What I Really Do at Work

I spend ten hours in the office. Yes, not 8, but 10! From 7am to 5pm, I’m sitting in the same chair, in front of the same desk and the same screen. I’ve watched a number of work-setting dramas where new girl drowns in tasks for an upcoming project-slash-event the moment she comes in, story-worthy drinking night-outs, and an amazingly hot boss that always manages to save the day. Sad to break it to you, none of that is true. For my case at least, the corporate world is not as glamorous–or dramatic–as I thought it would be. It’s just, to describe it in a word, mundane. My day mostly consists of initiating staring contests with my desktop. Spoiler: the computer always wins.

Some Japanese doctor-researcher-scientifically-inclined-human-bean said that people of blood type A are restless perfectionists that grow up to be workaholics, so I’m blaming whoever that is for how I’m feeling about what I’m now doing at my first job. (Or lack thereof.) Because on most days, I only go to work to pretend to work. The 7-to-5 hours are as long as watching Sleeping Beauty. In real-time. No fast forwards. When she was snoring soundly on her bed. And it drives me nuts! Like when is the dragon coming? Where is the significant something I should be working at for the plot’s climax? My life’s peak point?

My colleagues don’t seem to be bothered at all with the lax and free time. From what I see, they love the flexibility. Who wouldn’t? (Me.) The inner voice inside me is telling me I should be happy because I’m being paid for doing the same thing as I would if I was bumming out at home: on the bed, glued to my laptop. But there’s only much you can do (and much inspiration you can take in) in a very confined space. I used to try and work on my passion projects in the office—all the while hiding it from the CCTV behind me—but the desaturated walls and interiors drain everything out of my already dark soul. It’s just not the same!

All this free time has got me questioning a lot of things: life, purpose, dreams. Is this what those 5 years of almost dying in college is for? I know I might regret these thoughts once I’m busy and needing to stay overtime, but as far as I’ve lived, being unoccupied makes me a very emotional and fragile Pisces! (cues in Belle’s choreography of “There must be more than this provincial /working/ life!”) And I know there is more. But for the mean time, I suck it up. I try to keep my sanity intact by reading articles on the web instead. It kills time and keeps my mind running. Anything to keep me from becoming a cyclic machine! And if you’re up to reading (I swear they’re worth it!), I’m linking my favorites down below. Maybe save them for when you’re stuck in the office too. If Belle’s living in the internet age, she would’ve done the same. So while I wait for my prince disguised as a beast to come save me (or a new office project), this girl’s gotta do what a (broke) girl’s gotta do: work. Even when that sometimes means to pretend to work.


Bookmarked Reads:

Rage Against The Machine
Money Diaries
6 Men Tell Us How Much Money They Need to Be Happy
Kasalanan ko kung bakit naghiwalay sina Erich Gonzales at Daniel Matsunaga
Understanding President Duterte through his birth sign, Aries
Christine Herrin on The Great Discontent
Old school cool: How my parents taught me to survive adulthood
Work, work, work, work, work
Discovering a foreign country through the eyes of six Tinder dates
Why Adult Friendship Makes Me Sad Sometimes
Please Stop Telling Me to Love My Body
Japan’s wild, creative Harajuku street style is dead
Mismatch

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Louise Ramos

In a constant state of latte high: searching for new places to wander, and new things to wonder----follow as she tries to make things happen.

  • Eyzell Salinel

    Oh goodness. This was exactly the same feeling I had two years ago when I got my first job. Only difference I guess was that I also had a suffocating work environment that it really made me feel stuck. Eventually, I just had to kick myself out of the situation because I was no longer happy that it really makes me anxious going to work. I’ve always been daydreaming about working on something that really interests me and that to get that sense of fulfillment. Finally, I found a job opening at an art studio a city away from where I live. I know that was the change that I was waiting for, THAT turning point– and here I am! Working passionately than ever! Yes, girl. There are rules I had to break and the consequences weren’t all in my favour at first but that most important thing for me was that I felt so much relief and happiness. <3 Wishing the same for you!

