The one regret I have about my first day back at work (after a three month break) is that I didn’t do something I promised myself I would. I promised myself on returning to work, I would go out for lunch every day and eat something healthy. The aim of this was to achieve a new equilibrium of mental and physical health in my otherwise quite stressful job. Instead, I went to the downstairs cafe, where I bought a potato pie which I ate back at my desk.
I would have eaten something more healthy, except they’ve changed the ordering system (again), and when confronted by an order-board that was as wide as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and involved “ordering by numbers”, I took the easy option. In the good old days you could order a simple sandwich, but now it’s like one of those noodle places where you have to order things in steps. Step one, select the noodle. Step two, select the sauce. Step three, select the meat…
But that’s my only regret from the day which, otherwise, was quite pleasant. Everyone seemed pleased to have me back, which was nice. And I didn’t have to resort to my former usual “hearding cats” strategy in getting people to attend our daily meeting.
And I was really pleased to see the people I work with, as they’re generally, geniunely a nice bunch of people. They also seemed to genuinely take an interest in my travel photographs which I’ve culled down to a 5-7 minute slideshow.
I adopted a ruthless strategy in relation to the 3,000 emails which were in my account. If it was older than three weeks, it was probably dealt with by now. And if it was urgent, people would have responded to my “out of office” message which provided personal and professional details. For just a moment, however, I wondered if it would be naughty to leave that “out of office” message on permanently.
What I realised, however, in going through some of the emails was that I receive an awful lot of crap in my inbox every day. “Why are you sending this to me?”, I said to the computer, hoping the sender of yet another piece of pointless “pr” got the message. “Why have you put me on your distribution list?” I said to another. It occured to me at one point there’s a lot of people, these days, for whom sending and receiving an email IS their job.
Early in the day, one of my colleagues commented on how relaxed I appeared after three months. Apparently, I look quite a bit younger and still have the remains of a light tan, though it’s something I can’t see myself. As I left work late this afternoon, I asked him if I still looked okay. He said yes, though I wasn’t entirely convinced he meant it this time.
This was perhaps confirmed by the bloke in the newsagent who I haven’t seen for several years when he commented tonight, “You have more grey hair”. And then he joked, “but who am I to talk?”. As I handed over my money, I said to him “If I win Lotto, I’ll buy us both some hair dye to hide the greys”. Here’s hoping…
Although I worked a long day, I’ve arrived home and it’s still daylight which is a blessing. After I finish writing this post I’m gonna go for a walk.
And later tonight, so long as I have the energy I’m gonna go visit the Hopetoun Hotel. A mate of Mark from Perth (and formerly Sydney) is playing there tonight. He does kinda weird performance poetry stuff. I recently listed to some of his stuff on his website and he’s actually quite good. I was especially impressed by his piece about a night on the town in Rockingham, a suburb south of Perth. Quite good.
Depending on how I feel, and whether or not there’s a cover-charge, that might just be the thing for a Tuesday night. Or maybe that might be the second promise I’ve made to myself I will break today?