It doesn’t quite register the first day.
You are too worried about whether you have all the documents, that you haven’t gone through all the “Culture at the Workplace” videos diligently enough, that you don’t have an inkling of what the job entails, you don’t have an inkling of what the day entails, that you aren’t good enough, you got through by a fluke, that the job isn’t good enough, it’s going to bore you, maybe academics was your forte.
The second day, the other things seem to matter a little less. You know the set of people you will be spending the day with, and you figure you will worry about the work when it starts. It sounded good when you first heard of it, you couldn’t take another day in the classroom you are now so nostalgic about, these people must have been hiring for years, they wouldn’t take you if you were that undeserving.
With all that sorted in your head, as you enter the gleaming office building, the second day, that’s when it hits you-the happiness, the almost-pride. You have to dig your fingernails into your hand, to prevent yourself from smiling like an idiot, as you go through the glass door, as your heels click smartly on the marbled floor, as others in the elevator notice the tag you are wearing. That’s when it hits you-the pleasure of starting your first job.
(This was written after the second day at work-which was actually a day of training. I didn’t know then that I would spend the two actual working days, after the three-day training period, in a state of perpetual confusion, or that I would be working most of my weekend, again being all confused, and unsure of even whether I was working correctly. But still.)