Well, that might be expressing a bit too much enthusiasm. I had to fly all the way across the country for a two day long meeting, missed several things at home that I was really excited about, including a homemade pasta cooking class and an aerial class (don’t worry – I made that one up), and felt really guilty about leaving my cats alone for four days. But all of that aside, this was a pretty exciting trip.
I’ve known that office politics exist for a while now. I indirectly encountered them in my internships, learned about them in a few of my classes, and was acutely aware of them in my college job as I was working in the middle of an organizational restructuring which left my boss reporting up to two different managers… who hated each other. But there’s something very different about being aware of office politics and actually watching them in action.
Enter the large majority of my job responsibilities over the past month and a half.
There’s one thing I’ve noticed about my coworkers: they have meetings. A lot of them. Like, spend almost their entire day in them a lot of meetings. While I also have some meetings, I don’t have anywhere near as many; I consider it a great day if I have three. And there’s always at least one day a week where I have none.
Aside from the fact that I enjoy meetings because they’re usually a good chance to learn something new and because they’re a great way to break up my day, there’s a pretty big consequence to my relatively empty schedule and that’s free time. A lot of it. Like 35 hours a week of it, compared to my average coworker’s *maybe* ten, but probably closer to seven.
While there are certainly some perks to the free time – I’ve been able to do a lot of research to catch myself up to everyone else, I have the time to actually get my work done because I’m not in meetings all day, I have the ability to stay on top of my email, etc. – there’s also a really huge downside. Namely, I spend the majority of my week having nothing to do.