New Weekly Routine?


 If you will recall back in April, I made the (uncomfortable) trek down to my company's new office.  (If you missed it just read this and/or this.)  I did what was asked and then went back to working from my "home office" as I have every day since March 13, 2020.  My plan was to keep my mouth shut and just keep doing what I was doing.  (To toot my own horn, I thought I was doing it pretty well.)  No one said anything...

There was one email back in the late spring requesting that NYC employees come to the NYC office on a set day and that NJ employees come to the NJ office the following the following day if they could as "the big boss" was coming in.  I was (reluctantly) willing to do that, but as it turned out over the weekend I was exposed two separate times to people who had tested positive Covid.  I didn't think I would get it again, but I also (being the good person that I am) didn't want to expose anyone else.  So I told my boss that I thought it was best if I didn't come in, especially as my new "work station" was right next to hers.  She was fine with that.

Time has marched on and things were going well (at least as far as I was concerned).  Then came the dreaded email:  “After 2.5 years of Covid-induced isolation and separation, we'd like to return to some semblance of normalcy in our work lives, much in the same way we are returning to normalcy in our daily lives, from going to the movies and ball games to eating at restaurants and flying on planes. We've heard from many folks that they miss the easy conversations, energy and culture (and dare we say it, fun!) that working in the same place, at the same time, with people you like affords.

"To that end, for folks who work out of the NJ office, Wednesdays every week will become our regular in-office day across our X team to interact and make it easy to schedule in-person meetings. Your manager may also want to schedule an additional in-office day in either the NYC or NJ office in addition to Wednesdays depending on the needs of their group and the business.

"We're kicking off In Office Wednesdays starting Weds, Sept 21 (after Labor Day and kids going back to school). If you need more time to plan home logistics, talk to your manager. These days will be a nice chance to connect and collaborate as we build momentum into 2023.

"Thank you as always for your hard work, and we look forward to seeing you soon!"

This email was signed by seven people; none of whom I know, although technically I fall under at least three of them in the LONG chain of command.  (Or I think I do.)  I have never met these people (and we've all been around pre-Covid.)  IF they are in our new NJ office, I'm not sure that our paths will even cross.

I'm also curious to know who the "many folks" are who miss "easy conversations, energy and culture (and dare we say it, fun!) that working in the same place, at the same time, with people you like."  I don't think I've worked with any of them.  That's not to say I don't miss the people that I once shared an office suite with in a different location.  And I still have "easy conversation" with several of them WITHOUT being in an office.  Furthermore, of the dozen or so people who worked in our now defunct location, only ONE of them will actually be coming to our new location on Wednesdays.  Some have retired, some have moved on to new positions/careers and some have been told that they don't have to come to the office.  Even "back in the day" the majority of people that I interacted with, I spoke to on the phone because they were employees who lived/worked in places like California, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Pennsylvania (to name a few).  Several of my co-worker/friends I have never met face to face and that's NOT because of Covid.

None the less, I will be trekking to the office on Wednesdays starting next week.  I have purchased my bus ticket to get there and back (because I want to see how this goes.)  I will leave my house before 7 AM to walk downtown (approximately a mile) to catch an express bus (which I have never been on before and I'm not sure of the exact location of where to get it) which will bring me into Penn Station by 8 (supposedly).  That should give me plenty of time to make my way to the office and get to my "work station" before 8:30 as I want to get either the 4:30 or 5:00 express bus back home. 

I've also rescheduled several conference calls (because Wednesdays used to be a day when I had back to back calls).  Why?  Because I'm in close quarters with people and I'm sure no one wants to hear my end of a conversation.  Even when I was in a large cubicle and there were less people in the office, you could hear me (and I know it annoyed one person in particular) in this new space it's going to be even noisier.  So in a nutshell, because I am going back to an office, I had to reschedule weekly calls (which I've had for years) for when I'm NOT in the office.  Crazy, isn't it?

I'm trying to stay positive and keep my anxiety low.  (How likely is that to happen?)  Stay tuned and we'll see how this adventure goes...


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