Its odd how easily I slipped back into the office routine. After 3 months of working from home, there were a couple hours where people dropped by to say hello, and then it was like I never left. Of course, I know the difference, so here are a few things that I don’t miss, now that I work from home…
Commuting: bumper to bumper traffic on the highway along-side hundreds of other bleary-eyed office workers.
Office banter, first-hand: making lame small talk about the weather/sports with people you don’t even work with, but share a cube-farm with, so feel obligated to talk to.
Office banter, second-hand: listening to the awkward small-talk made by people who don’t really know each other, but feel obligated to talk to.
The loud guy: I’ve never been in an office that didn’t have at least one. They’re the people who, for some reason, believe you need to shout into a telephone, that swearing loudly so the whole office can hear you is OK, that laughing uproariously at anything and everything is normal, that we all want to hear them snort/clear their throat/hork/burp…
The retro guy: Tight jeans, 80s hair, half-opened shirt with chest-hair billowing out, giant tinted glasses, cigarette stained teeth/breath because he still thinks smoking is cool, jokes/catch-phrases that are ten years old, may or may not drive a Camero.
The fashion victim guy: Gold chain, bluetooth headset, designer jeans, expensive shoes, name-dropping, awkwardly obvious cultural references, trying desperately to look 10 years younger than he really is, probably has a RAZR. Knows something about everything, but is knowledgeable about nothing.
(Ok, those last two don’t actually exist as a single individual, but are an amalgam of stereotypes I’ve collected having worked in various offices over the past 10 years)
The stand-up meetings: when a members of a team meet on their way to the coffee-machine and somehow fall into a heated debate about the design or implementation of their latest project… and they happen to be standing right outside your cube.
Superfluous meetings: maybe we should get Bob’s opinion on this… and Joe, Frank, Harry, and Bill should probably be here too… I’m going to conference in Edmonton…
The interruptions: that no matter how busy you look, or if you’re clearly rocking out to music on your head phones while writing your most righteous code ever, people still believe they have an open invitation to stroll in and start-up a conversation — naturally assuming you can/want to hear them.
Fire drills: AKA the “business continuity plan”
Lunch hours: the only thing more depressing about working in a cubicle, is eating a sad little sandwhich, while sitting alone in a cubicle…
Cubicles: enough said.
Stay tuned tomorrow for things I actually like about working in an office :-p