The past few weeks have been a severe departure from my normal routine. That’s actually saying a lot because my normal routine is a far cry from “normal” to begin with. It’s also probably true that my routine has much more in common with the average working American and this has got me seriously considering trying to long jump for at least another 20 years. I guess it’s always good to have reminders that make you appreciate what you are blessed to do, and I am incredibly thankful that for the past 10 years I have had the opportunity to be an athlete. But I also know that that is soon coming to an end, and in preparation for that, I decided to spend some time this offseason doing an Internship with the marketing department at a company called D.I.S.C
. , which happens to be the medical services provider for Olympic athletes. Because I got my degree in marketing back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I thought that this would be a fairly sensible place to start tinkering to see what the working world is all about. So far, this is what I have picked up in my short time as a working woman in corporate America.
-Work days start entirely too early. While they didn’t give me an exact start time and kind of let me pick my own hours, I figured it would be helpful if I showed up before the lunch break. However, I never have been a fan of mornings and it takes me a while to get going. So, even when I do wake up at a decent hour, by the time I sit around and have 2 cups of coffee, do some reading, browse the internet, and make breakfast, it basically ends up being almost lunch time and I have yet to even get ready yet–which is another hassle.
-Getting ready for work is a chore. I don’t even shower in the mornings usually because all I’m doing is heading out to practice. But now my routine consists of showering, finding an outfit, doing my hair, and putting on makeup. I was thinking of asking if I could pretend to be a nurse intern and therefore just wear scrubs to work. That would be awesome.
-I own hardly any appropriate work clothes. Even though they didn’t specifically say this, spandex is not appropriate for the office and neither are jeans so that takes away about 98% of my wardrobe. I usually try and throw on a skirt or dress and run down to ask my friend if it’s appropriate, to which we both kind of secretly agree that it’s really not but try to justify it with a string of pearls.
-It’s really hard to be on a computer all day and not be on Facebook or twitter. I tried it for about 3 days before I gave in, and then I was saved when one of my tasks became setting up a twitter account for the business and doing some things with the Facebook page. Score.
-Excel spreadsheets are my enemy. I don’t use excel in my everyday life, and I can’t even remember if I learned how to in school because remember, that was back in the dinosaur ages. Maybe they didn’t even have excel back then. But they do now and it makes me want to pull my hair out because all I really seem to accomplish is making mistakes and having things disappear when I don’t mean to.
-People that work in offices don’t eat enough. My first day I was starving after an hour so I went on a lunch break. But of course, that didn’t keep me for the whole day. Now I just bring a whole array of snacks with me.
-In an office environment, there are a lot of meetings… and conference calls… and emails.. and brainstorming sessions… and waiting for other people to agree or disagree, and then people think about it and hold off on making decisions until a later date. I think this is called “teamwork”. It’s a totally new concept to me and takes some getting used to.
All in all, I still have a lot to learn about working in the real world. I don’t think I’m going to figure it all out in a month, but at least I get a glimpse into what it’s like and what steps I need to take to compete professionally as a Masters Athlete. I kid. If nothing else, this is a line to be added to my extensive resume, and an opportunity to increase my skill set, as well as figure out what my other interests might be. It’s also an excuse to go shopping…I really do need to add to my working girl wardrobe.