The first “real” job

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Sometimes, having The First Real Job felt kind of like I had spent the previous four years of my life studying images of bunnies, and was then sitting in a room with people who set a real one down in front of me and asked, “well?”

“What do you think?”

And I stare at it – watch it scratch its ear with its hind foot in that silly, frantic fashion – while I draw a blank. And after several excruciating seconds, mumble the first thing I can recall from textbooks, which usually comes out something like: “bunnies are mammals.”

Then they stare back at me in absolute bewilderment, presumably wondering how I ever managed to graduate and who then let me into this office and gave me a desk. And then they take a breath, use small words and recite them to me slowly, gesturing all the time to illustrate the details I should’ve seen immediately (“See those ears?! That’s a telltale sign”) but, unfathomably, missed.

Then I go back to my desk, dragging my feet and resolving to be better next time. And so I spend a great deal of time and effort preparing for the next bunny, conjuring up all sorts of possible observations, conclusions, measurements and metrics in order to wow them all with my articulate analysis. And I collect all of this inside my newly-hired brain, package it neatly with courage, and stride back into the room. And they set another bunny in front of me and again ask: “So? What do you think?”

And I offer them this avalanche of brilliance – details on the lovely coat texture and the ratio of hop length to height and the brightness of its eyes – and then I suddenly realize that my colleagues and bosses are all staring at me in bewilderment again.

So I stop.

And they sigh.

And then they say, with stressed patience, “KG. All you need to know here is: bunnies are mammals.”

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