Hie Friggin’ Hoe

Is there anything worse than having to go back to work after a two-week Christmas holiday?

Okay, I know there are probably at least 53 things that are much worse than having a pretty good job and having had 2 weeks of paid holidays off from that job and that I and my loved ones have made it safely into 2010.

And I’m grateful for all that stuff, I really am, but I’ve had 2 weeks of lovely freedom. I’ve slept long enough in the mornings to wake up to daylight. I’ve stayed up long enough in the evenings to be able to do a little socializing. I’ve spent time with people I almost never get to spend much time with – including my own daughter.

I’ve had gorgeous things to eat and drink and not necessarily at times dictated to be my “lunch hour.” I’ve spent time outdoors whenever I felt like it – not just when I had to race to work in the cold dark morning, or race home in the cold dark evening. And, I didn’t have to attend one single meeting in 16 days!!

I puttered around the house a bit, organized some things, cleaned some things and did little things I never get around to, normally. And, I lounged my ass off. I read for hours. I sat and just talked with people for hours. I even wound down enough to watch a couple of DVDs.

But that’s all over now. There are weeks – months — between me and my next holiday. Cold, dark, snowy weeks. Weeks filled with meetings. Aarggghhh. (And, looking outside right now at the 4th straight day of snowfall (we’re at around 39 cm/15 and counting) with a minus 13 temperature (8o F) and 45 km/hr winds doesn’t help.

However, it needs to be done. The bills need to be paid. University tuition needs to be saved for. So, I’m going to do my best to not make it too horrible. How? 

  • I’ve already scheduled my next vacation and will spend a little time each day making plans for that.
  • My home is clean and stocked with food, my laundry is done and clothes are ironed for the week so I have no nasty chores to await me when I get home in the evenings and no frantic scrabbling in the mornings.
  • I cleverly booked myself for several training periods over the next 3 months. They’re 2 or 3 day sessions, learning something I’ll enjoy and that will be useful to me in my job. Most importantly, they will get me out of the office for a few days.
  • I will NOT  attempt to get through all my emails my first day back.
  • I WILL spend a bit of time each day chatting with co-workers about the last 2 weeks of fun and will avoid anyone who didn’t take any time off over the holidays and tries to convince me that I have “a lot of catching up to do.”
  • Whatever the weather, I will leave my desk for one hour at lunch time and go outside – maybe duck into some shops in between and browse around if it’s too nasty out and take advantage of deeply discounted junk left over from Christmas.
  • I will schedule something fun/interesting for the weekend so I have that to look forward to.
  • And, it’s a new year so there’s no better time to make some big career changes. I just made a couple of changes, however, so I don’t anticipate anything major for a while, but I will still keep the CV current and fresh and will still keep an eye on the job postings. I may even look into taking on a bit of freelance work again, just for fun.
  • Finally, I will do my very best to avoid meetings for at least the first 3 days back.  [Why do workplaces even still have meetings? Have you ever been to a meeting that was productive and relevant? There are always too many people at meetings – most of whom aren’t even involved in the topic(s) being discussed. The discussion ambles all over the place. The room gets hot and stuffy really quickly. I get twitchy from sitting too long. And when it’s all over, a big chunk of the day is gone and nothing has been accomplished and you’re that much further behind in your work.]

And, really it’s the first day that’s the hardest. By the time you’ve gotten through that first day it will already seem like you never had a holiday at all. You will be once again fully entrenched in the robotic, day-to-day, soul-sucking grind of subverting your humanity for the sake of a few miserable dollars.



17 responses to “Hie Friggin’ Hoe

  1. Yeah, back to work. I don’t even think I remember what it is I actually do, much less how to get wherever it is I do whatever it is. But I do know that I have to attend a big meeting at 2:45 AND I have an appointment with my ophthalmologist at 5:20, so it’s going to be a long, arduous day. Crap. How many more sleeps till Spring Break?!

  2. God, I’m so glad to be retired. I may not have much money but my time is, mostly, my own. I’m always busy planning my next trip though.

  3. I hear ya! I had several jobs where I was the only one that did what I did and so when I returned from a vacation it was like returning home to a house full of dogs that you forgot to feed. It was hideous!

