This Office Lady Comic is All Of Us

Being an office lady is the business of hard work, juggled tasks, and multi-directional efficiency. Often, multi-tasking is the name of the game. In the US and other parts of the world, women in the workplace have begun to get the respect they deserve, and the effort to close the wage gap is well under way. (Of course, experts say it’ll probably finally close after 118 years… but hey.)

In Japan, though … it’s a different kettle of fish all together.

This unique comic strip created by @black9arrows on Twitter captures vignettes of a single Office lady’s experiences — waking early, working all day, crashing in your pad, scrounging a few hours of sleep punctuated with mandatory company drinking excursions, weekends gone in the blink of an eye — only to repeat this over and over until they hit retirement. We seriously don’t blame them if they just want to run away from it all.

Yes, this poor office lady is all of us.

Translation: “A single OL who’s just about had it with everything.”

So here are a number of choice tweets to laugh-cry along with.

Translation: “A single OL wishing she could charge her own batteries as easily as her smartphone’s.”

Just… ten… more… minutes…

Translation: “A single OL trying to put off Monday just a little bit longer.”


Translation: “A single OL who just wants it all to be a lie, some kind of mistake.”

Please, please, someone wake me up from this horrible nightmare!

Translation: “A single OL coming back from work with a tub of Häagen-Dazs.”

It’s the little things, really, that give you some grand suspension of disbelief from the inevitability of it all.

Translation: “A single OL too tired to do anything but stare at the dust illuminated by the window light.”

Translation: “A single OL who thinks she can’t keep going on like this, so she attends a college reunion.”

And by her third beer, she started questioning all her life choices. Each one of them.

Is there any wonder the Japanese actually have a word for “death by overwork”?

The Office Lady (or OL), usually between the ages of 21-30, are usually most female college graduate’s first step into adulthood. Ladies fresh out of high school may even be hired as office ladies. Their tasks are usually pink-collar jobs, focused on service-oriented and desk tasks such as filing documents, delivering office memos, greeting guests, and serving tea.

However, this step is often seen as a temporary one, with a woman expected to quit office work right after marriage. Aside from the fact that daycare services are very difficult to find and are quite expensive, it’s more of a cultural thing that women are expected to be a stay-at-home mother after marriage to care for the child. Women who manage to keep their jobs well after their late twenties are seen as aberrations, and it’s not uncommon for colleagues to busy themselves with setting the poor girl up for marriage.

Yes, Office Lady, we totally feel your pain.

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