Tag Archives: Real Life Rookie Year

Well Excuuuuuuuse ME

Recently, some nice young lady posted a comment to this post of yore (wherein I complained about my terrible dye job and concluded that, for my particular professional situation, orange and pink highlights in my hair wasn’t the best look) which read something / exactly like this: “Those people with pink and orange streaks in their hair are probably a lot more interesting and unconventional individuals than you are.”

SMACK!

Scuse! Don’t I just feel put in my place! I got served, if you will, via the comments section. This chick doesn’t know me, so she has no idea how interesting or uninteresting I am. And of course I didn’t approve the comment, as is my right as administrator of this blog, but I did file it away for pensive contemplation. Plus we like to keep things positive here at Miss Sassy Pants. It is not sassy to put others down!

So what really makes a person more interesting and unconventional that others? Am I a boring conformist because I didn’t like the way pink highlights looked on me? Am I super lame because I sort of care how my bosses and other (mostly older/more experienced) corporate associates perceive me in the office before I even meet them? Hmm. If I had a long beard (aka Mr. Sassy Pants) I’d be stroking it thoughtfully right now. Much like Pai Mei (high five to anyone who gets the reference).

I’d love to take a vote on this, but I couldn’t figure out the polling tool so we’ll just analyze (leave it in the comments if you want). Since I grew up in a conservative household, there was minimal tolerance for what is known as teenagers expressing themselves. I wasn’t forced to wear collared shirts and khakis daily, but I didn’t have the urge to wear large dress-like black pants with a couple hundred chains hanging off my belt and a spiked necklace resembling a dog collar. And if I did have such an urge, it would have been met with something along the lines of “HELL NO.” There is nothing wrong with this or any other form of “self-expression” per se. It just wasn’t for me. I expressed myself by other means, wasn’t the most popular or the weirdest girl in school, escaped just fine, and now have a job which pays me handily to tinker with corporate systems all day for the betterment of the stock price. My parents taught me that others don’t necessarily perceive you as you think they do, and that you must learn to realize and adjust accordingly. And certainly, the post from the past was not a condemnation of the nice folks who color their hair all the colors of the rainbow. Good on ya, as I used to say. This is Amurica, ya’ll. You can do what you want and make up bukoo weird reasons for doing such as you please. Which means I can do as much or as little to “express myself” as I please and none of this outward self-expressions necessarily deems me more or less interesting, weird, or awesome than anyone else on the planet.

Convention is another story. Google says the definition of conventional is “following accepted customs and proprieties,” or “conforming with accepted standards.” I was uncomfortable with such striking and bold hair color (which didn’t even look good one me, something I readily admitted and still acknowledge) and chose to have it toned down to be a bit closer to my natural look, so this is me following accepted customs, proprieties, and standards according to what I know and am comfortable with. At that point, I had been working in a professional office environment for a total of almost 2 years of non-consecutive time. By then I had figured out to a certain degree how others perceive me in the office, and had decided that adding an additional layer of unconventional-ism by giving myself non-traditional hair color wasn’t something I wanted to combat. I already have a number of things “against” me in the office (in my particular career choice, given my gender, stature, etc.), so why make things harder for myself when I need to cooperate and work closely with many different kinds of people, some or even most of whom would take one look at me and my unconventional-ism and not listen to or respect anything I say, much less take me seriously. So yeah, I’m conventional. Is this a bad thing? I don’t think so. Is it “bad” to be unconventional? Not at all. Does it prevent people from getting jobs? Sometimes, but sometimes it helps. That’s what makes the USA so great. Everyone is so different, and most of us are accepting of others’ unconventionality.

