Welcome to The Grind.
On The Grind, you have two options:
Should you choose work, the transformation into a wage slave is rapid. Before you know it, the boring, passionless, slightly neurotic, “responsible” adult inside of you stirs from its deep slumber, rubs its eyes, and rolls out of bed to greet another weekday with perfect apathy.
Things that happen when you start working full time:
1. You find common ground with people who are in a different walk of life.
You most likely work with people who are not all your age. And you never thought you would be sitting in a swivel chair having a conversation with your boss about maternity clothes. But it’s happening, and you’re shocked to find that somewhere deep, deep down, you actually have opinions about maternity clothes. Go figure.
2. You hit the coffee shop at peak hours.
You and the rest of the nine-to-fivers check your watches and shift anxiously from foot to foot, peeking ahead to the front of the line where a bunch of youths cutting class are ordering impossibly complicated frappucinos. Tensions are running high and everyone needs caffeine.
3. People assume that because you have a job, you can afford fun things.
That’s a funny joke. After rent and bills and groceries and parking tickets (f*** you, LA Parking Enforcement) and locksmith fees from that one time you got locked out of your apartment, you have about -$40 of disposable income a month. That is a negative number. Which means you will be calling Dad this month. So no, I can’t go to Magic Mountain this weekend. Sorry. I guess I’ll just stay home and vacuum immaculate lines into my carpet.
4. You get rid of all your crop tops and jorts and sundresses.
You pretty much alternate between work clothes and comfy pants with drawstrings, so you really have no occasion for all those cute digs. Unless you want to look super fly when you go to the laundry room.
5. You have no idea how to meet people.
You basically only ever interact with your coworkers, your clients/patients/customers, Ruben at Ruben’s tacos, and your neighbor who walks his dog at the same time every day right when you’re getting home from work. Meeting new people just seems like more work on top of the 8 hours a day you already do.
6. The more you work, the more you get asked to work.
“Hey, can you come in on Saturday for a few hours? You came in last Saturday, so you obviously don’t have any standing commitments.”
“Great. See you Saturday.”
You hardly ever put up a fight because money. And also because…
7. You have no idea what to do on weekends.
You have so little free time during the week that getting suddenly flooded with 48 hours of uninterrupted freedom totally wigs you out. By midday on Sunday you can be found lying on the floor in the middle of your apartment thinking about how weird knees are and debating on whether or not you should go for a third bowl of cereal. You always go for that third bowl.
8. Seasons mean nothing, but Wednesday means so, so much more than it used to.
Especially living in LA, where there is very little seasonal variation, you have no means of measuring time. Every day is essentially identical to the one before it. Is it March or is it October? Does it matter? All that matters is that it’s Wednesday, and I am 3 hours and 17 minutes from being exactly halfway done with this week.
9. You look forward to things that the unemployed version of you would have found to be pretty insignificant.
Mid-morning snack! Getting mail! Painting my nails! Talking to Mom! Going to the gym! The office Christmas party in 6 months! YAY!
10. Lunch is sacred.
*Phone rings* *Makes aggressive eye contact with coworker while slowly chewing sandwich*
“…You gonna get that?”
11. You appreciate your parents soooooo much.
My father did this all-day-every-day monotonous bullshit for 25 years so I could go to college so I could get a monotonous bullshit job and do the same thing for my children that he did for me. Like, wow. A real American hero. I guess when you commit to The Grind, it’s not really The Grind that you commit to. You commit to the people you love.
12. You let yourself consider, for a moment, that maybe being a receptionist is not what you want to do for the rest of your life, and that’s okay.
Maybe you’re just dipping your toes in The Grind but you’re not ready to dive in just yet. Maybe you still have passions and ambitions and dreams that The Grind can’t even begin to understand let alone snuff out. You’re taking it slow. You’ve chosen to just be where you are for the moment, grinding away, but grinding with purpose. You go Glen Coco. Grind up, Glen Coco.