I’m Ryan Howard.

Last week, I started my third placement through my temp agency. Whenever I get the phone call telling me where I’ll be working, it seems exciting and mysterious at first. You don’t really know what to expect. Are they going to like me? Am I going to do a good job? Maybe this job will end up being thee job. So you get excited and hyped and say things like “you are awesome, Andi” or “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone-it, people like me (SNL anybody?)” in the mirror when you’re getting ready in the morning of your first day. Maybe you blast some Lady Gaga in the car on the way because you’re feeling pretty confident that you will blow them away with your smarts and skills.

And then you walk into the office, and slowly but surely, your dreams crumble. In each placement I’ve worked, I figured out right away that I’m way too awkward for an office setting. I’ll keep running into the same person on the way to the copy machine and make this weird little giggle every single time. One conversation I had started with someone saying “it’s really quiet in here,” and I literally said, “yeah, I wish I could bring my boombox in.” And today, without thinking I abbreviated the word perfect (perf) when talking to a woman in a much higher position. My boyfriend says it just takes practice to work in an office environment, but with each placement, my awkwardness just gets worse.

So far, I’ve worked at a Telecom company answering phones and doing data entry, a company that deals for ADT Security systems in the Collections Department doing Admin work, and now at a home healthcare company, again answering phones. But now I get to add one more expertise to my resume. Filing. I’m glad I got a degree.

I guess I could say that not even a year out of IU, I’ve worked at some really random places. And met some pretty interesting people. And a couple awesome people (shout out!). I’ll have funny stories to tell in ten years when I hopefully have a job in what I want to do, in something I’m remotely interested in, with someone answering my phone calls and filing my crap.

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