Maybe when I’m more established in my career and have solid work performance for a solid number of years behind me to back me up, I can be more adventurous. A [good] reputation to precede me in the [corporate] workplace would mean I could be more unconventional with my outward appearance and it would not necessarily be a hindrance. Case in point: there is a woman at this office who never (at least that I’ve seen) dresses business casual – cargo pants and t-shirts daily. She has short hair cut into what can only be called a mohawk, and dyes it frequently different shades of blond and red. Yet when people mention her in the office, they mention her solid performance, her intelligence, and her work ethic. She is smart, folks know she can get her job done and done well, and so it doesn’t really matter what she looks like. But someone my age with my limited experience and therefore non-existent reputation (except one of being the “new girl”) could be taken wrongly by the predominantly boomer-age management at this corporation and others. Yes, it’s a stereotype, but they exist for a reason. We say we won’t judge, but everyone does it. And if you acknowledge this, why put yourself at a disadvantage over others when competing for the same bonus money? I’d rather prove myself professionally first, and then shave my head and pierce my lips, nose and eyebrow, rather than have to prove myself professionally and personally because someone has a thing against piercings, tattoos, or mohawks.

Rookie issue? Yes. Once again still proving ourselves. We (rookies and everyone else) are not more or less interesting because of how we present ourselves to the world. But I’ll take conventionalism any day over losing out on a bonus and/or a raise because my competing coworker looks like Connie Conventionality and I’m Molly Mohawk (haha…just made those up). Rock on Rookies.

Real Life Rookie Year: She all on me, I think she want me

Props to lyrical genius T-Pain who gave us today’s title. I love me some T-Pain, and not because his songs speak to my soul, but because they transport me to college days and my work husband Mr. President. Whitest guy ever, yet somehow every time I hear T’s scratchy voice I think of all our good times. Love you, Pres. Anywho. Last week I hinted something about mean girls and expensive breasts, and I don’t want to disappoint. I may even tie in the lyrics. So here we go.

Since I began working for my wonderful employer, I’ve worked in a total of 3 different offices and cities. It’s not as cool as it sounds, but it is pretty cool, and therefore I am kind of cool. Among the many benefits is that I get to meet so many different people from so many different walks of life. But it seems that people from small southern towns, large northeastern metropolises (metropoli?), and those who hail from swanky northern California wine villages all have things in common. Not only are we all Americans, thriving participants of a great capitalist society, finicky voters, and struggling to pay rent and/or mortgages, we all have a little green giant inside us named Envy. Please note that I’m using “we” to include myself and all Rookies in this. Everyone has a jealous streak. Stop arguing.

When I first started working, I was so excited / trying to stay excited about working. The paycheck is awesome, the clothes are uncomfortable but it’s fun to try to be as fashionable as possible and wear cute shoes and do my hur. I looked forward to giving and receiving compliments daily, and commiserating with my fellow lady associates about bad hair days, uncomfortable but way cute skirts and shoes, and in general the camaraderie that comes with being a professional woman (read my girl-power rant here). I think perhaps we know where this is going. Women are not as friendly as I thought, and in fact a majority of them are major haters. Though I have to say, this doesn’t prevent friendly little lunches or shrill-voiced compliments as we pass each other in the hallway. It is surprising how friendly and honest a compliment or comment can sound at first. And it’s also surprising that I am even surprised at the sting which follows.

My favorite is the comment that’s not really a compliment but not actually an insult either, and usually goes something like this: “Ohhh look at those shoes!” Said with something that looks suspiciously like a sneer, this one really bites. Because what can you respond? Thank you? She didn’t actually say anything worthy of a thank you. If anything it was more of a command to whomever might be standing nearby. Perhaps they’re hideous (not likely if they’re on my feet) or perhaps she’s just so shocked by the beauty and perfection she can’t put a decent sentence together (definitely likely if they’re on my feet). Any way you look at it, it’s awkward.

My favorite happening is when I get looked over with a look that is definitely a sneer, and then get zero comments. I don’t require a compliment at any time. I know I look good, or I know I look trife, but regardless I don’t need ego boosts (though they are the warm fuzzies which sustain us). But I also don’t need rudeness. All of this trifeness comes down to jealousy. We are young. We have clear skin which is gloriously wrinkle free. We are single. We are child-less and stress-free. We go on dates. We catch your husband’s eye. We wear ridiculously good looking shoes. We haven’t let ourselves go. We are just awesome. High five to us.

