Office Hope Restoration
Updated: May 12, 2020
I’m coming to you live from my third day on the 28th floor and let me tell you, this place is starting to feel like a sanctuary, a heavenly bubble of bliss! Not only is my new reception desk much less intimidating thanks to its cozy position tucked into a corner (which conveniently also makes online reading, blog post writing, and guilty Pinterest scrolling easy to conceal), but the people on this floor are… you won’t believe it… happy. They are so gosh darn happy it is like I’ve entered a whole new side of the corporate world I never knew existed. And I am thrilled! Remember how so many of the clients on my previous floor were extreme living-for-the-weekenders who looked like it took everything in them to show up to work each morning? Here, people come in and are so delighted to see me, to ask how my evening was, to ask how my day is going every time they walk by, to ask if I had a good lunch, and they ask with such sincerity that my heart swells up five sizes by the hour! And best of all is when I ask how they are doing in return and 90% of them respond enthusiastically that they are “Great!” or even “Excellent!” Can you believe it?! Excellent on a Wednesday morning at work?! Their infectious joy instantly puts me in a better mood just knowing that people with actual jobs are happier to be here than I am.
There are far less offices on this floor than on the 8th (where I spent the majority of my time this summer), but just about every client I have interacted with has been more than just pleasant; they seem genuinely content with their lives, their work, and the fact that they have to come here every day. I mean, there’s a good chance it’s just my new presence that is bringing such glee into their lives lately. Maybe they aren’t always like this and I’m the reason for their cheeriness and overall joie de vivre. But my not-so-natural charm paired with my detrimental but unfortunately very natural need to please everybody in the world didn’t seem to work on everyone on 8th, so I guess my being here doesn’t really factor into the clients’ positive attitudes towards the workplace. Either way, it is so refreshing to see people come into work each day and be so kind and welcoming to the new receptionist and even to each other as they cross paths on the way to the kitchen.
Also an essential contributor to the happiness overflowing on this floor is the overall brightness of the space. Not just metaphorically bright from the kindness spread by the workers, but literally bright in terms of lighting and decor and the general ambience of the floor. Environment really is everything when it comes to work and productivity, in my expert opinion, and the cream-coloured walls and abundance of warm lights populating the ceiling definitely contribute to the inviting atmosphere that I so love about the 28th. It is certainly more welcoming than the dark wood features and dismal red walls that surrounded me all day long back on 8th. I feel much more at peace here as a result of the joyful atmosphere and equally joyful people around.
All this has led me to feel a sense of restored hope about the office world. My last two months, as one of my recent blog posts revealed, left me with the very depressing belief that everyone hated their jobs and that working in an office every day equated misery. Here in Paradise–better known as the 28th floor–office jobs are pleasant! Enjoyable! Full of smiles so kind and pure you can even see the joy in their eyes, and that’s how you know it’s real. It’s a miracle, really. And one that I desperately needed as I was two seconds away from using this experience to enable myself to plunge down the deep, dark hole of believing I am just not cut out for the whole “real world” work thing and that maybe I should try being a Pilates instructor for the rest of my life. Not that there is anything wrong with being a Pilates instructor–I actually think I would love to do that on the side one day–but as a full-time career I don’t think it would exactly pay the bills or get me where I’d like to be in life… Not that I know where I want to be in life either, but I’m guessing that’s probably not it. Or maybe it is. How should I know?! I’m only graduating in 5 months I don’t need to have any aspects of my life figured out…
Unlike the majority of my days back on 8th, I can’t help but to feel so happy today. Maybe it has something to do with the 40 minute lunch I was allotted instead of the usual 30 since the receptionist whose lunch I was covering came back early and told me I could take an additional 10 minutes, or maybe because this extra time allowed me to venture out to Starbucks and get a coconut milk latte that warmed me up and caffeinated me to the perfect level of blissfully buzzed without the jitters, or maybe because the lady covering my lunch was in such a good mood that when I returned we watched a Facebook video sharing refreshing pineapple-based recipes blending to perfection ever-so-satisfyingly (weird, but it’s the little things around here), or maybe because everyone has been so genuinely kind to me all day and all week that I can’t help but feel happy and hopeful that there are good people in the world of work, and not only are they good people but people that actually don’t hate their jobs, which means I maybe one day could be just as lucky and have a job that I also don’t hate, and this is the longest sentence you’ve ever read in your life and I still have yet to toss in a period and let you take a breath. Ah. There it is. Forgive me for my extreme run-on sentence but it was necessary to adequately portray just how great of a day I am having. Whatever the cause of my happiness may be, things are looking up!
The sad part of all this–and I hate to go from such a positive outlook to a negative one–is that I’m only here for the week. After this, I have one week off (which is wonderful and I am not complaining about that) followed by two weeks on the 29th floor. Now the 29th is where the big dawgs reside. And by big dawgs I mean my boss, the person I rarely see who will now be just around the corner from me at all times. It is only for two weeks, one of them being a short week thanks to my sweet saviour, August Long, but I can’t help but worry I’ll be under the watchful eye of my superior all day with no freedom to pass the time with e-books and the Internet. I know it isn’t a big deal and my boss is very friendly, but it’s still intimidating considering I have no idea what she expects me to be doing all day… Surely she knows how uneventful this job is and wouldn’t want me to sit there and stare at the wall for 8 hours. And there is certainly no cozy corner desk situation up there to hide my Pinteresting, I’ll tell ya that much. I suppose it would be too good to be true if I could just stay on 28th for the remaining three weeks I’m here, although I do get to come back to my newfound safe haven for two days in the middle of August and that will truly feel like a treat. Heck, I’m already looking forward to it! In just two and a half days I have become attached to this floor, and soon it will be ripped away from me… and replaced with a week off, so really life could be worse. And also, it’s just two weeks I have to endure on 29th. And then one week floating between 8th and 28th before I am done for good! I’ve almost made it out of my last summer as a student. That is also something we won’t be discussing further. I’m just not ready. Please respect my privacy in this difficult time.
And with that I will sign off! The takeaway from this post? Well, nothing very relatable or helpful or significant, except that life is good on the 28th floor. I’m sorry that my posts as of late, and by as of late I mean this one and the last, have been purely about my life as a useless office floater and are in no way applicable to anyone’s world but my own, but hopefully they can at least provide some entertainment and maybe even make you feel better about the way you spend your days. I’m really just here to show you what a monotonous work life looks like so you can be thankful for your hopefully much more rewarding and stimulating day-to-day tasks in comparison. You’re welcome!