This weekend is my first convention of 2017, and I'm pumped. The idea of taking a break from sweaters, dress pants and the daily charade of normalcy is all too refreshing and helping to propel me through the wintry days of eight-hour desk sitting.
When I first started my post-college, full-time job just shy of a year and a half ago, I tried really hard to blend in. I wore boring clothes that my mom passed down to me from the early 2000s (not sure why I thought that was a good idea anyway), I acted like outdoor restaurant seating while eating soup and salad over our lunch break was an absolute treat, and I waited a full month before I brought in my Napoleon Dynamite bobble-head to put at my desk.
But soon, I broke. I started growing friendships with my team and I could no longer pretend that I was NormalBob, when really, I'm a full on DoodleBob.
It all started when one of my colleagues told me she watched The X-Files. Then, another became really curious about my tabletop RPG life. I was trying to be a good little beaver with a pink bow and build up the dam, but the slightest interest in anything I'm obsessed with just kicked the whole structure down and let the metaphorical waters drown us all.
And there are still limits. For example, I just read this great story about a cult leader's wife on The New York Times website and I wanted to turn around in my swivel chair and be like GUYS! GUYS THIS IS NUTS! But I know deep down, I'd be met with wide eyes and a feeling of what is and isn't "office appropriate".
Then there was the time when I was leading a meeting and accidentally pulled up a document of a poem called "27 Bones" on our large screen that I had shared to my work Google Drive from my personal Google Drive. The poem is one I recently wrote based off of one of my RPG characters who is a necromancer, and I had to be like "Oh God, I'm sorry...ignore that!"
Essentially, I've earned the title of "the office millennial who has fun interests". One of my coworkers even told me that my desk reminded her of her ten year old grandson's bedroom.
But I know that I am not alone. So for everyone who feels like they are playing pretend at professionalism but would rather be wearing Star Wars pajama pants and binging zombie films, this is for you.
You might be a workplace weirdo if:
1. Your desk has to have a splash (or a full-on cannonball) of popular culture. If it wasn't around you, you'd feel lost.
2. When you find things like this, left on your desk, unexplained. Like a gift.
3. When your IT GUY makes fun of you.
4. When you secretly used your work printer that one time to print out a very important paper.
5. When getting the Spookiest Pumpkin Award at your work Halloween party is the best thing you've ever received (And no, I didn't give it to myself).
6. When no day is complete without your Michael Scott mug.
The worst part is, I'm not even anyone's boss.
And finally, number 7. No matter how hard you try, no one ever wants to talk about puppets with you.
As for all of my other Workplace Weirdos, be proud. Under blazers and suits, behind grey cubicle walls, we are the people who truly make life interesting and can bring some imagination into the ol' 9-5 setting.
Besides, I recently got really excited when our office got a new toaster and microwave. I even ordered a salad at lunch last week. Maybe I'm starting to change, after all.