Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Working like Dolly P*

Well, this week I entered an office (an actual place of work!), sat down in an office chair, turned on a Mac (not in sexual or aggressive way, just turned on the computer) and... well... did some actual paid work. I have officially conquered one of my biggest (very recent) fears and it's amazing!

For a couple of years, ever since it dawned on me that my girlie would soon be starting school (and I might have to return to work), I have been having vivid, intense, realistic office-based nightmares EVERY WEEK (some times nightly). Always the same scenario, always in the same place - a busy open-plan office at night. In fact my old office, the office I spent 12 years working away in. In my dreams I recreate it in exacting detail as it was six years ago.

Uncomfortably hot,
White and grey, folders of artwork piled up everywhere,
Grumpy designers silently working on macs eating fast food,
Dodgy lighting because it's 11pm at night,
Nervous marketeers huddled around screens,
Stressed copywriters typing manically tutting and swearing
Mythical printers awaiting pages
Couriers lined up ready to take packages
Intense meetings going on behind glass fronted offices,
Everybody longing to go home....

And there I am behind a huge pile of folders, proof reading, amending copy and waiting approval. Utterly fed up and tired out.

Always in these dreams I know that there's no chance of going home, and I always find Mr Husband and tell him that I'm handing in my notice and NEVER coming back EVER!

Well this week I entered that very office and sat pretty much in the same place I used to sit. It might have been 9am but I was literally living the nightmare. Except...... I couldn't believe it..... It felt very, if not entirely, different. I liked it.

How the hell did this happen!

Well I was offered a job in another department at first, just two days a week, but this fell through at the last minute as they found out that they had to offer it to someone on maternity leave. So I was then asked if I'd do freelance writing in the design studio. I was immediately nervous. It took me a while to agree to it, and even then I spent a day staring into space trying to get my head around it. I mean, entering an office which has given me nightmares for six years is a pretty big deal.

But, I decided to get a grip, and give it go. If I can give birth to a nine pound four ounce baby, I reckon I can do anything (that's obviously sooo untrue, but it's quite a good mantra when I have to do shit I hate).

Anyway, it turn out six years is a long time and things have changed in my old office. It's a much happier place and a more reasonable place. Technology has happened, so no more working til one in the morning... Who could have envisioned that? Dear reader, I even saw people laughing!

So I have spent two days working away and loving it, plus I'm already booked in for more days, which I'm looking forward to. It's been perception-shifting and the nightmares might even stop now, thankfully.

If you're like me and dreading returning to work, just remember that things are never as bad as we imagine. Time and technology change everything and you're a lot more capable than you could ever imagine^. Plus you now have perspective; the office isn't everything because you've got a little baba's world to be the centre of. 

*I love Dolly Patron's 'Working Nine to Five' and there's a line that always always makes me laugh because it's so untrue in my case. "Stumble outta bed and tumble in the kitchen, pour myself a cup of ambition"! Makes me smile every time.
^I honestly thought I had forgotten how to do everything, but it comes back so quick thanks to our amazing brains. So don't imagine you'll be wiping up your own drool and staring around like a feral beast (well, not AFTER the first hour anyway)

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