Band-Aid on it. Perhaps you can take a night out with some friends and talk the paper cuts away. Things can be boring or chaotic in the office of life, and you just have to ride the ups and downs. I guess you might even say an office job can be pretty exciting if you think about it with the right frame of mind. That being said, I challenge you to pull out your life envelopes, ready your hands, and ride the office of life for all that it's worth.