You guys! Yesterday was my first day back to the office! We were given the option to stay at home fulltime (most people happily ate that choice up) or to select a hybrid schedule. I chose to just come in one day a week to break up the monotony but mostly to have at least one day free of screaming demon kids.
I was actually SO EXCITED Monday night. No nerves at all, and I guess it’s because I knew I wouldn’t be going back to a packed department so the stress and pressure was very low. I had my outfit all picked out and I was READY! I actually bought this shirt at the end of 2020 when we *thought* we were returning to work at the beginning of 2021. Oh, ha ha ha.
I love it so much – the button on the back of the collar is a tiny elephant!!
Henry the Dearheart* drove me to work because the TROLLEY is under construction as per uje and I was panicking at the prospect of dealing with the SHUTTLE which is so unreliable that even Chooch was like “fuck this noise, I’ll find a gd bus to take to school instead.” Chooch is way more adventurous with pub.trans. than I am though so this was no big deal for him. He knows how to look that shit up.
*(This one time in the infant stages of our relationship, like PRE-CHOOCH, Henry and I went to a flea market and he held the door open for some old lady, who in turn called him DEARHEART and that was one of those super bland to most people moments that became seared into my memory and I still think of it often. Why, tho. And also the fact that there was a sign on the same door that said NO WHEELIES and I didn’t know what that meant so Henry had to explain that wheelies are those dumb shoes with wheels on them and evidently that flea market has/had a big infestation of hooligans-on-wheels.)
Anyway, I was mildly anxious on the drive there only because I thought we were going to be late. (“Who will know?” Henry asked, and he’s not wrong.)
But then the weirdest thing happened: he dropped me off down the street from my building and I walked down the sidewalk like I belonged on it, entered my building, said hello to the security guard, got in the elevator, pushed “10”—-it was like I was on auto-pilot. Muscle memory after all of this time. Strode right into the department like it hadn’t been two fucking years since I last worked from my desk.
There were only 5 other people there that day: Jeannie, Sharon, Lucas, Sandy, and Dawn who recently joined our department but has worked for the firm since the 90s. I had never met her in person before because our department rarely interacts face-to-face with practice assistants, etc so it was really cool to get to chat with her! I was SUPER STARVED for conversation and I think I may have exhausted her a little – she kept nervously laughing and saying, “Oh jeez” in response to all of the FASCINATING ASIDES I kept blurting out from my desk. I calmed down a little after lunch though.
BACK IN THE OFFICE!
It was so awesome to see Sandy, Jeannie, and Lucas too! I sadly never got around to seeing Sharon (I’m not even sure where she was stationed) but she actually used to work in our department back when I first started, and then left about a year later, only to come back during the pandemic! So that’s really cool and I have to make a point of seeking her out on my next Tuesday there (in two weeks – vacation is next week!).
The actual work-portion of the day was actually pretty normal, if you ignore the fact that I now sit at a completely bare desk. To be honest, it felt almost like some of the pre-pandemic Fridays when tons of people would be working from home or just off in general. Fridays had become ghost towns there, so it kind of felt like a more extreme version of that.
Some things I forgot about:
- how gross the coffee is
- how the water barely gets lukewarm
- how fucking FREEZING IT IS
Oh! And I got to meet my gal Beth on the 11th floor to get my new ID badge! Finally, after 12 years of enduring the ugliest picture of myself which then eventually wore off so I looked like a ghost (i.e. a huge improvement).
Seeing her familiar face was another blast of normalcy
Things didn’t get REAL until it was time for my lunch time walk. People kept saying that downtown had changed a lot, gotten “rough” since the pandemic, and it was sadly…kind of true. :( Just felt real sketchy and rundown. I ended up walking to the Strip and so much has changed in that area that I felt really disoriented.
Here are some pictures. I didn’t take very many because I was on the phone with DUMB HENRY off and on.
This area still smells like piss so there’s one constant for you.
This whole fucking area was new-to-me. It looks like it’s about to be a yuppie utopia. Can’t wait.
I did some new cafes that I will be hitting up in the coming weeks though. Look out, cafes.
On the way back, I was waiting to cross the street when I heard manic mumbling behind me. I was like, “OMG Lord, please say it’s so….” and I slowly turned to see THE ONE AND ONLY DOWNTOWN JESUS. He is still around!! Or, has recently risen. Either way, he was there and then I saw him AGAIN when I was leaving work. What a fucking GREAT DAY. You can read more about Downtown Jesus and see some pictures of him here and here, thank you.
What else…my former supervisor admitted to me in an email with other people copied that I was correct about something and she was incorrect, and it was SUCH A BIG DEAL, like something that I have waited 10 long years for, that I considered printing the email but the firm got new printers during the pandemic and I didn’t feel like trying to figure out how to use that shit. Baby steps, you guys. It was baby’s first day back to the real world, after all.
Then I came home and the cats were like, YOU BETRAYED US, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!!? And the squirrels were completely out of food?! Henry and Chooch were home by the afternoon!? Anyway, when I came home, one of my Buddys was in the driveway, and please you have to believe me because I do not lie on here unless it’s a blatantly obvious hyperbole, but HE LITERALLY STOOD UP WHEN HE SAW ME AND THEN RAN TO ME, YOU GUYS. He was *that* hungry. Starved. POOR WOODLAND CREATURE!!! And Penelope was sprawled out on me nearly all night.
So, there you have it. Me dipping my toe into the social office waters. One day a week is a really good start. Maybe I will eventually up it to two. I AM SUPER WILD AND CRAZY LIKE THAT.
I’ll leave you with my current favorite NCT Dream song.