You, on the other hand, are not young or single or child-less or stress-free. But listen here, ladies. Don’t be trife and stop hatin on us. We can’t help it. You had your turn as a young fabulous woman. You overcame more adversity in the workplace. You made it through bad fashion and hair in the 80s and 90s. You are happily married or happily divorced and happily raising your children. You now have Chico’s, Ann Taylor, and many other fashion choices other than Dress Barn so you can look like us. High heels are not reserved for the 20-something. Wrinkles aren’t even necessarily required, and I bet if you scowled at me less and laughed with me more, you’d have less wrinkles. Plus you make more money than us. I am nice. I will get old, and when that day comes, we can gripe in private about the new hot intern. But if I were you, I’d be nice to me and that intern. She does the copying and gets the coffee. So you should be nice. Because even though I’m no intern, I might just get you coffee when I get my own. We could be friends, and you might actually like me. Plus I could maybe babysit your kids (though not for free, sorry). And wouldn’t that be nice? But if you’re a huge biotch, passive aggressive though it may be, I notice (because I’m smart) and I am not a fan (because I’m human).

Happy hunting, rooks. Be nice to the old people, and maybe they’ll be nice to you. And to you non-rookies: be nice to us, we might be your boss one day. Yeah, I went there. Plus I know where all the good shoe sales are, and I know you want in on that action.

Real Life Rookie Year: You Look So OLD

Anyone who does not get the reference in the title cannot be my friend. No, really. I think it’s kind of a requirement to even get me to have seen or at least have some knowledge of MBFGW. Otherwise I spout off random quotes in an odd accent and you think I’m just weird. Which is also true, but at least it’s funnier if you’ve seen the movie. Anywayz.

Today’s nonsense concerning the RLRY obviously concerns age. Age is funny. Age is beauty. Age knows no love. No wait, that’s love knows no age. Whatever. Age is a big deal when you’re a rookie. And I don’t mean your age as the rookie, just age as a general concept. Since this is not making any sense, allow me to extrapolate.

Think about being in college. With very few exceptions, undergrad is filled with people within 2 or 3 years of your age. And once you hit that magical legal time thus allowing you to indulge in libations in public establishments, perhaps you tend to stick to your own kind. Yes? In general, of course. I can recall a minimum number of times I hung out with freshman during my senior year. Not because I was super cool, but because I spent a great deal of time at TOTS, and there aren’t many freshman who can do the same. It’s not discrimination, it’s just circumstance. Classes towards the end of school are spent with others within 1 or 2 years of us, max. We all turned 21 the same year, we all turned 22 the same year, and then we were all gone from Blacksburg (sniff), and out in the real world.

So now here we are, little 22- and 23-year-old babies flourishing in corporate America or where ever. What happens when people in the office ask how old you are? For me, it has mostly gone something like this: “*wrinkles nose* OMIGAWD you’re younger than my daughter!!” Or “Can you even DRINK yet??” Or “Awww that’s so cute!” It’s always a chore trying to think of something polite to say in a non-sarcastic manner after these comments. Because we all know me. I love a good opportunity to be sarcastic, and it’s just so hard to not respond, “OMIGAWD you’re, like, older than my MOM!!” Or, “Do you have your AARP card yet??” Right? That would be funny, but perhaps a crucial CLM (Career Limiting Move). Anywho. It’s weird. These people end up being our friends, and perhaps you will recall that back in my glory days in Raleigh I was frequently seen out in the company of men who are my father’s peers. This is not a bad thing, but just something we are not used to as Rookies. Old people are old. Old people are parents. Parents are old. Parents are uncool. Old people are uncool. We don’t hang out with them. They are lame and only do things like watch NCIS marathons and do laundry. Right? Wrong. These myths and misconceptions, while true in some cases, must largely be left behind and forgotten. People in their 40s are pretty cool, and they have some hilarious stories. Plus they can probably help your career if you act like you have a modicum of class.

But that one is easy. What about the other 20- and 30-somethings? These people are our peers now. It seems to me in my limited experience talking to my limited number of friends (you guys, I was not prom queen.) that we, as rookies, have a difficult time adjusting to meeting people who are upwards of 5 or more years older than us. Gasp. 5 whole years! But this really is normal. And if you can discard your disregard for people who are 29, 30, 31, even 32 and 33 (I mean, omg), you will go far.

