I’m coming up on a year of having worked from home, and while it’s been an amazing experience, I do find that on rare occasion there are elements from working in an office that I actually miss. Not the overbearing bosses or ridiculous protocols, of course, but small comforts you don’t ever expect to miss until their gone. Things like:
To be clear, I’m not talking real-life friends you meet through work. Once you are regularly hanging out with a person they have become a genuine friend and no longer require the “work” prefix. I’m talking about the people who you are only friends with during the 9 – 5 grind. You may take coffee breaks together, or even go get lunch, but outside the office and work events your lives do not intermingle.
Those relationships, simple as they are, actually make the days go by faster. In every office I’ve spent time at, there are little rituals and games that inevitably pop-up among the work friends of the staff. When I worked sales, we would consistently play games of chicken where the person in charge of choosing lunch would select the sketchiest option in a ten-mile radius and try to make the others bow out. When I was on phones all the time, we would message over funny pictures or quips when others were on calls, trying to make them laugh on the line.
Don’t get me wrong, I often worked with people who were boring or even outright shitheads and I do not miss that one bit. Still, that small percentage of people who made the day fun would be nice to have when I’m crushed under projects and dying for relief.
I’ll say coffee, because it was the most ubiquitous thing in the offices I worked at, but really I mean all the little freebie perks that come with traditional employment. Sometimes it was just coffee, but sometimes it was tea, or even… sodas.
Occasionally, it would be free food. Nearly every office I know of does something to that effect: catered meetings, pizza Fridays, even just a boss who brings in donuts once a month. These small gestures are dopamine releasers, giving you things that might be worthless in the outside world and making them priceless.
Of course, it also should go without saying that I miss the free professional printers, copy services, and all the paper-clips I was comfortable shoving into my laptop bag. The other day, I ran out of pens and had to go to the store and buy some. Office drones, meditate on that idea, really let it sink in. How off the walls insane does that sound to you? Treasure the supply closet while you have it, my friends.
Quick, what’s your favorite part about working an office job?
Bullshit to whatever you said!
You’re favorite part of working an office job is the days you don’t have to go in. Oh, and when you’re off free and others are stuck there? Even sweeter. But how often do those occasions come along? Too damn rarely, and when they do they almost always involve feeling shitty or having commitments. So maybe, just maybe, on occasion you use a sick day while you still feel perfectly healthy.
It’s okay, I did it too. And if even if you didn’t take a full day, you may have grabbed an extra 30 minutes at lunch once or twice, or even spent work time surfing the internet for personal means. Screwing around or skipping work is a time honored tradition that fills said slacker with joy, relaxation, and just a bit of devil-may-care confidence about pulling one over on The Man.
But see… I am The Man in this job. If I skip work, I’m the one nagging me. I can never play hooky, not really, because it is impossible for me to get away with it. And honestly, if you’re not getting away with it, does it even really count as hooky? I say it does not! Not at all!
Business Dinners (A.K.A. Drinking on the Company Dime)
You know what… I don’t think this one even needs an explanation.
This week's Youtube break is one of my favorite original song and video combinations I've ever found, and not just because of how awesome the content is.