My first week back at the office went well. The training room was set up in a classroom setting and I and nine other employees were all giddy in learning all these new things. But after one week, we were all sent back to our cubicles in our Department. The other work-at-home person, who’s also a Filipino mom, and I were assigned to two empty cubicles where we will be staying for the rest of the training period.
I have been doing the same job for the last ten years but I have been away from the office for five years and it took a while to remember how they do things there. It felt like being a new recruit. I have been with the company longer than the people I am working now and it felt weird when they had to tell me that this is the way we do this and this is the way we do that. I wondered if they thought I was stupid or something.
Well, anyway, I made a list of the things I like being at the office.
1. The connection to the network is a lot faster. I and the other work-at-home staff are set up with a dial-up connection at home and there are times when the system becomes slow and it’s common that we get disconnected more than once a day.
2. I can talk to my supervisor and his assistant in person, face to face, instead of just on the phone or by email. I can easily pop up in their cubicles if I have a question. I hope I’m not annoying them.
3. I get a bit of exercise everyday – walking, running (after the bus) and climbing up and down the stairs (instead of using the escalator).
4. It was Staff Appreciation week. How lucky was I! On Tuesday, we were treated to a TCBY frozen yoghurt (yum); on Wednesday, Kernels Popcorn; and on Thursday, M&M cookies. If I were home, I don’t think they would have sent the yoghurt by courier.
5. I’m actually experiencing hunger pangs. But it’s all good. Because at home, I am munching all the time while working. And I wonder why I gained weight after I worked at home. No exercise and all that munching.
6. Friday is Jeans Day. Five years ago, we only had casual Fridays every other week and no jeans. The only time we could wear jeans was on United Way Denim Day and we had to pay a dollar to wear our denims.
7. Exchanging “Good Morning,” “Have a nice day,” and “Good Night, See you tomorrow” with bus drivers and co-workers.
8. I’m done working at 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m.(overtime). At home I work until 7:00 p.m. (Too many distractions: chores, TV, internet, kids)
The list of the things I don’t like is a bit longer.
Just to give you a backdrop, before I worked at home, our Department was in a different building. But since then, our population has grown and they had to move to another one. This will explain some of the things in my dislikes list.
1. I have to get up at 5:30 a.m. When I work at home, I usually get up at 7:00 a.m. except for a few times a week when my oldest son had to be at school early and then I get up at 6:00 a.m.
2. I sometimes still get confused what floor I have to get to.
3. When I get off the elevator, I think twice whether to go left or right.
4. There are too many doors and we need our security cards to open them.
5. I have to be careful not to open a door too quickly because there could be somebody at the other side, lest we scare each other. It already happened once when I opened the door of the women’s washroom and I scared the hell out of this other lady.
6. The spaces are too cramped, even the washrooms. The booths are too close for comfort.
7. I had to relearn how to use the printer and the copier. People must think I’m dumb.
8. The tab, the R and other keys in the keyboard I am using are stiff and I have to hit them really hard.
9. At the end of the day, I stare at the mailing slots for five minutes before I can figure out where to put my stuff that needs to get out.
10. Some of my friends won’t join me for lunch. They eat in their cubicles. They’re no fun. I like them better when we get together for birthdays, parties, showers and other special occasions.
I can’t wait to work back at home. One more week! I have more fun working here while watching my talk shows and laughing out loud at Ellen.