January 6, 2014 by Sian Rowland
The rain is lashing down outside, the wind is howling and it’s still dark. It must mean that the new working year has started and according to various sources it’s also the most depressing day of the year.
I was thinking back to my office days and the first day back after Christmas- the building would be icy cold as it wouldn’t have been heated for two weeks and the boiler would only have been coaxed into lukewarm action ten minutes before we arrived. The windows by my desk would be rattling with wind and I’d spend half the morning trying to plug the gaps with parcel tape. The hole in the ceiling conveniently situated over the bookcase would be leaking and before you suggest moving the bookcase out of the way, the room that originally held four desks held ten desks plus full size filing cabinets, bookshelves and other odds and sods crammed in like furniture Tetris. You had to shimmy sideways to your chair. Next door in admin’s office there would be a pile of chocolates, mostly strange liqueur types that everyone palms off at work because no one at home likes them.
The toilets- which had no heating, not even a heated hand dryer or hot water- would be freezing and you’d only go if you really, really had to and the kitchen would be full of unwashed mugs with strange new life forms growing in them. Welcome to local government working!
Working from home, I don’t have the cold and rainy commute; the house- while not hugely warm- is at least air and water tight (time to bring out my annual how to stave off the cold blog piece); the mugs are clean and there are no dodgy chocs lurking in the cupboard ready to tip me off January’s health wagon. Mainly because I’ve eaten them already but that’s another story. And the bathroom facilities are miles better.
But despite all this I looked forward to getting back to work after Christmas. I loved my job right up until the end and would be excited about going to work (really), catching up with colleagues and planning the term’s work.
But now the house is quiet, Mr R joined the throng of back-to-workers hours ago and there’s a tiny corner of me that is jealous that I can’t join in with the moans and groans of delayed trains, rain-lashed suits, dark mornings and who was the most ill over Christmas.
A tiny corner.