Last night, I had a dream that one of my former bosses had suddenly given me an assignment – something time-consuming to do with researching sales – and wanted it done by this afternoon. It was one of those weird dreams that combined aspects of a present job with aspects of an old job, because I was being asked to research information on what I’m doing now, but my old boss was doing the asking. I’m sure that's because my clever subconscience knows this is not the sort of thing my current boss has ever done to me. Thus, I would have realized this was only a dream long before I typically do (of course, I'm contradicting myself here, as I found it completely believable that my former boss could still assign me tasks, the way I always find it completely believable, no matter how many times I dream it, that I'm back in school, have a final exam, and am suddenly aware I've forgotten to attend class all semester).
Thinking about it, though, has made me realize that one of the little annoyances of working in an office is annoying people – people demanding things of you, people constantly wanting to chat when you don’t feel you have time to chat, the person in the next cubicle who has that little habit of stomping his feet just so…I could probably go on, but you get the picture. I just came back from visiting our office, and I’m sure I’m that annoying person when I’m around, barging into people’s offices to chat; occupying spaces that are normally vacant, making noise people aren’t used to having to hear; asking stupid questions…I could probably go on here, too, but you get the picture.
So now I’m back home, no longer annoying others, and am thinking about the fact that when there are no others around either to annoy me or for me to annoy, I just annoy myself. For instance, my work phone happens to be a portable one so that I don’t have to be tied to the desk in the study all day. Why I can’t remember to charge this damn thing occasionally is beyond me. Every evening I’ll find myself thinking, “I need to remember to take that phone back upstairs and hang it up,” and then I promptly forget. Luckily, we have the other line, but it kind of takes a little something away from my professional cool to have to announce in the middle of a conversation, “Oops. My phone’s dying. Could I call you right back in two seconds?”
I also annoy myself by not checking my office supplies on a regular basis. How hard is it to make sure I’ve got at least one spare ink cartridge for the printer, so I don’t find myself in the midst of printing out an important document, only to discover half of it hasn’t printed, and if I want to finish printing it, I’m going to have to go to Staples? This is especially annoying, because I know the trip to Staples is unnecessary when it comes to ink cartridges. People at my office are perfectly happy to ship me spare cartridges, and if I don’t want to bug them, the company that makes the printer will also ship them to me. All I need do is put in the request, and they’d arrive at my house without my having to go anywhere.
Something else that distracts from one’s professional cool while on the phone is a barking dog in the background. I’ve mentioned before the fact that Bob and I live with The Barker. However, she doesn’t tend to bark if I close her into a room with me. It’s only when she has free rein of the whole house that falling leaves, blowing grass, and twittering birds become huge threats. For some reason, though, I forget to bring her in with me whenever I pick up the phone to make a call.
And you know the most annoying part? I’ve discovered I’m not half as much fun during the 80% of the time that I’m not busy annoying myself as colleagues usually are.
You know -- the people are both the good and the bad parts of having a job, both annoying and fun. And I can see how it would be the same for working at home -- not having people is the best and the worst part of it!
I think you'd be a fabulous co-worker, except I'd never get any work done because I'd be hanging over your cubicle to ask you annoying questions. (That barking dog reminds me that I once worked in an office that had real windows that opened, which was great, except we were on the ambulance route for the nearest hospital. So I'd be on the phone trying to sound like an impressive lawyer and you could hear the wail of an ambulance going by and it somehow ruined my act.)
You've hit the nail on the head, Dorothy. Hope you're feeling better today.
You and I could actually be an annoying team, Bloglily, loudly discussing all the great books we've read around all our colleagues.
Those college dreams are the worst - I have the EXACT same ones...there I am, ready to take the final exam, when it suddenly dawns on me I've never before attended the class. Lots of variations on this dream, actually, with the worst one being I have to interpret every stanza of the Edmund Spencers the Faerie Queen and I realize I forgot to read the poem! Which is weird, for a dream, because I actually have studied it...
Courtney, I have lots of "variations on the theme" dreams, too (can't find the classroom, have prepared for the wrong exam, haven't a thing to say for an oral presentation, etc.). BTW, I've been trying to comment on your posts for the past few days, but my comments aren't going through. I've had the same trouble with Litlove, as well.
Boy do I know what you mean about ink cartridges!! Although at least I don't have a photocopier to deal with any more. The one in college has a notice above it which says 'Please do not let this machine know if your job is urgent.' I guess the same could be hung over the desks of annoying co-workers...
Interestingly, I can't post on bikeprof's site, no matter how hard i try. I wonder what's going on?
Wordpress i know can be funky sometimes, I've had trouble, I just assume these are quirks working themselves out...
I find if I go into my office once or twice a week it seems to work fairly well for me.
when I go into work I enjoy catching up with my colleagues and hearing the latest gossip (probably annoying them and stopping them from getting on with their work in the process) and then I get to go home and get on with my own work.
Too much time at home or too much time at work and I'm miserable and extremely annoyed either with myself or my co-workers.
Ms. Tea, yes, a nice balance is a wonderful thing.
Talking of little big annoyances, there was an exasperating custom at my former job (up until July this year): in the morning, everybody would stop to say hello in each cubicle between the door and theirs. I used to be in the cubicle facing the entrance to the 30-cubicle open-space hall. Hence, between 7:30 and 9:30, every single colleague would pop by and say hello. It would still have been OK if was just about saying hello, but you know (or may not know) french habits: they would stand behind my chair until I turned around to actually shake hands with them. Sixty colleagues, 120 minutes, that is an average turn-around- / say-hello- / shake-hands- / try-not-to-be-rude- / put-your hands-back-on-the-keyboard-and-mouse- / try-to-refocus-interruption every two minutes! At some point, I almost put a sign behind my backrest saying 'hello to you' or 'do not disturb', but then I'd have passed as the grumpy one --which I am not. It got me seriously thinking about telecommuting!
Oh man, if that had been me, I would have hung black blankets all around my cubicle and hung up a sign that said, "Just call me Grumpy!"
For the record: I just went full circle. No more chocolate on-demand: I'll have to wait for new posts now.
I'm so impressed with your diligence, Mandarine! Did you discover anywhere that I was overly repetitive? I'm always convinced I'm repeating myself, but never bother to go back and re-read to figure out if I really am.
I'd send you some chocolate, but I promise you, what you can get over there is much better than anything found here (even when it's imported).
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