birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

My Monday Cry Session

Some people say that you can set your watch by the rain.

But every Monday, my mentor could set his watch by the rain that came out of my eyes. It would be just after 2 p.m. when I'd be let out of the weekly staff meeting that would last between 3-5 hours. No lunch breaks. Very few potty breaks. No texting. A dozen of us sitting around a table near the cafeteria trying not to focus on the TV in the background. We'd plan and plan and then the plan would change and then we'd re-plan and inevitably someone would tell an old story or an inside joke and then we'd be off on some random tangent.

My biggest pet peeve is people who waste my time. And by the end of the meeting, I would be crawling out of my skin after thinking of all the things I could have accomplished in the three or five hours I'd sat around the table. Then, I'd wait for my phone to ring for my assignment to change, followed by an hour-long discussion on why it would change.

I was in my first few months out of college. And I would call my mentor and give him the full rundown of what happened. What a good man. I unloaded everything in those phone conversations. And he knew I was struggling. He recommended me for the job so I think he felt betrayed by my boss. So he listened and offered advice. But I could barely sleep on Sunday nights because I dreaded Monday at 9 a.m.

Looking back on it now, I'm so thankful my Mondays are more peaceful. I don't know how I made it through, but I did learn so much from those days. And it's shaped every job interview going forward. I always ask if they have weekly meetings. I don't think weekly meetings are wrong but it's been interesting to learn how other people do their weekly meetings. At one place, they made everyone stand. Because the meeting gets over quickly when nobody has a comfy seat to sit in.

All of this taught me quickly that just because the person is the boss doesn't mean that they are qualified to be in that position and that I shouldn't just accept the first thing that comes my way because it seems nice on the outside. It also made me ask tougher questions in every other job interview that helped me learn about the culture and the atmosphere.

My first job, though, was so much more than those Monday morning meetings. It was full of adventures to new states and plenty of exciting new people to speak with. I wish I was more positive when looking back on the experience, but I'm only five years removed from it and I think I'm still somewhat traumatized by the whole situation.

It just goes to show that sometimes the money isn't worth all of the headaches.

Mi Trabajo de Verano

Experiences Helps Us Grow