Post Grad Life: Part 2- What they don’t tell you

Sallie Mae will come a’calling. That 6 month grace period is too real. They have your number, your mom’s number and your grandma’s number. And they will call incessantly. Pick up the phone and pay them.

Money is a real thing now. No more grants and loans. Your credit card will only take you so far.

Summer is wedding season. Prepare for the question, “So, when’s your turn?”

Everyone is popping out babies. Everyone. Even Debbie in HR. Even your next door neighbor. Even though they’re still broke and working in retail and just finished racking up 95K in debt for a degree that you can’t readily identify- or pronounce.

College holidays don’t matter as much. St. Patrick’s Day, Margarita Mondays, Tequila Tuesday, Weed Wednesdays, Thirsty Thursdays, etc. no longer hold as much weight when you have a presentation for your boss due in the morning. Porto’s and sleep are held in higher standards over tequila hangovers for me.

You’ll feel this overwhelming sense of pride, until you realize that having a Bachelor’s degree doesn’t mean shit anymore in terms of the job market.

The Flip Side of Valentine’s Day

Even though I’m in a relationship, I still remember my single days (as if it’s so far away). Every year, I would end up watching chick flicks and getting drunk off wine with my friends. After that was nachos in bed and another movie. I would paint my nails and be in bed before 10pm.

Now, I still stay home-I flat out refuse to do out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, let alone a weekend night. I now convince P to make me a rack of ribs and homemade onion rings; and I eat 70% of it by myself. He gets to watch (*wink* sexy…)

In honor of this Valentine’s Day-or as some people call it “National Single Day”, I’ve made a little list as to why you can still enjoy your singledom on this commercialized couples holiday.
1. You can be selfish. You can wake up in the middle of the bed. You can make breakfast for one- and that means dishes for one.

2. You can use the money you would have spent on your significant other on yourself. Buy those shoes you kept seeing in the window display. Go to the store and buy yourself a new outfit for your next girls night out. Buy yourself a spa day and get an extra long massage. Flirt with the hot masseuse- why? Because you’re single.

3. You can bypass that pre-Valentines fighting. Maybe it’s just me or the people I’ve talked to, but it seems like couples tend to argue more frequently right before major holidays. Especially Valentines- it’s like the couple is trying to get their last spiteful one-liners in before they have to be all nice and googley-eyed to each other.

4. Remember that many couples break up on Valentines Day. Or the day after, which I think is even worse. At least it’s not you.

5. You can go on a date, and not be tied down. That means you can go on a date with 6.5 billion other people. That’s 6,500 x 1 million. Uh, fuck yeah.Read More »

Post Grad Life: Graduate School (Part 1)

enhanced-24978-1420742413-7

I began writing this post 3 months ago. Then working, Christmas, holidays and applications got in the way. Sue me.

Applying to grad school is hard. It’s even harder when you choose a field that is offered in some capacity literally everywhere.

Fuck.

Sometime 3 years ago, I decided that I no longer liked my college major, Kinesiology. I liked the people well enough, and I had some great professors. But something had changed after I got deeper into my studies. The material just wasn’t interesting. I loved school, but I started to dread going. I didn’t want to be an athletic trainer, or a gym teacher. I didn’t want to work in geriatrics or with kids with disabilities. I just wanted to dance, and learn about my body and all it’s changes. I honestly cared more about the people interaction rather than the physical aspect.

Enter Psychology.

I loved it. It came naturally to me. It was one of those courses where things just clicked for me. I was interested in the course material, and I looked forward to not only class- but studying and reading my textbooks.

So during my last year of college, I decided to got to grad school for Clinical Psychology, and emphasize in Marriage and Family Therapy. Then I Googled “accredited clinical psychology schools, los angeles” and almost had a heart attack.

With 450,000+ results, it was time to open a bottle of wine and get to work.

In January, I put in my application for Alliant International University- a very solid choice, albeit a school few people had ever heard of. It didn’t bother me- CSU Northridge wasn’t exactly winning the popularity vote in 2009. I cared about the accreditation, the cost, internship hours, flexibility of classes and the program.

February 4th, I received an invitation for an interview towards the end of the month.

with love,

Dayna

 

 

Receptionist Life: What they don’t tell you in the interview.

Work Ethic:

You will spend 50% of your work day doing things that a 14 year old could do, and 50% doing things that are way above your pay grade.

Learn to send a fax. It’s ancient, but for some reason, people still use it. And they will still ask you if they have to dial “1” before the number. Which you do. Every time.

