Voices: The YoPro
This article was originally published on The Twenties Club on May 29th 2016 as part of the VOICES series.
I wanted to finish this project off with a voice that anyone in their twenties could relate to. Maybe you’re working in a law firm where you boss calls you Dom and you’re too scared to tell him it’s actually Tom, maybe your co-workers only know you as “that girl who got so drunk at the Christmas party she went home with Sam from HR”, or maybe you’ve sent out your glowing CV to over fifteen firms in the past two weeks and are genuinely shocked that no one has replied until you remember you forgot to make your Facebook page private. F*ck.
The following piece is so brutally honest, hilarious and sarcastic that it could only be written by the talented Rebecca Mahoney. I love her.
Adulthood. It creeps up on you, and pops an inflated paper bag in your ear. Loudly.
Then, after you’ve recovered, it shreds the paper bag into tiny pieces and dances around you, sprinkling fragments of your dignity gently over your head. Adulthood will hold on to a handful of these bits of paper and fling some at you over the course of your early twenties, usually when you’ve just about arranged all of your little ducks nicely in a row.
The following work of bleak non-fiction was six weeks and twenty minutes late, and is about why being a ‘Young Professional’ doesn’t necessarily equate to being particularly young or professional. I hope that by telling you how average I am; you too can share your averageness with others. Let the collective bar be lowered! Throw it on the ground! I’m also including (for free!) my Top Five Tips for Pretending to be an Adult in the Workplace.
I am twenty-four years old and living in the supreme comfort of my very tolerant parents’ basement. I drive a slow but enthusiastic car called Rhonda who is almost as old as me, and I recently out-lived our family cat, Fatboy. I spend the vast majority of my earnings paying for parking fines and shoes.
Somewhere in the blur of my late teens, I enrolled at the University of Otago and experimented with a variety of false identifications, carbohydrates, and a bunch of different degrees including Law and Classical Music Performance. Much of these formative years were spent in my pyjamas before transferring up to Auckland to half-heartedly dabble in an Arts Degree. I started playing with fashion, working as a content editor and then was offered a magnificent opportunity working for a Fashion PR Agency in Auckland.
Much to the surprise of many, I find myself in present day: fumbling through a thick mist of grown-up information like Compound Interest and Kiwisaver Contributions. All I know is that I’d really like the grey fluffy coat from Harman Grubiša to hang in a custom walk-in-wardrobe guarded by a vicious but loyal Alsatian called Voltaire who can read garment care tags.
As a bio, this reads poorly both on paper and in real life.
Despite this, I no longer lose sleep over my colourful scenic unicorn-ride into pre-adulthood. In a way, being an irresponsible freak has put the challenges of every day existence in perspective because I know I’ll probably work it out at some point. HURDLES OF LIFE: I AM IMPERVIOUS 2 U
To conclude this long-winded story that effectively teaches you to celebrate your shortcomings, I proudly present to you:
My Top Five Tips for Pretending to be an Adult in the Workplace.
1. Smoke and Mirrors:
Don’t smoke and use a mirror. One is bad for you and the other is exceptionally useful. I’m gradually weaning off one in favour of the other and seeing remarkable results.
2. Cry Me A River:
Avoid this. If absolutely necessary (and it will be at some point), take it to the disabled loo with some Clear Eyes and keep it to under five minutes or everyone will think you’re pooping which is worse than weeping.
3. The Hairbrush:
Other females in the office will have at least one of these. Gives the appearance of having one’s shit together.
4. Add Water:
Meetings are boring. Drink a few cold glasses before a particularly dull one to stifle the yawns for an hour. A bright-eyed-bushy-tailed employee in an arduous meeting is hard to fire.
5. The ‘Everything Has Failed Me’ Outfit:
Some days will not work out for you. Have a go-to outfit that is ready to roll out in case of a life emergency. Don’t wear it two consecutive days in a row but a Friday followed by the Monday is grey area acceptable in some industries.
May this made-up advice be as useful for you as it has been for me. Go forth and screw up some more stuff. Remember, nobody knows you’re wearing tog bottoms under your suit except you.
Words by Rebecca Mahoney