A Day In The Life

A while back, my school published this ridiculous “A day in the life of a co-op student” thing, which rambled on about how great it is to be a co-op student and how he got his own office (um. My full-time coworkers don’t even have offices). They even did us the grand favour of skipping over the actual work part and focused on going to the gym and calling his parents. It was obviously a marketing attempt, as they would never have published the real thing.

Fortunately, I am here to fill that void. Here it is, a day in the life of an actual co-op student:

6:15 AM: First alarm goes off.

Oh God. It’s starting.

Lie in bed and think about place in the universe.

6:30 AM: Second alarm goes off.

Press the snooze button, you say? Oh, I’d love to, but I have a JOB.

Get up. Cat is scratching at the door. Ignore cat, go downstairs, make a pot of coffee and a bowl of cereal.

Cat is still on the brink of death, by his own judgement. Feed him while coffee brews.

6:40: Breakfast

Sit at computer and poke around on internet. Drink coffee. Get a second coffee.


I have ten minutes left. Drink coffee faster.

7:30: Getting Ready

Oh, I haven’t even finished my second coffee. Gulp down the rest and get up.

Brush teeth, wash face, etc. Put in contact lenses. Observe wardrobe; determine that once again there is nothing to wear.

When did I last wear this sweater? Was it last week or this week? This skirt is creased at the back, because it’s been sitting on the floor for two weeks. Shake it out for dust and creatures.

7:40: Pantyhose

Open a box. Pull them out, run hand through to check for runs. There are none.

Pull them on. Find a run. Take them off. Repeat.

7:45: Makeup

Concealer covers the Tim Burton-style dark circles under my eyes. Foundation to blend it.

I’m too lazy to do anything else. Mascara and go.

7:47: Late for the Car

Rush downstairs, throw lunch in bag (packed the night before, obviously), and sprint out to the car.

7:49: Goddamn it, there was frost last night.

Bang forehead against steering wheel as car defrosts in slow motion. I am going to be late, car.


Drive away with windows foggy and frosty. Try not to dwell on the fact that I am risking my life for $15.00/hour.

8:20: Arrive at Work Early

Sit in car until it is a more reasonable time. Read Twitter feed.

8:27: Make Grand Entrance

Receive no recognition whatsoever. Arrive at my CUBICLE. Begin day’s work.

8:30: On the Clock

Mull over the 3 minutes of volunteerwork I did this morning as I start updating files for the day. Check email: I have 2, one is an angry donation-reject, another is a mass company email that doesn’t apply to me.

9:00: Open Mail

For half an hour, at least.

9:30: Post Deposits

Realize today’s batch is an absolute disaster, and rejoice at the possibility of actually having something to do. Start trying to balance cash receipts.

11:30: Still Balancing Cash Receipts

Cheques are piling up on my desk. Realize suddenly that I am behind and start adding.

Contemplate the loudness of my adding machine keys as I total the cheque batch.

Total is out by $0.01. Spend 15 minutes trying to find the missing penny.

12:00: Lunch

I still have not finished posting my receipts.

Look around office. No one is moving. Slowly stand up and try to look nonchalant.

Entire office continues to work as I slink off to the lunch room.

Is it even 12:00? Double check time on phone. It is 12:07.

Whatever. Sit in empty lunch room and read until 1:07.

1:07: Back on the Clock

They have still not gone on lunch. What is wrong with these people?

Sit down and finish balancing.

2:00: Finished Posting

I have 3 hours and 3 things to do. I must finish each in one hour’s time.

2:05: Finished my first task

Goddamn it.

2:30: Finished my second task

I must finish my final task in just 2 and a half hours.

Walk slowly to the supply room even though I don’t need anything.

Check emails to pass the time. It must be at least 3:00, right?

2:31: Begin final task of the day

COME ON CLOCK. Work with me!

Miserably begin working on collections.

3:30: Finished Collections.


Look around office. Do you people not realize that you are literally paying me to sit here and do nothing?

I must now find something that looks productive to kill an hour and a half. Check emails again, happily learn that two of them require action.

3:32: Countdown Begins

Someone puts work on my desk. I nearly snatch it out of her hand and begin.

3:45: An hour and 15 minutes to go.

Done. Look around. Look out window. Refresh email 3 times.

3:46: An hour and 14 minutes to go.

Open a query. I did this yesterday, but maybe I missed something?

Open 100 customer accounts just to double check.

(I didn’t miss any, but there were 2 new ones, so… it was worth it? Kind of?)

4:30: Time to Ruin People’s Days

I had some donation rejections to send out at the end of the day. 3 of them. I must spend 10 minutes on each.

Sit back and read long-winded request emails to pass the time.

4:45: Finished the Emails

How is this even possible.

Go on company website and browse items I might have sent them if I had approved their donations.

4:50: Time Goes By…

4:51: So slowly.

Refresh email. Got a new one, deal with it.

4:53: Hey, Time, Wanna Speed Up?

Seriously. I have stuff to do at home and nothing to do here.

4:54: Boss Walks By

Try to make it look like I’m not just sleeping with my eyes open.

4:55: Start Packing Up

Clear papers off desk. I can make this last 5 minutes.

4:56: Finish Packing Up


Start reading old emails. Check to see if I noted all of them in the system.

5:00: FINALLY.

Look around. No one is moving.


5:02: No One Stirs


5:03: Someone picks up the phone to make a call.

Really? REALLY?

5:04: Silence

You know what? I’m just going to leave.

Shut down computer and leave. Tell people to have a good weekend.

Feel guilty that I am leaving and they are not.

5:07: Clock Out

This has surely been the longest day of my life.

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