(now that I work from home and for myself)
It’s Thursday morning, post labour day and back-to-school time. Once upon a time, when I worked in an office, I would have spent this morning laying out school clothes, flipping morning pancakes, feeling for moisture on the kids’ toothbrushes.
I loved rushing around in the mornings…trying to get everything done so that I could jump in my car and make my way through the maze of traffic to the office.
Now that I work from home and for myself, doing all of that on a tight timeline…is gone. Hence, I’m feeling nostalgic today. So I thought I’d write an article about all the things I miss about going into an office and working for the man.
I so miss meetings. Meetings upon meetings upon endless meetings. Especially meetings to decide when the next meeting is going to be. Those were my favourites. Sure, someone could have just sent out an email with all the salient points but then what would we have done with the extra time on our plates?
I even miss the guy who’d bring his 30 slide PowerPoint and who took it upon himself to speak for everyone…monopolizing the meeting. It’s not like I had anything to say, anyway. It was so much better for him to take the words…and the credit from me and run with it.
Now that I work from home and for myself…there are no more meetings. I mean, I COULD call a meeting except I think even my dog might raise an eyebrow.
I miss meetings.
2. Road rage and long drive times
Ugh…the hour-plus commute to the office every day. I miss that for sure. I loved driving along, only to slam on my brakes for no apparent reason and then sit idling with no escape route. Now, I struggle to find chunks of time like that to do my nails.
Turns out, the only opportunity I get these days to slam on the brakes is when I’m out for my lunchtime bike ride and a Canada goose crosses my downhill path. Don’t you worry…I have no problem flipping that bird the bird.
And I miss having to gas up at $1.41 per litre every few days. It’s not fair that I don’t know what to do with the extra money in my bank account.
Yep, I definitely miss the long and interesting commute.
3. Trendy corporate buzz words
Oh, if only I could hear just one more buzz phrase again…. Who doesn’t love office jargon and trying to keep up with all the hidden metaphorical meanings?
“Let’s do a deep dive into the customer journey, taking a holistic approach to unpack their pain points, as synergistic thought leaders would do from 30,000 ft. Then we’ll loop back and touch base…IN ANOTHER MEETING where we’ll pivot and align to create win-win optics for all stakeholders and create buy-in for our value propositions – all the while staying outside of the box….thinking.
And I also miss the acronyms. You know… EOD, FYI, ROI, KPI and ASAP. These days…all I get from my clients are LOLs and TTYL tacked on to the end of messages – The occasional 🤣😂 Who needs being so relaxed and laid back?
I miss corporate jargon.
4. “Gentle Reminder” office signs
What I wouldn’t give to read just one more clip-art office sign. I remember these fondly:
A gentle reminder to clean the crust off of your dishes.
posted near the office kitchen
A gentle reminder not to forget to flush.
posted on the back of every bathroom stall door.
A gentle reminder to remove your 3-month-old egg salad from the office fridge by EOD today or risk losing it
posted on the company fridge
Without these signs, my home has become a science project. I’m lost with how to cope without reminders of basic hygiene.
Oh, how I miss those passive-aggressive Post-its.
5. OPQs (other people’s quirks)
The solitude in which I work at home is sometimes deafening if I’m being honest.
I remember, there used to be this guy who sat within earshot of my desk who had this quirky sinus issue. All day, I’d hear loogies travelling up and down his nasal passage. every so often, he’d grab a Kleenex and clear it out, but it wasn’t long before a new loogie was back to fill the spot. I miss that guy.
I’ve often contemplated getting a cat with a furball to replicate the noise that I grew to love.
I miss working with all kinds of people.
6. An assortment of cardigans and blankets
It never mattered whether it was spring, fall, summer or winter, I miss that I could always count on the office temperature being cranked to a nice refreshing 58 degrees. I wore all the latest in sweaters, hats and mitts. I knew I had something to say when I could see my breath. The Arctic-like air always kept me alert and ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. I was agile, like a fox or a penguin. (one of the two)
Now, I have my room temperature set at a boring 72 degrees and I wear clothes to fit the season. SNORING, BORING. Ugh…now I have to launder this cute sleeveless number I have on today, whereas I would never have considered wearing it in that freezer of the office.
Oh, how I miss winter 365 days of the year.
7. Having a boss
I miss not jockeying for approval. Nothing sharpens iron more than trying to please.
Now, when I think an idea sucks ass, I change it. Because it’s my idea. And some of my ideas do suck ass, but my ego isn’t so large that I can’t pivot. Ugh…old habits die hard.
Furthermore, my tongue has thanked me. It’s been over a year now since it’s been bitten as I try to remain quiet. And I haven’t done a decent eye-roll in days.
I miss having a kind boss. – and not the stick-up-her-ass A-Type I work for now.
8. Bringing lunch
Back when I had my corporate job, there was, honestly, nothing better than spending my Sunday afternoons doing meal prep. Oh, how I loved lining up my Tupperware and portioning out healthy lunch options a week in advance. It was either that or spend a week’s salary eating at some of the swanky neighbourhood restaurants.
Now, I have a whole fridge stocked with inexpensive, healthy food options and I’m left to enjoy Sunday afternoons with my friends and family. Ugh. Totally sucks.
AND let’s not forget the variety pack of office donuts that suppliers always brought in to snack on during product training. Now I’m left to find other ways to overeat mindless calories.
What I wouldn’t do for a Timbit. I miss honey crullers.
9. Fire drills in the middle of winter coupled with an elevator from the 1950s
And then there were the fire drills that always seemed to come along just as I got into flow on a huge project. I always say…it’s good to keep employees on their toes. It’s much better for them to learn to adapt to a multitude of interruptions.
And I miss the office elevator that would stall for hours in-between floors. That taught me the value of having patience and the benefits of strengthening my bladder.
If only I could find new ways of distraction. I miss fire drills and antiquated elevators.
10. Office gossip and back massages
I used to bring popcorn to work and hang out by the water cooler. That’s where all the best gossip took place. Sally on the 5th sleeping with Gretchen on the 2nd….Now, alls I have left is to watch The Real Housewives of (Insert city).
And….instead of having my back-stabbed as soon as I wasn’t looking, I have to pay big bucks for a masseuse to work out the kinks. Frig!
I miss the gossip and having to play defence.
11. Last-minute projects due ASAP
And finally, I miss with all my heart, being given a last minute-project, slapped on my desk at 4:49 and being told it was due first thing in the AM.
Wait…that still happens. I don’t miss that at all.
Yes, these are just some of the things I miss about going into an office and working for someone else. But you know what, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Secretly, I love working from home and on a business that I absolutely love. I love my co-workers (dog). I love my clients and my boss…meh…she’s okay in a pinch.
If you want to learn more about starting your own travel business or even if you are in travel but having troubles negotiating certain office situations, I’m here to help. Reach out and book a call with me below.