For example. I may or may not have witnessed this in real life, and may or may not have been shocked to my core at the awkwardness. Young Man is chatting with another Young Lady at this bar. Bar is full of beautiful people. Young Man is chatting up Young Lady like it’s his job, and it is obvious he thinks she is cute. They are having just an adorable little conversation. You know, the kind that leads to exchanged phone numbers and first dates. Just presh. Conversation evolves and she discovers that he is a recent graduate. Recent = within the last year or so. I can tell she’s slightly surprised but she’s classy and moves on smoothly. Then the talk turns to age. Well just how old is she, he wants to know? I am trying not to gawk that he actually asked this question, despite the polite manner in which he attempted to get it across. She smiles and politely informs him that she is 31. He is clearly struggling for something to say, and I am now laughing on the inside at his truly rookie mistake.

Firstly, everyone knows you should never ask a woman how old she is if you suspect she is over 25. I just made that rule up. I don’t know when it would be appropriate to ask a woman her age, except that I am not offended by the question and assume that this is because I am a young and vibrant 23. Perhaps when I’m 26 I won’t like it. But I’m pretty sure Emily Post or Dear Abby say it’s a no-no. It’s also unnecessary. Who cares if she’s a bit older than you? Or if he’s already celebrated 30 big ones? I don’t much care. Of course there is always a line, especially if there is some kind of romantic interesting-ness going on. I don’t want to date my dad’s bffs. It’s just odd, among other unpleasant adjectives. But I don’t think there is an age limit on friendship. In these modern times, there are so many more things that we can all have in common, and age simply doesn’t have to be one of those things.

So there you have it. We’re overcoming rookieness one stereotype and hardship at a time. Next week, we’ll discuss another facet of age weirdness rookies have to deal with. Think Mean Girls, only older and with more expensive breasts. I just made myself giggle. Stay classy y’all.

Real Life Rookie Year: Trife Disrespect

Oh desk job, how I love thee. Arriving each day and opening my email is such a thrill. I love doing little mundane tasks, answering emails with the quick tappity-tap of my little fingers. I enjoy my perfect gray-walled box, complete with minimal air flow and temperature which is just the other side of comfortable. It’s really great. Each day the same, over and over, challenge after annoying obstacle, I earn my paycheck.

One day last week was no different. I arrive at work at the usual time (which I will not disclose…ahem), drag out my computer, greet my fellow minions, put my english muffin in the toaster. I am optimistic today, as I always try to be in the mornings. Better to start out right than start out grumpy, no? Eventually my slow-as-molasses but brand-new laptop starts up. Thanks, corporate security, for taking 40 minutes of my day away. Yawn. I hear the toaster pop behind me and am excited for my delicious breakfast tradition. It is important, as a Rookie, to watch your health.  I swagger back to my desk.  I open my email and lo and behold, good mood ruined. The first email to greet me reveals to me that someone thought I was incompetent! How fun! And thusly my day begins.

I think it is really great when the “grown-ups” in the office treat me like a small child who has never seen a computer before. What’s that? You mean if I have admin access to this server I can change settings which could crash it? No way! I didn’t know that. Of course I’m so glad you warned me. Or I might have just shut the whole thing down, on accident! Maybe even set it on fire! Thank goodness for you, Mr. Old-Server-Admin-Guy. Who knows what would have happened if you had set me lose on this! I might have blown up the entire server room! Brought the entire company down! Stock price in the toilet! You saved the day! You deserve a raise for putting little old me in my place. Oh, there’s more? Oh nos! I didn’t realize how little I actually know about restarting a computer. I didn’t realize that my qualifications for this job are actually useless. You are so smart. Thanks for being so condescending. I wouldn’t know what to do if you hadn’t sent me that smartass email telling me what any monkey who’s spent 5 seconds near a computer would know. It’s really nice of you. Where can I send my thank-you note and fruitcake? You know us southern girls, all about hospitality and being thankful. [Eyelash flutter]

Sarcasm alert, bee-tea-dubs.

