Actually Working for Parks and Recreation (adventures in living a real-life sitcom).

I love my job. I really do.

There are days when I want to punch myself in the face, repeatedly, but at the end of the day, somewhere along the line, I started liking my job.

When I first started, my job was literally entering trees into a computer, and I remember thinking to myself “this is going to last two weeks”. A year later, I’m still here.

Granted, at some point, someone noticed that I’m good at design and writing, so I’ve been able to actually use my skills and talents around the office, which has been really nice. It’s a great feeling to know that you’re appreciated, or at least useful. I like being useful. There’s also no such things as an “average day”. One day, I might be designing a poster for an event or program, the next day I might be teaching a group of 7 year olds about my chameleon’s eating habits while he crawls up my hair.

Hands down, though, the best part of my job, though, is interacting with the public. 97% of the time, the people I deal with are kind, considerate and grateful for my assistance. The other 3% of the time, though, that’s where Facebook statuses are born and legends are made.

There have been odd encounters before– the Duck Lady was really my first Great Story, but before and after that, there have been daily (if not twice and three times and four times daily) ridiculous encounters and experiences that have really made this job worth working.

Since the popularity of the NBC show “Parks and Recreation” has taken off, I get asked a lot what it’s like to work for a “real” Parks and Recreation department– and, well…it’s very, very similar to the show. In a good way.

A lot of the strangest things that have happened could be straight out of an episode, but I think that’s kind of the fun part about working here– you just never know when someone is going to kidnap a duck or fall into the river or one of a million other strange complaints and concerns I’ve gotten in the year I’ve been  working here.

While we might be short a real Ron Swanson, everyone I work with is a character– in an awesome way. I  get along with everyone at the office really well—even though I have been dubbed the “Office April”, (which is awesome), and the general “we’re all in this together” feeling means that for the most part, we are all willing to go out of our way to help each other out. Sure, there are some days when covering the phones is really the last thing I’d rather be doing, but, in all honesty, the potential to have an Awesome Story usually gives me the motivation I need when I’d rather be working on a design or something.

There is also just a kind of sense of humor about what we do that I appreciate. I love designing stuff because I just get to have fun with it.

I’ve realized that I might not do this job forever, but I really do love it.  Sure, there are good days and bad days, just like any other job, but the fact that I get to do something I’m good at and I go in every morning with the potential to get a Great Story out of the day is pretty special to me.

In a perfect world, I would be working for a Shakespeare company that rotates between productions of Titus Andronicus and Two Gents, but the fact that I get paid to plan Halloween parties and help people plan weddings is a fair trade off for now.

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1 Comment

  1. Great to hear you’re enjoying your job. I think a lot of people would settle for less. I find that a lot of human interaction can really help motivate you. I’m envious of my girlfriend who is a teacher and absolutely loves her job and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

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