It’s a Monday, and I have work. In an office. Like so many others.
I get onto the high street, and it’s started to rain. Brilliant. The puddle dodging begins, and the even trickier task of judging how far the puddles on the road will splash onto the path becomes my major focus. As I successfully cross the road, I think ‘Great, work is just down here, it’ll be warm in there, WOOHOO.’ But alas, some bright spark has turned the AC on. Again. I hang up my coat and turn on my computer, tapping in my password and username as I go.
Now, as a cop out work experience girl, who flows into the office carefree (never carefree) at around 10am, the least I am expected and can be obliged to do is make a round of tea. Now, no longer being the new girl, I know everyone’s tea/coffee/sugar/milk ratios, so it’s hardly a taxing task. I’ve also got a new personal best of number of cups of tea on one tray- its 8 don’t you know!
Now, the working day has been, er, working for an hour at least, and so the newsroom is usually already buzzing away with ringing phones, voices and the smell of the tea I’ve just made. Genial and polite hellos are shared round to my fellow co-workers, as is general (and sometimes insightful/interesting) conversation regarding the evening before.
Tea brewed, cups handed out, dishwasher on (I may be an intern, but I go the extra mile) and everything seems hunky dory. I check my emails, because yes, people email me, and reply accordingly. I often check out my little fluorescent post-it that I left myself yesterday before I left to remind myself of the jobs required today.
Throughout the day, conversation, laughs, jokes, opinions, news stories, facts, interesting comments, discussion of work, arranged appointments and a lot more are shared, crowing over my monitor to my colleague opposite, shrouded in a forest of pot plants. I won’t lie, spinny chairs are quite fun, and I like to use their wheels to replace my legs. Very lazy; a lot of fun.
I make some calls, I answer some phones “Hello, Bedfordshire on Sunday newsdesk?” and make some more tea. Nabbing the occasional biscuit as I walk past the now tea station near the door happens more often than I like to admit, but I am no saint.
But what happens when I reach a part of my day that’s empty? Or when I pop out for a sandwich but return to my office, laying claim to a brief half an hour period where I find solace in a little internet browsage.
Now, don’t deny it (especially you ladies, although sometimes you hetero men…), we have all spent a little of our time on ASOS or the Topshop website, sneakily restoring the page so it looks so small other staff cannot see your cheekiness. It was only today, as I was walking past another office, that I saw the familiar grid formation of garments, resembling the Topshop website.
Let us not deny the time also spent checking Twitter and Facebook, perhaps Instagram and Pinterest, on our mobiles every now and again, just at that moment you look at the screen and think “I hate life. I cannot bare to type this story up.”
The whispered conversations in the corner regarding office drama, or the telephone call in code “Yeah, you know, what we were talking about earlier. No? Oh, ok, I’ll come up to speak in your office then…” I’m so nosey.
I walk past a desk and see a few post-its stuck round people’s desks, with illegible scribbles and reminders, with smiley faces and doodles round the curling corners. I wonder if one contains the code to the safe (Is there even a safe?).
I hear a woman and man laughing- I automatically assume a raunchy office affair scandal. Not in a weird way, in an ‘I love office drama’ way. It’s fun, when my work is not.
Now, I challenge anyone to not recognise one of the above observations… Don’t deny it, you’re an office w*nker like the rest of us.