After a four year hiatus during which I only sometimes worked, I have returned to the 38.5 hours per week,no facebook or blogging at your desk, deadlines, budgets and personnel management world of work. And, drum roll please, I even get paid a decent wage for doing it.
For those of you wondering what the secret is to getting a good job after such a long pseudo-absence, I have bad news. One, this blog in only self-help in the sense that it helps myself. You should *not* follow my advice unless you want to be a hot mess. Two, I have no idea, but I am pretty sure it isn’t rocket science….um, look for one? stay active? don’t use words like “household manager” on your CV to fill the gap? (If the hiring manager has kids, they’ll get it without any explanation and if they don’t, no amount of wordsmithing is going to get them on board.)
Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, haitus. One or two of you might have noticed that I am also returning from a two-plus week blogging break that conveniently exactly correlates to the amount of time I have been in my new role. Was I freaking out? (yes.) Was I a stress-case? (yes.) But not for the reasons that you might think.
I get work. I get that I have to show up and do my job. I get that the kids are going to be complete nightmares on a regular basis and cause me to have to scream my throat sore before 8am. What I did not expect was the massive change in my own place in the office.
Just in case I ever get the chance to go back in time and pass along a few notes to my younger self (yes, those jeans do make your butt look big. No, he won’t call you in the morning. Yes, when your husband says you should wait to have kids, he is actually smarter than you are.), I thought I’d type up a handy “While you were out” note so that I know what to expect.
WHILE YOU WERE OUT
- You got old. (WTF – I used to be the young, hip gal in the office. Now everyone is under 25, single and kid-free. And I’m trying to convince myself that gray hairs can be classified as highlights. I am OLD. We were talking about movies in my new hire training and no one had seen Goonies or Ghostbusters. They talked about music and I didn’t understand a word of it. They should have put a photo of Bart Simpson’s grandpa on my name badge…except that the youngsters probably wouldn’t get that either. ARGH!)
- Work culture changed. (My office has no offices. Just one big room of desks. Where we all sit as equals. I’m sure that seems great if you are 22, but if you are
36thirty-something, you want the damn office with a door that you are entitled to have. What is the point of working more efficiently if you can’t get on social media because everyone can stare at your screen? How sad is it that I yearn for the days of the 5 foot tall cubicle wall?)
- All the priorities changed. (Whatever you knew about doing your job before, just forget about it. If you were out for more than 6 weeks, it is highly likely that some new technology came along and completely changed the way you do things. And, fyi, you won’t know anything about it.)
And so it is, that I am back at work…trying to find the business suit equivalent to the mommy jeans, counting my gray hairs on every bathroom break and trying not to say things like “Back in my day” any more than absolutely necessary. The good news is that the kids are as bad as ever and Nomad Papa is as clueless as ever, so I have plenty of things to complain about outside of the office.
Next post, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming.