Today has been a strange day here. Not for any reason other than the fact that after 14 months, a small percentage of coworkers have returned to the workPLACE. We have not seen these folks in over a year, so it's weird having them back. And I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I mean, they're not bad people, but they are people... and they are here... where no one has really been in a long, long time.
The first thing I noticed about their return is that it takes longer to call an elevator. It doesn't take 'long', but for the last 14 months, we've pressed the button and were rewarded with an instantaneous 'ding' and doors opening to whisk us away to wherever it is we were looking to go. 99% of the time, the destination was the lobby so we could smoke.
Problem number two is all about the number two. We now have to share the bathroom with more than just each other. Again, after 14 months of relative solitude, we've all gotten used to having a stall at the ready should you need to do your dirty business. Now that is not a guarantee. Furthermore, we've all gotten used to each other's 'unique olfactory footprint', but now there are different, unpleasant aromas circulating throughout. It's akin to a guest dropping a deuce in your home bathroom.
Then there's the 'open conversation' situation. When it's just us, we talk loudly about the things we talk loudly about. We say 'awful' things and joke about the least appropriate of topics on the regular. It's second nature and has gone unchecked for over a year and I'm realizing today that we need to use our so-called 'indoor voices' as to avoid a visit from HR. It's not easy. As Ryan Castle like to routinely point out, "Thrill doesn't HAVE an inside voice". He's not wrong.
And then there are the little complications that arise if your job involves even the most rudimentary technology. Computer freezes, internet glitches, whatever, our usual response is to scream, "F**K YOU, MOTHERF**KER!" and then return to work. It's what we do. Much like screaming an expletive after stubbing your toe, it's a brief, albeit loud, coping mechanism. Apparently, this makes others uncomfortable.
Ah, but there is one particular silver lining regarding our coworkers return... and that is my self-indulgent joy of leaving my worst and most disturbing research on the communal printer. Our average coworker has a serious job and so they print all kinds of mind-numbing- yet- serious/ important documents to the printer. We're talking spread sheets, proposals, financial stuff, corporate things and the like. I do not. I prefer THESE types of stories... and I enjoy leaving them on the printer for them to find:
Welcome back everyone!
Until next time, do what you do best and STAY BEAUTIFUL!"