My favorite part of all of this was when I got to give dude a big ol’ BOOYA from my desk. In my head of course. I proved once again that I am not a little girl pretending to know what I’m doing. Note to everyone I have ever worked and will ever work with: I’m not a dumbass girl. I actually did get a degree, go through a rigorous interview process, and have been doing this for over a year. So watch me prove you wrong. Biotches. The best part is I can slyly give this person a little slap via email, providing a dash of irrefutable smarts and logic and coating it with Brenda Lee type sugar. Take that. I can’t decide if this happens to me because I am female, because I am young enough to be most people’s daughter in this office, OR because I have cute shoes. REGARDless, it should not matter. But it will continue to happen until such time as…actually I have no idea how much longer it will continue. Some of us Rookies actually look like 16 year old girls (shut up) so I will probably look like a teenage intern well into my 40s (something which I refuse to complain about) and must accept that some people will think I’m an idiot for many years to come. Whether because I’m short, thin, young, pretty, female, or all of the above. Here’s a couple headlines for you: young does not equal stupid. Female also does not equal stupid. So if you want to question me, do it in a respectful manner. I don’t need you to assume I know what I’m doing but I do need you to be respectful. Because I earned the right to be here as much as you. Plus I’m nicer and you have poor grammar.

So next time I ask you to do something for me and I do not provide enough background facts for your liking, just ask. Don’t get all up on your high horse and assume I don’t know what I’m talking about. Ask me like you would the fat old man sitting in the cube next to you. He’s not as cute as me, but you wouldn’t treat him poorly because of that. I’m not as experienced as him (because he’s old), but you shouldn’t treat me poorly because of that.

I don’t understand why this is difficult. I am willing and able to learn but I am not willing to handle your disrespectful ‘tude and condescending, snide emails and phone calls.

As Rookies, this is something we must deal with, though I just said I was not willing, it is the facts of life. Just like the birds and the bees. It is hilarious sometimes to watch the “grown-ups” hesitantly giving us responsibilities while providing ridiculously detailed directions and tips, and not hiding their intense anxiety over letting us handle things. But we must handle their attitudes and tasks we are given with grace and class. Because again, we are here to prove ourselves. This doesn’t mean it’s super awesome to be treated disrespectfully, and receive condescending emails insulting our intelligence. No one should assume we know anything…you know the old saying about what it means to assume things. But no one should assume we’re idiots either.

The Real Life Rookie Year: Pointy-Haired Bosses

Because I work in IT and was raised by a father who also works in IT, I am somewhat very familiar with the comic Dilbert. Dilbert is a little man [with, ironically, no facial expressions, or alternatively, the same facial expressions for every situation] who spends his days “clinging to the walls of my fabric covered box while being consumed by a vortex of failure.” Hilarious, as some days, I see the fabric walls of my little box consuming me in a vortex of boredom and lack of purpose. This is besides the point. Dilbert’s boss is affectionately known to me as the Pointy-Haired Boss. You’ve seen him. He says dumb things, asks for projects to be completed early and by spending zero dollars. He cares only for himself and his own raises and benefits. He is not fit to manage anything, much less an office. That’s the funny part. Now to relate Dilbert and his boss to this silly little series.

Us rookies probably have minimal experiences with bosses. You’ve had maybe a couple at the most. If you’ve been working since high school, you’ve had more than a couple but that was high school and that’s different. You old guys have had lots of bosses, and I’m sure greater than or equal to three of them were exactly like the Pointy-Haired Boss in some way or another. Some managers are awesome. Some of them don’t really care about you, as long as you do what they tell you. Some managers should never be managers. Sometimes it’s the blind leading the blind. Sometimes they’re your best friend, and sometimes you get drunk with them and learn things you’d never repeat in the office. They write your performance review after all, and you value your paycheck and raise possibilities.

I’ve had 4 or 5 bosses since I started working at a place where I didn’t wear a swim suit and pink cowgirl hat and take an occasional dip in the pool. [Awesome job.] Some of these bosses were awesome, and some of them were less than awesome. Since I think some people with whom I work read this, I’ll be mentioning no names, chronology, or any reference which would give any hints whatsoever as to which boss was awesome and which was not so much. But they each taught me something about myself, which as a rookie is part of my daily life. Lessons all the time, from all places, until I’m blue in the face from learning so much and my Trapper Keeper (good times) of learnings is bulging and won’t stay velcroed. Annoying.