Office Politics:

You will probably hate at least 1 person in your office. Maybe two. You will still have to smile and make pleasantries, even if you want to chuck the paper cutter- ala The Punisher- at their head.

Daily Duties:

You will make coffee. You will buy lunch. You might even have to load/unload the dishwasher. Be glad you get a dishwasher.

Office Attire:

Don’t wear shorts. Unless your boss specifically says it’s ok. Through explicit details. And through email.

Full makeup isn’t necessary, but some makeup is welcomed. Not brushing your hair (or teeth) and coming to work anyway, not ok.

Miscellaneous:

Unless you work in a office that has phones ringing off the hook at all times, there will be days that you are bored. Reddit and blogs (or blogging!) will be your best friend.

Customer service is very important. Be nice to people, even if you don’t want to. Especially when you don’t want to. And especially when they aren’t nice to begin with. That will take you very far.

Prepare to be chained to your desk. Think the Devil Wears Prada phone scene. You will be running to the bathroom after you convince the lady from Finance to cover the phones for you. So limit your coffee guzzling drinking.

and the most important:

You will be underestimated by some people. It doesn’t matter if you have a college degree and you graduated cum laude; some people will still view you as “the receptionist”. The phone answering, email writing, no business card having, receptionist. And that’s ok, because you’ll be a boss one day. *insert winky face here*

Time.

Time-Precious

There’s nothing more to say.

I came across this in my email from Popsugar and it really resonated with me. We spend so much time thinking about the future, and planning for everything that could happen- that we forget to breathe and live in the present. I know that it’s especially true for me, since I’m planning to apply for grad school in the coming months- which is a whole other set of plans to make in advance!

So take that as a lesson, breath and live in the moment- if only for a short time. Because you don’t want to reach the end, and then wonder what could have happened (or what you’ve missed!) if you slowed down for a second.

Receptionist Life Part 1: How not to fuck it up.

I’ve been a receptionist since high school. It all started in middle school when my mother, annoyed at the fact that I spent my summers in front of the TV and not running around outside in the God-awful humidity of Brooklyn summers, invited me to come with her to work. I thought I was getting a deal when my mom promised me free lunch, my own computer and air-conditioning.

What that really meant was shredding boxes upon boxes of lab reports, and getting leftovers from office meetings and corporate birthday parties. Thanks Mom.

But what I can say is starting from the bottom has taught me a lot of things that have helped me in not only my work life, but also my social life- and has made me a better worker in general, regardless of working in an office, or anywhere else.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

You will drop a call. You will fumble when you’re announcing a call, or pronouncing a name. You’ll forget names, and mess up on things. It happens. You are human, you will make mistakes. The trick is to keep moving forward after those mistakes and to let those mistakes happen as infrequently as possible.

Take responsibility for everything you touch/ comes across your desk

This is especially important for work ethic. I’ve gotten so many half-assed things come across my desk, and call it perfectionism- but I like things that have my name on them to be of quality. Make sure to edit, proofread, check and double check before you pass it along. If there’s a mistake and it was your fault, admit to it. If it wasn’t your fault, don’t throw someone under the bus. Just say that you didn’t notice the mistake before you passed it on, and apologize. It could make you look like a team player, which is a good thing for everyone.

The “phone voice” takes practice. Lots of practice. 

You know the voice I’m talking about- I mean the “yoga” voice, the “smile in your voice” voice. The breathy, calm and collected voice that you put on even though your life is a mess and there’s loud construction going on next door and someone is speaking to you in a language that you can’t even identify and your boss is mouthing something to you that seems important and you can’t find your pen. It takes practice not only to develop, but to also maintain when you’re having a bad day and you’ve spilled your hot coffee on your lap and kicked the desk and stubbed your toe.

Don’t complain about only getting busy work. 

There are a lot of jobs in the world that aren’t super complicated, and being a receptionist is one of them. Therefore, you will get a lot of “busy work”. But be very careful who you complain to, because making a point and complaining are very different. If you go about it correctly, you can show your boss that you are capable of doing more work and taking on more responsibility. If you go about wrong, you’ll be stuck in data entry forever, or in the most extreme case, looking for another job.

Be nice/friendly/cordial to everyone. Even when you don’t want to. Even when they don’t deserve it.

This doesn’t only mean coworkers. This means maintenance people, the Xerox repair guy, janitors, the parking attendant… It is very surprising how people will help you because of that one time you wished them a good weekend or smiled at them in the elevator. This also plays double duty, because you will be known as a person that can not only get along with difficult people, but you also show that you can roll with the punches and keep a level head.