First days back in an office

Day 2:  Being back in the office after nearly four years of working from home is more draining than I’d expected.  I’m wading my way through reams of  induction paperwork on policies and practices, strategies and work plans and am still reeling from the newly acquired business support co-ordinator who is ever so efficiently managing my calendar.  I’m not used to having my life arranged for me – it’s novel if a little daunting – and I’m not quite sure I’m ready to give up my independence.     I also appear to have stepped onto the acronym mothership and am bewildered by the ever growing list: ELMA, BA, TOM, BIS, ERDMS, SDS, ASC, CHAT, CMD, PMT, LOL, BTW, WTF?!

Assimilation into a clique (should one exist, no doubt it does) will probably take time but the office gossip has kept me entertained if a little distracted.  I had forgotten quite how noisy 50 people coming and going can be – there is so much eavesdropping to be done.

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Performing monkeys and job interviews

I’ve done it!  I have found myself a new job and gleefully handed in my resignation! I leaped through rings of fire at my job interview, presenting the biggest, boldest, most articulate and inspiring side of myself – I was a true performing monkey for 2 whole hours!

So now, after three long years of working from home, I will bathe myself in colleagues and office gossip.  I will go to the office parties and invite people for drinks after work. I will speak to an IT person if my computer is broken and talk to people about my workload before making a coffee for the person sitting opposite me.  I will commute with a solemn look on my face and groan when I miss the bus.  I will clock watch on a Monday then kick my heels up with that Friday feeling at the end of the week.  I will clear my bedroom of mountains of paperwork and liberate my shelf space to join the millions of you out there who call yourself an OFFICE WORKER!

Oh to have an office

I know I have been somewhat tiresome with my recent rants about work, but it is one of my biggest irritations, no, hates at the moment.  I’ve reached my absolute fill, the homeworking quota has been exceeded, my own company is becoming tedious and I have to escape.  I daydream about the good old days (with rose tinted glasses of course) when I worked in an office. Oh how I miss the daily commute, the people watching, the office gossip, the office politics, the impromptu drinks after work and the regular, face to face contact with other human beings.  As the years tick by, I feel I’m slowly losing the ability to communicate, I’m becoming introverted and find it difficult to make idle chit chat with people who ask ‘how has your week been?’.  For the most part, my working weeks are quiet, monotonous, uneventful, uninteresting, uninspiring…you get the drift. 

As my other half comes home each evening, eager to plonk on the sofa and relax in the peace and quiet,  I’m looking to escape the confines of the apartment which seems to be getting smaller by the day.    That’s the problem you see, if you don’t go to work, then you don’t come home from work – it all just blurs into one.  There’s no shaking off the day when you walk out of the office building. I just turn from my work computer to my home computer – I’m in the same chair, at the same desk, in the same box room. I eat dinner, I go to bed, I get up, eat breakfast and sit at my desk ready to do it all over again.  *Sigh*  I think the ideal balance would be to work in an office three days a week and have two very focused days at home.  That way I could have the best of both worlds because no matter how much I whinge, there are definitely some upsides to working at home.

Anyway, before you start playing your mini violins, here is today’s cartoon on the subject:

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Baltic!

Yes, it is really, really cold.   -4C to be precise!  Ok, so everything is relative, I mean the conditions aren’t on a par with North Pole (yet) but the latest Big Freeze is quite enough to give me an insight, and frankly, unless I had my own supply of seal furs, walrus blubber and an Eskimo, I’m quite happy to continue whinging about -4C.

Last night I had the misfortune to travel for two hours on a train with no heating!  Everyone on board was wrapped up, grown men were shivering and tourists were pulling spare jumpers from their suitcases for extra warmth.   It feels like a real winter – we just need some snow.

10 reasons not to work from home

  1. Even if you start out with good intentions, at some point down the line, you’ll develop a habit of waking up with just enough time to have a cup of tea and catch the end of the breakfast news before dragging yourself upstairs to start work…in your pyjamas.
  2. Your world gets progressively smaller. Every time you leave the house it’s as though you’ve entered another universe (one with people and talking) – even going to the supermarket becomes a mini adventure.
  3. You find yourself daydreaming, talking to inanimate objects, pets or your own reflection for a bit of company. Sometimes you’ll call people for no reason except to hear a voice. Then, when your other half gets home (most likely in need of peace and quiet), you develop verbal diarrhoea.
  4. Physical activity becomes limited to reaching for the on/off button of your computer and walking up and down the stairs to yet another cup of tea or in my case coffee.
  5. Housework can actually be a distraction.
  6. Retired people (and your other half) think you don’t really have a job – you’re ‘in’ so surely you are available at short notice to drive them to the airport, wait for a package or nip to the shop for a birthday card.
  7. Your home becomes your work and your work becomes your home until you don’t know if you’re having a breakfast meeting or just breakfast. That ‘and-relaaaax’ feeling you get when you leave the office at the end of the day is non-existent.
  8. You start to dream up conspiracy theories – ‘everyone hates you’, ‘you’re going to get fired’ or ‘I’m sure they’re all having a meeting without me’. Then, as the paranoia sets in, you become too scared to leave your desk and your computer in case someone calls or sends you an email to which you must respond immediately, or get the chop.
  9. Day time telly sucks (of course I only watch it over lunch, and naturally Facebook, Twitter and the like are reserved for breaks…).
  10. The line between sanity and insanity becomes very, very thin…which is probably why I feel compelled to write a blog and draw pictures of me fighting zombies with a cat for a sidekick.