My first lessons were learned as a young girl working summers in college. Oh the days. A nice man we’ll call El Jefe (haha) was one of my first “real” managers. He was very quiet, not really a jokester in the office, very business-y. I worked very hard to accomplish everything he tasked me with very efficiently and as quickly as possible, even ordering lunch. Ordering lunch was probably the task I felt the most pressure. After all, if people have a bad lunch, it ruins their day. If you’re late for a meeting or send the wrong document, these are easily fixed, solved, or forgotten. Lunch can make people grouchy. So every day I was nervous. Jefe was busy, so it was my job to pick something and sometimes I had to order for him! Nerves jumping! What if he doesn’t like club sandwiches?! What if he fires me because the pickle got his chips all soggy?!? Well luckily, I can tell you I survived every day of lunch ordering. I learned that 1) it’s quite alright to bring around a notepad and force everyone to choose their own lunch, even if they’re on the phone. 2) Most times he was too busy to even notice if I forgot to say no mayo. 3) He noticed my work more than my lunch ordering abilities. And 4) I still attribute (at least partially) all my lunch successes to the good recommendation he wrote me when I changed jobs. I’m thinking he associated good meals with me. This is not a bad thing.

One of the managers I’ve had was so-so. I was pretty much never comfortable talking to this person, and I also pretty much thought a monkey could do this particular job better than this person. No pronouns, sorry. But I learned to work around the incompetence and discomfort, that we can all be successful regardless of the dimwits we work with (this is not limited to managers obviously), and that anyone who blames others in the workplace is just excusing their poor work. Sorry chickens.

Some of the best lessons I’ve learned so far are from a boss we’ll just call Boss. He (or she! Tricky) was pretty cool. Very direct with directions (as the word implies), very direct with feedback, and never sugar coating anything. When I first started working for Boss, it was intimidating. He talked way too fast for my little southern brain fresh out of Southwest, VA, and I better keep up if I knew what was good for me. He forced me to think quicker, say “um” and “like” less because those words take up valuable seconds that I dearly needed to get my entire statement across to him before he got bored and dismissed me. I left that job more confident about a couple of things: 1) asking questions, 2) saying my mind, 3) he’s just a regular guy so therefore 4) there is no reason to be scared or intimidated. Unless you screw up.

Obviously we all have different bosses, and as rookies it is a trial to figure out how they all like to work. Some like to see every nano-second of your day’s productivity. What did you do for the last five minutes? Why were you away from your desk for 15 minutes? Why are you leaving at 4:55 today when you usually don’t leave until 6?? Send me a status report twice a week! Send me every version of every document you have! Ask me permission for everything! Others are different. They leave you alone. They give you the bare-bones requirements for a project and you must dive in solo. These all teach us different things. For me, it teaches me that most anyone can drive me crazy. The ones that ask too much are annoying. The ones that don’t talk to me for 3 weeks make me feel lonely and irrelevant. But none of these are things I can change. We must adjust, because we are the rookies learning how things work. When I’m a manager I can be the one calling the shots, but until then, I will send as many or as few status reports necessary to appease whomever needs to be appeased. I am still in the business of proving myself. The only thing I’ve proved so far is that I took the right classes, got the right grades, and conducted myself appropriately in an interview. I, and we as rookies, still have to prove we’re worth the investment for the team.

So here’s to enduring the Pointy-Haired Boss. He wears white socks with tattered dress shoes, smells funny, is incompetent sometimes, and makes us want to quit our jobs occasionally. She’s bossy and on a power trip all the time, micro-managing us when we are perfectly able to send an email by ourselves, thank you. He talks about his kids way too much. She never answers emails. Whatever. We can do it, because like I said, we’re young, fabulous, and they hate us because we’re younger and have better metabolism. Let’s use it to our advantage, shall we?

The Real Life Rookie Year

The “rookie” is a special spot to be in. In baseball they are often revered for having outstanding talent in their first year of play, and gives the talking heads lots to yammer about in between innings. In football, rookies are a little different. They can throw off anyone’s fantasy teams, sometimes they are terrible, and in college they’re often red-shirted, and they just sit on the bench while we talk about how good they’ll be next year. The discussion of rookies everywhere is always interesting. They’re unpredictable. They all have reputations which are unfounded, based solely on statistics which they amassed in high school or college, and supposition regarding their actual talent is questionable, a risk at best, a tragedy and ruined fantasy team at the worst.

