AdviceNew York

In Defense of Low-Status NYC Office Jobs

Updated: Aug 06, 2011 23:25
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Though Sue Smith’s case on Brokelyn for being a server in New York restaurants was pretty on the money, I’d argue that sometimes, having a low-status office job can have its advantages as well– especially if you’re a freelance writer who hates physical activity and kids and cleaning gross things up and talking to people.

Here are some of the advantages in having some whatever boring office job in NYC:

1) Easier access to places in Manhattan you’d ordinarily not be around
Even if you live in Manhattan, chances are, you probably don’t live in Midtown. But if you’re a Brooklynite, sometimes you don’t tend to venture into Manhattan unless you need to, so it’s nice to be able to easily go to lunch or happy hour at places you might not otherwise go out of your way for.

2) Time and space to work on whatever you want
The more mind-numbingly boring or mindless the quality of your work is, the more time you’ll probably have to be able to to work on things you’re actually interested in, or to freelance for places that will actually help you in your writing career. You’re essentially getting paid twice for doing work that you’re actually into and that will help you.

3) Cleaning up kid’s throw up and drooled-on cheerios is way worse than making copies for some asshole
Though it is nice to be able to go to the beach on a weekday, I would definitely not want to have that luxury only in exchange for cleaning up some stupid kid’s vomit or gross snotty-and-drooly food left behind by customers. It’s just not worth it to me. The lesser of the two evils is doing demeaning office work, because at least it only involves paper.

4) Studying and overhearing stupid office people can give you lots of great niche material
Yes, working in the service industry will expose you to many different types of people, but say, if you’re a comedian, being exposed to specifically office-type fodder can be pretty advantageous if you’re looking to break into that particularly popular market.  Plus, the whole “office comedy” thing can sometimes appeal to more people, because the service industry can be a little more insular– not as many white collar workers have worked in restaurants, but probably servers have more likely worked in at least one office in their lives.

5) You can cover up a breakup (or other emotionally trying incidents), and a hangover way easier
At a restaurant, you’re pretty much always supposed to be “on” and on your feet and interacting with people constantly, so if you’re going through some emotional shit or are crazy hungover, it’ll probably be really obvious and you could lose your job. However, in an office, you can maybe just call in sick without having to find someone cover your shift, or just go to the bathroom a lot and stay at your desk and pretend you’re working on something really intense. I’ve even known people who’ve reserved meeting rooms just to take hangover naps and get through the day.

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Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G. is a Southern California native living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn since 2005. Anna is constantly trying to unite her love of CA sunshine and the excitement of the New York urban jungle, all the while trying to keep her unwieldy credit card debt under control, and look fabulous at brunch, no matter how un-showered and hungover.