Having recently graduated from a university that provided me with a life that was pretty much isolated from the big bad world, the trip back to the real world came as quite a shocker.
Being used to late nights, sleeping in till late and partying disrupted only by the occasional and somewhat insignificant hurdles better known as quizzes and exams, life was not just good but great. All along I’d naively believed that professional life would be even better; I’d have more money, more privileges and less restrictions. I now laugh at my foolishness as I listen to my alarm clock begging for my attention at an ungodly hour (7 a.m to be exact) and find myself imagining it falling off the Eiffel Tower, never to disturb my slumber again. And the cycle continues. Same as it had the day before and the one before that and so on. I begrudgingly dress for work, my only motivation being the pay cheque I will receive at the end of the month. I am greeted by the same desk every morning and my day starts with responding to a barrage of emails; some asking me for instructions, others giving me the same.
My boss typically wanders in to grace me with her presence a good hour after I arrive, only to give me more instructions which serve to increase the length of my ‘list of things to do’ page for the day. I get to work, silently resenting the idea of someone actually being my ‘boss.’ Her mere proximity to my desk is like a fire alarm compelling me to minimise all my facebook windows and the little light in my dark work life fades away to be replaced by another excel sheet.
I work all day with an eagle’s eye on the clock, as hopeful as a modern day Cinderella waiting for mid-night. At the stroke of five, I jump off my seat and into the car for the ride back home only to be back again the next morning. The 9 to 5 life pretty much leaves you with no life at all; and consequentially the now healthier and happier wallet also finds itself lonely, as there’s no time to spend the extra cash.
It’s quite ironic; we’re all part of a rat race where the smartest rat becomes the proud possessor of the heaviest pay cheque and is consequentially considered to be the most successful. Of course, the rat also no longer has a life.
Just a thought; if success can be so troublesome, I wonder what failure must feel like.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2011.
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