But the concept of a rookie doesn’t stop with sports. There are new guys everywhere (guys used loosely). Recently I’ve discovered the existence and concept of the Real Life Rookie Year (RLRY). There are a vast number of topics which relate to this concept and so I’ve decided to start another series, because I got such a huge kick out of the last one. In this one, to be entitled “Real Life Rookie Year” or RLRY for short, we’ll discuss everything an anything that comes to mind or is suggested to me as an issue for us early-lifers. But first, to whom does the Rookie Year apply? And what the heck does it mean?

Firstly, this kind of rookie year is not necessarily limited to one year or one season of baseball. It can be anywhere from 6 months to one whole year, to maybe a couple years. I consider myself currently to be in my rookie year of life, but since I’ve now been out of college for greater than one year (depressing) this means I have exceeded the one year time limit. So I decided there is no set limit. It’s the first season of our lives as “young people” or “young guns” as we’re called in my office, or “the little one” as I am sometimes referred to, or even “fun sized” like the guy at the bar Saturday called me. [JK on that last one, just wanted to mention that someone called me “fun size” and then tried to get my number. You lose, thanks for playing.]

So what else? I think to be in your RLRY you can’t be married. I know a bunch of people who were engaged and got married within 1 or 1.5 years of graduating from university. Congrats to you for real, but I’m sorry, you’re now a real grown up. Joint accounts and wedding bands will do that to you. Also you can’t be in law or medical school. These kinds of things are structured, make you study and be responsible, and you either have a scholarship or crazy loans now to help you pay bills before you bring home big dollas.  If you’re in the military and are defending our great country against all the bad guys, you’re not a rookie (just a badass).  If you graduated from college and now play for the Denver Broncos or Dallas Cowboys, you don’t qualify either. Paychecks greater than $500,000 need not read this. You’ll be just fine. If you have kids, you’re no longer a rookie. Sorry. Being responsible for another life makes you kind of legit. You might still be immature and childish, but I guarantee we won’t be discussing childcare or anything related to children or raising them in this series. Find a mommy blog. They’re everywhere.

SO. Are you unmarried, not a professional athlete, not a future doctor, employed, trying to network, and younger than 30? I can’t get you a better job, but this jank is for you. I’m still figuring it out. This is not a how-to series. This is not my advice to young people. I’m too young to give advice to my peers, much like Justin Beiber is too young to write a memoir (seriously? Can he even drive?). I can only share the trifeness, write what I see, tell you what is definitely not working for me, and share the things that are definitely worth repeating. And if you keep reading and still feel it doesn’t apply to you, then fine. Go read the news, you silly old person.

Now that I’ve specified who applies and who doesn’t, let’s recant all of that and just say: if you’re reading future entries of this and you’re all like, “omg! this is so me!” and you’re also a 40 year old professional athlete who is in med school with 3 children, cool beans. You know you best, I suppose. And high five for being an old pro-athlete in med school with 3 kids. That must be tough.

So anywho. A quick tally of topics on my head is going something like this: working, networking, not being in college, extracurriculars, drinking, dating, going to bars, being friends with people over 35, adult sports leagues, paying bills, all our friends getting married, awesome / cheap vacations, having a terrible boss, being called a “young gun” or “cute” at work, 401k, having enough money to not drink natty light, health insurance bills, planning reunions, having lower alcohol tolerance, losing your metabolism, having to pay for race entries to motivate you to stay in shape (maybe this one is just me), being the only one carded when you go out (again, possibly just me), eating Ramen noodles just because it reminds you of college, and lastly, being young and fabulous. We are the 20-somethings. We have jobs (or not), we may not like them (or not), we have no idea what the future holds, and we hope we can afford beer (or shoes) this weekend and also a health care plan. We are awesome, and we are still figuring this jank called life out.

Once again, check back every Thursday for a new installment! And more than ever, if you have any suggestions, stories, trifeness, warm and fuzzy successes, awful tragedies, or even if you’re an old guy with some wise advice for us cute little young guns (vom, please don’t call me “cute” or “little” in the office), send it to me @ vtsassypants@gmail.com. Smooches!