15 Things No One Tells You About Office Work Experience
Now you’re in the Limbo of post-graduate life, in that strange purgatory between Student life and full-time work, you may realise that you have a lot of time to kill. After several weeks of procrastinating, you may find that your arse is a wee bit numb from sitting on it for so long, so one day you get off it and go and secure some (useful) work experience to add the ol’ CV. Perfect plan, right?
What you didn’t realise is that office lifestyle is like the start of The Wizard of Oz– everything is grey, and there’s a mean old lady outside your window. Here are some harsh truths that no one tells you about office life.
1. No one will appreciate your punctuality because you’re just in the way
If you’re lucky, you’ll have an allocated space, or someone will be on sick leave. If not, you’ll be stuck on the spare computer, which is older than you.
2. Only two people will bother to learn your name, let alone look at you
If someone does talk to you, you’re just “The Work Experience Guy”, because you’re only there for five days, like that cold no one wanted or asked for.
3. Unless you enjoy the sound of everyone ignoring you, bring your headphones
Unlike some TV shows would have you believe, no one plays the radio aloud because people have to answer phones. The real world is a real pain in the arse.
4. For Health and Safety reasons, you will be instructed to move away from your desk regularly
This is in case your eyes fall out or you develop deep-vein thrombosis. This will mean several trips to hide in the loo, because you don’t know anyone or where anything is.
5. It is frowned upon to check your phone for anything other than emergencies
Don’t even think about Snapchatting a funny selfie – you will be kicked out.
6. No one will offer you a cuppa
And if they do, it will be in a sly, “Make one for everyone, then” tone. And that’s if there are tea-making facilities in the first place.
7. No one really hangs out by the water cooler
And if they do, you weren’t invited to the party.
8. You will be given crappy tasks to complete
Not just crappy in the sense that they’re horrible, but also in the sense that they’re often projects that are half-finished, so you don’t really know what you’re doing but everyone else is too busy to help you (and probably doesn’t want to help you anyway).
9. You will be the youngest person in the office by at least five years
There is probably a department in the building full of only young, attractive people, but you will never find that mystic land as you’re only there for a week.
10. You’ll feel the worst pain in your eyes from staring at a computer screen all day
Which is baffling, as you can watch hours of Netflix without feeling a thing, right? Staring at a bright white Word document for up to five hours a day will really take its toll.
11. It’s probably best to go out for your lunch
Yes, it would be cheaper to prepare a packed lunch, but if you bring in pungent food, people will moan, but if you leave it in the fridge, it will be eaten by someone else. Plus, as you’re not used to being in that sort of environment, it’s good to get some fresh air and stretch your legs a bit.
12. Your swipe-card will never work
Most offices now have swipe-cards to get in and out of the building. As your swipe-card is just a temporary one, and you don’t have “the knack” of using it, you will either a) stand swiping unsuccessfully until someone takes pity on you and lets you in, or b) hide in a bush outside until someone else enters/exits the building.
13. If you have to use any office equipment, it will probably break
Sod’s Law is the most powerful law of all.
14. The air-con will be on precisely when it isn’t needed, and off when it is
Welcome to Sweat Patch City, folks.
15. Despite its flaws, you’ll appreciate having had some experience in a different environment
And at least you’ve gained a few extra office skills!