Queenan's Lament for the Class of 2010
Joe Queenan has some words of warning for young job-seekers. An excerpt:
Young people can be forgiven for thinking that the portrayal of the working world in comedies like "The Office" and "Office Space" is completely over the top. Now they're going to find out otherwise. Reality is a mean trick that grown-ups play on the young. Companies really do schedule annual outings where everybody is required to see "Jersey Boys." Managers really do give motivational speeches with lines like, "If we can't enhance value for our shareholders, why on Earth are we here?" Young people really do have to work all day in offices where the plaintive voice in the tinny radio on the adjacent desk ceaselessly pleads, "Give me the beat, boys, and free my soul, I wanna get lost in your rock 'n roll."
And slip away.
If you're a recent grad and you think you're going to hate your bosses, wait till you meet your coworkers. You're going to be working with people who believe in UFOs. You're going to be working with people who play in REO Speedwagon tribute bands. You're going to be working with people who participate in French and Indian War re-enactments every summer. They're going to try to get you to join, mon beau chevalier. You really have no idea how awful this is going to be.