For 14 + years I worked alone. The only person I’d see on a semi regular basis was the bartender near my favorite Indianapolis hotel. Happy hours/colleague’s birthday parties/secret Santas/corporate parties didn’t really exist. I didn’t know any better because I was perfectly happy working solo.
And then my position was eliminated.
An office job was inevitable.
I knew I’d have to work in an office. That was extremely concerning because I was really happy being alone. I skipped drama, made my schedule, and didn’t have to be anyone other than myself. But maybe I’d like being in an office. Maybe I’d enjoy seeing the same people every single day. Maybe I’d get some actual Happy Hours!
When Office Life happened all those Maybes came true. And for a year, I loved it. Yes the adjustment was difficult. Yes there was a learning curve. Yes there were people I didn’t enjoy. But the majority of my year in an Office was one of my favorite Work years.
And then that position was eliminated.
The chance to see those people and experience that daily life was a difficult loss. I had grown accustomed to their particular chatter. For most of the week, I had to report to a new office. The rest of the week, I was at home. For a long time it was too quiet. Boredom oozed out of cracks it never had. But finally I was able to slip back into the ease of working in my PJ’s, shopping for groceries at 11 a.m., and the fantastic silence of an empty house. I was home.
Tomorrow I start a different position within my company. One that will put me in my home office 100% of time. I enter it happily and I’m excited to be around for my family without figuring out an Office life.
But I also know after spending a year around people that I need the chatter. Not over the phone or quick interactions with customers I’ll never see again. I need to see people other than my family members. I will have to schedule those visits for my own sanity. And a year in an office allowed me to grow the pool of people I can call.
Tonight I called two of those Office Year colleagues. They left their office. I left my house.
And Happy Hour began.
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