Once upon a time I had a full-time job in an office. The days were long, or so I thought, the work was repetitive, or so I thought and when the going got tough at certain busy times of the year, it was the team I worked in who kept me level.
Now my full time job has turned into one that has longer hours, more repetitive tasks and when the going gets tough I don’t have my colleagues to keep me level. In fact, some days I don’t see anyone apart from my two tiny ‘bosses’ (I’m talking about my children, not my post-baby breasts). I miss them dearly (my work friends) yet I remain positive, and thankful for their replacements. We shall start with number 1: my dishwasher.
The One Who Shared the Load
In most work places, there is usually one particular team player who stands out, who you can always rely on to help you when you are drowning in tasks, who will take some work off from you and say nothing more of it. My dishwasher is now that person. At 7.30 each night it will gratefully take the bowls of soggy cornflakes from the morning rush, tackle crusty scrambled eggs stuck to the saucepan and baked bean covered everything. It struggles with Weetabix of course – that stuff, once dry, is stronger than concrete. My dishwasher is my saviour. It helps me when I need it most. I don’t give it much love back. After I give it all my dirty plates, I press power, switch off the lights and go to bed. In the morning everything is sparkling and new. What an absolute gem. We must do lunch sometime.
I loved chatting with the talker at work. Sometimes, ok, most of the times, she was a complete distraction, but without her the office would have been dead. She was the most entertaining person in there and no one could help but love her. My alternative now is my iPhone and social media. I need it to stay in the loop, to keep up to date with everything that is happening on the go. I haven’t got time to read a newspaper – crikey, I can hardly get out of my front door to buy one; and my only chance to read a magazine is my quarterly trip to the hairdressers.
The One Who Helped Me Forget It All
Occasionally I would also meet up with one of my friends outside of work. Since she was often working night shifts, she would be in need of a good breakfast and me, in need of something slightly tastier than my usual soup and a roll (Ha! How spoilt I was then! I had half a cold fish-finger today). We’d meet at the pub near my work and after a few minutes I’d forget I was actually in work at all. Netflix does the same thing these days. As soon as I have pressed that red and white button, I forget that I have been changing nappies, removing bogeys and arguing with a tiny person about eating one more spoonful of potato…instead I am a rich girl in Manhatten with endless cocktail parties to attend and if it all gets too much, there’s summer in Paris.
The After Work Drinker
There’s at LEAST one in every office. If they don’t actually go for a drink after work, they talk about what tipple they are looking forward to when they get in.
Now, I am the after work drinker.
My “work-wife”, you know who you are – she always motivated me. I loved sitting next to her because if I was ever flagging I’d glance to my right and she’d be head down working, moving files from under her desk into a tower next to her. I seriously wish I could parent with my work-wife beside me every day. Instead I use coffee and tea (nb: the herbal ones I used to drink about 10 a day of in my 9-5 job are gathering dust in my kitchen cupboard). Caffeine you are the closest thing I get to The Motivator.
The Annoying One Who You Sometimes Need to Call On in Times of Need
This one worked in another office but in the same team as me, so despite them regularly irritating me, I had to keep them sweet because they often helped me out. I grin and bear CBeebies most days in the same manner, but actually, sometimes I am genuinely grateful for it’s existence.
The Mumsy One
The one who could be your mum. It’s so lovely to have this sort of work colleague in your team. She will always stick up for you and is the nicest person to bump into in the kitchen or on lunch break. My work mummy now is Lorraine, at 8.30am every morning on ITV. That is if I remember to turn over from the Furchester sodding Hotel.
The Clingy One
Is often some poor mite on work experience who hasn’t a clue where to go or what to do and finds the prospect of talking to anyone other than the person they have been introduced to at 9am, terrifying. Fine to have them tag along for the (paid) working hours, but at lunchtime, if you want to go shopping for a new bra you really don’t need them tagging along asking keen bean work experience questions. But now I find myself even sat on the loo with my teething baby strapped to me. At least the intern waited outside. And new bra? Lunch break? Don’t make me laugh…ha, ha, ha…
The Dramatic One
High one minute, low the next, best friends with so-and-so and seething with them the next. Fascinating to watch, not so great if you are in the thick of it. Well, now I have a toddler.
The One Who Is Just Like You
She makes the same mistakes as you, whether that’s leaving the toilet with her skirt stuck up her knickers or heading every letter with the year of her maternity leave. If you do something embarrassing or funny, you run straight to her to confess and you both double over in laughter until you cry (or get told off for being hysterical in a law firm). This is where I shout out to my favourite parenting bloggers, The Unmumsy Mum, Sarah & Louise, Life is Knutts and This Mums Life. I swear we are sisters. Thanks for keeping me sane during the work shifts and for laughing with me.