  • Can relate with you about this! When it starts making you feel unfulfilled and unhappy, there’s this point in time that you would have to contemplate about everything’s that happening. And I think it’s normal, but yeah, would love to figure out this pretty soon too. What steps we have to take, what decisions we have to make and what rules we have to break! 🙂

    • Hi Ellaine! It sucks to be an overthinker but it’s also good in a way to come to terms (after all the thinking/feeling lol) with what you really want to do and how to do it. Best of luck to the both of us! Everyone has their own pace at life–we’ll get there. ❤️

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  • Da Dominguez

    OMG Lou!! I feel you!!! When I finally had the chance to quit my previous toxic job, I was too excited to start again. I landed on this digital marketing position, and initially, I thought it was okay. Yeah, who wouldn’t love a job that requires you to stay online and browse through different social media platforms all day? Well, now I don’t. Eventually, it became too dragging and it’s been a constant routine for 7 months now. And when I try to pitch something new, my co-workmate would sometimes take credit for it (because apparently he has “more” knowledge and experience. *rolls my eyes*) So most days, I’m stuck doing nothing. I’m just glad there’s no CCTV behind me so I’m able to slip in some blog work from time to time. But it sucks. I wanna be productive and useful to this company. But complaining won’t pay for the bills so for the mean time, I gotta suck it up til I save enough to make another leap.

    • *hugs* Da!! I keep saying nga na baka this is just human me wanting things I don’t have now and not being satisfied, when I should be happy that I have a job etc., pero hindi eh. Ang unsatisfying ng feeling when you don’t know yung bigger purpose ng ginagawa mo. Really hope we find our place soon! Fighting!

  • Gillan

    I love your post header
    That’s so sad you have to be in the office for 10 hours! Can I ask what you do for a living?
    I’m more productive in the office but getting cooped up for 10 hours is even a lot for me Also, I like being able to have the rest of my day free so I can somewhat hang out with my friends and not just have a home-work-home routine.
    Hope you’ll accomplish a lot for your passion projects in your lax time though! And thanks for leaving us some articles to read, I’ve read some of them

    xo, Gillan

    • It’s so suffocating!! And I’ve always been the type of person who can’t stay in one place for long hours. I don’t know how I’m surviving, hahaha. I’m an office engineer for a construction firm. And same, night out or dinner with HS and college friends keep me sane. Always looking forward to those–and weekends! 🙂

  • Elise Liddell

    your artwoooork! ugh, i loooove all your artworks. dang, stop being so skilled :’)

    wow, a 10 hours job! holy guacamole. i don’t think i’ve ever heard of 10 hours job. the longest that i’m aware, at least in my country, is 9 hours. the common one is 8 hours, usually from 9 to 5.

    what is your job, if i may ask? i’ve always thought you work as a graphics designer (considering your awesome illustration art) but maybe i guessed wrong? because as far as i know, i have never heard of a visual designer working for 10 hours.

    i myself am still looking for job and i’ve always had the same anxiety too because i don’t want to be a boring corporate slave who is bound to her table and chair for 8 hours straight. gaaah why must adulthood be soooo boring… it’s either boring or complex as hell, haha

    good luck with the job though!

    Mlkbox

    • Nah. How I wish I was working in the arts!! But I graduated as a civil engineer so working as an office engineer under a construction firm. I can really relate to the corporate slave thing which way back then, I just thought existed in books and movies. Not really sure how to handle it now that it’s happening to me. Hahaha. But thanks, Elise!! Comments like yours keep me creating despite the job that’s far from the arts.

  • Teesh

    I know the feeling! There are times where I’m assigned to projects where I don’t feel like I’m growing, or I have so much free time. What I do is take the opportunity that I’m not too burned out by work, to work on things I’m passionate about. I take workshops on weekends, enroll in online courses, etc. Basically just find something else I can do to develop my passions/skills, and do it online so it’s not that obvious lol

    Teesh ♥ || Adventures of Cupcake Girl

    • This is me for this month! I’ve been enrolling in workshops and online classes too, and so happy that there’s more interesting ones popping up during the summer. Can’t wait for weekends!

  • Pearly Jane

    Saaame situation! I mean, it seems like it’s easy / relaxing but it’s actually very unfulfilling and all. I sure won’t disclose what this job this is but dayuuum~ But yes, since broke, must hang on. Haha fighting!

    Dizzying Heights of Happiness

    • Sameeee. I’m always questioning whether what I’m doing is something significant or does it do good, and I know sometimes I’m being too idealistic but I can’t help it. Fighting!! We can do this!

  • Angelica Jugueta

    Hi Lou! The work environment can really affect one’s productive for me. I think I’m just lucky that from where I work, we are allowed to work wherever we want aside from my own cubicle. I also do some short walks when I’m getting a bit bored or I need creative juices hihi. Thanks for the reads! I”ll read them while working today. LOL.

    The PolyHobbyist

    • Lucky! Would love to just work with my laptop on my own since I’ve always been more productive that way, but some programs and files are kept confidential to our office desktops. Getting somehow used to the routine though.