Posts Tagged ‘work’

 

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Let’s face it, in most offices, mental instability is a prerequisite. Everywhere you look, people are sitting around, getting screwed over and politely smiling about it. It’s not the classic “kill all humans” type of crazy, but it’s not far off. Of course, this demeanour of defeat is fully justified since if we don’t do as we’re told, we get fired and die as a hobo. “But you can always get another job!” I hear you say. God I hate optimists like you. NO… most of these people are practically unemployable. Years of laying low, also means years without training in positions that would be otherwise redundant if management were forced to investigate why you weren’t smiling politely. (more…)

There is a wealth of information out there about staff on long term leave returning to work. That’s all well and good for people recovering from serious illness or injury, but what about the people who are returning to work after a short term holiday?

You just can’t underestimate the difficulty in re-entering the workplace after a holiday. That is unless of course you work in a stress or thought free environment like an elected government official or if you just happen to like your job, such as in the case of a mobster, parking officer or some other psycho career choice. Although I don’t know why those types would even need a holiday? But if you’re not one of society’s undesirables, then returning to work can be somewhat traumatic.

Consider for example that you spent the last five days on holiday, lying on a beach with the warm sun baking your body, listening to the waves crashing in the background while dropping in and out of naps like a 90 year old watching an action movie. You got out of bed each morning because, wait for it, you wanted to! The only coffee you were drinking was a well prepared latte, for the purpose of self-indulgence rather than a caffeine enhancement to keep your eyes opened and even that dodgy takeaway meal just seemed to taste better when you are on holiday. Your only duty, to rest up, make sure you have enough energy for a big lunch, a massive dinner and a few nice glasses of wine and beer for dessert. The most stressful thing you had to deal with was jumping from the hot spa at the heated “wade in” swimming pool to the refreshing blue ocean.

But as fate has it, all good things must come to an end. It turns out, the best things in life are most certainly not free, therefore you must work your butt off to collate vast amounts of cold hard cash to afford more of these “best things,” like food, water, shelter and a luxury yacht. So like it or not, you’re suddenly knee deep again in the stench of your work environment until you can figure out the perfect crime to make the actual money you require.

So back to reality then, work. It’s such an ugly world. Unlike the tropical paradise you just came from, in this place, people are no longer queuing happily for their turn on the water slide. They’re not wearing a deeply satisfied smile as they ride the elevator up from their expensive hotel’s lobby. Nope, the people around you are now in fact screaming for service and for your blood if they don’t get it. What just over a day ago was a well prepared latte, is now an instant coffee that tastes something like stagnant water from a city swamp. For all you know, it IS stagnant water from a city swamp. It wouldn’t make a difference, hey, it may even be beneficial if it sends you to an early grave, preferably before you have to work a full week. So there you are, a bitter taste in your mouth and you’ve hit rock bottom after your beautiful holiday. You look like shit although the sunburn will fade, you feel like shit because you don’t want to be here and according to your boss, you ARE shit!

But fear not and don’t give up, if you are in fact just shit, then it’s your duty to stink up the workplace. Aside from that, there are a few things you can do to ease yourself back into the rat race. All it takes is a little preparation and the right mindset to combat those that thrive on your misery.

Firstly, the night before you are due to go back to work, leave a hammer next to your alarm clock. Smashing the clock when it goes off at your normal 5.30am wake up is the best way of getting you in the right frame of mind for a busy day. It’s probably a bit early to throw a sickie, but if your mental state is in such decay, don’t take it off the table. But generally, try to save sickies for when you are feeling at your best.

You’ve made it out of bed. Next, it’s the breakfast of champions. Over the past week, your stomach has become accustomed to the “big breakfast” option by the ever efficient room service at your resort hotel, or that nice little café overlooking the beach. Try to soften the shock by eating four breakfast bars, instead of your normal one. Eat it while you are overlooking your children’s sand pit, for the beach effect (if you don’t one, maybe your kitty’s litter box?). Wash it down with orange juice instead off instant coffee since you’re not ready for caffeine yet and also because orange juice is often a base to many holiday cocktails. The key is to “ease” yourself into things.

Now you’re on the road, don’t take on the F1 drivers on the way to work on your first morning like you normally do. Yes, we know that speeding and weaving through traffic will improve your overall position and give you a sense of self-satisfaction as you “win” between sets of traffic lights. But this added concentration is often at the expense of your calm. Instead, just drive to work extra slow, with your finger held high out the window in the customary “bird” position. Other driver’s will be sympathetic that you are returning from holiday and will courteously give you a wide birth. Their frequent honks are votes of support. Be content to waste a few extra minutes, don’t worry about being late, it’s expected.

Once you’re in the office, turn on your computer then find the lunchroom and relax until the IT staff come in, since you have forgotten all your computer passwords. It HAS been a week after all and forgetfulness symbolizes a great holiday. Make sure you let the IT nerds know that the network is running slowly, your computer is making an abnormal buzzing sound and that something appeared on your screen saying “virus detected,” but that you didn’t have time to read the full message, so you just pressed the “install” button. That will undoubtedly by you some more down time.

The computer nerds look worried since they couldn’t find anything, but you’re now logged in, the clock is running. You can start looking forward to going home now. Before reading any emails than have banked up, remember that your boss is a dumbass. He/she did not attend any “How not to be a dumbass” courses while you were on holiday. Even if they did, you can’t undo their troubled childhood and their lack of matches on dating sites. The smart drugs they require to bring them up to your intellectual level are simply not available yet. Sort your emails by name, find your bosses name, then delete them all. Once they’re in the office, don’t bother engaging them in conversation, just ignore them as you normally would. Yes, it’s difficult not to want to correct some of the garbage that spills from their blubbering mouth, but you are recovering from holidays, now is not the time, so ask them to call back next week when you’ll be far more ready for processing stupid requests.

As your co-workers settle in, they might ask you about how you enjoyed your holiday as they try to capitalise on your abnormally joyful mood. Remember that your work colleagues did not attend any “How not to be an incompetent annoying waste of space” classes while you were away. You didn’t talk to them before, today is not their day either. Tell them to stop sexually harassing you and immediately offload any work you have on to them.

It’s lunchtime and by now you are probably shaking with the DTs. This is your body’s response to a lack of strawberry daiquiris and a cool ocean breeze. There’s really only one option here. You need to drink more coffee until the involuntary convulsions increase to a frequency that is undetectable to the human eye. Once in this buzzed state, you will appear quite normal, however you may need to pause between words as your rate of speech increases substantially.

For the remainder of the day, it is a relatively simple exercise of “micro sleeping” at your desk. Given the amount of caffeine you have ingested, you should be able to achieve this vegetative state with your eyes open. If you’re in a more relaxed work place, just pull out your pillow and teddy bear and take a nap. Ask your colleagues to play your favourite sleepy time song. Before you know it, you will have reached the end of the working day and with any luck, by following these simple steps, by the end of the working week, you will be fully integrated into your depressing working life and ready to count down those pay cheques until your next holiday; it’s not that far away.