  4. You are so right. Today is also my first day back to work after two weeks off at home. This morning I go to the airport to travel somewhere even colder and darker than it is here at home.

  5. This is the worst, darkest, most depressing work-day of the year. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

    In fact, I hate it so much, I procrastinated, and extended my visit to my friends in Toronto yesterday.

    As a result, I arrived home last night at 2:20 AM, after fighting snowy roads for 6 hours. I was too wired to sleep very much, And now I’m paying for it.

    Right now, it’s dark outside, and I have to leave to go to work soon. To deal with the Widget Factory and all the ass-clowns who run the place.

    And I want to gouge my eyes out.

    Happy Monday, 2010.

  6. i don’t know about anyone else, but this certainly made going back to work not so horrible. thanks XUP. hope your day is a good one …well as good as can be expected. cheers!

  7. Pinklea – Who calls a meeting the first day back to work? That’s just cruel. Unless it’s a meeting to tell you all that you won the lottery pool and can retire effective immediately. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

    Linda – If I didn’t still have a child to support and get through university, I’d be outta here, too.

    Geewits – Just getting up in the dark and having to walk through 3 feet of snow is hideous. Actually being at work is a whole other level of hideous. You and Linda enjoy your lives of leisure on our behalfs, okay?

    Heidilou – Hmmm. I’m not sure if that’s worse than having to go into the office. I take it you’re going on a work trip and that you’ll be sitting around listening to people talk for days and days? Or is it something interesting??

    Friar – I totally feel your pain. Focus on the upcoming weekend or your next holiday or your plans to leave the widget factory – anything to make these next days/weeks/months bearable. It’s inhuman, it really is.

    Raino – Really? Gee, I’m glad I unhorribled someone’s day.

  8. We cleaned our house yesterday and did laundry, too. I find that helps me get out of bed on Monday mornings. And I need to remember that whole taking a lunch hour thing. I so seldom do that (because I’m working “in the field”) but I always feel better when I do.

  9. “You will be once again fully entrenched in the robotic, day-to-day, soul-sucking grind of subverting your humanity for the sake of a few miserable dollars.”

    Gee, I’m not depressed at all now.

  10. Wonderful post, as Raino said.

    Makes me feel glad I came in a few days over the last couple weeks to ensure things didn’t fall too far behind (we had a lot of big orders come in right before the holidays which need to go out today). Now today is just like a regular Monday for me. A regular miserable, dreadful Monday.

    – RG>

  11. Those last couple of lines were really cheery and exactly how I feel this morning. I am just humming I am glad I have a job to myself over and over again.

  12. I have spent a lot, a LOT!, of time in meetings over the last few years, chairing a lot of them, too, which involves never letting your attention lapse. I am looking forward to a much reduced load this year with unalloyed joy. So, I guess I am saying, I hear you!
    I’ve just come from reading Alejna’s latest, in which she rejoices at the thought of being released from her toddler infested ‘cabin’ and getting them back to daycare and herself back to work.
    The one thing I miss about my 9 to 5 work years is the discipline the schedule imposed. Being retired and down to managing one house allows me lots of time to goof off, and I am afraid I abuse it.

  13. J – Ya, knowing I don’t have to dig through a sink of dirty dishes in the morning or trip over anything on my way to the shower makes getting up a tad less painful. And taking at least one good long break during the workday is pretty much a necessity for me.

    Julie – Well, let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? I’m sure there are people just raring to go back to work and people who don’t like taking vacations, but they’re strange and unfathomable, so we won’t speak of them.

    Grouchy – Painful as today had been, nothing would have induced me to come in “a few days” just to get caught up. That’s just insane.

    Cedar – Yes, they would have us be in a constant state of grovel in gratitude for the happt fact that we have a job. And yes, we’re better off than people who don’t have a job and need one, but surely there must be some way to make working more pleasant??

    Mary – My dear – if you can’t goof off to your heart’s content when you’re retired then what’s the point of being retired? I intend to do almost nothing but goof off when I retire. This is why I look forward to retiring. If I wanted to be held to commitments and a schedule and a workload, I’d just stay at work where they pay is much better than it is in retirement. I hereby order you to goof off as much as you want.

  14. Well, it helps(?) that I’m paid hourly instead of salaried. Also, past attempts at taking holidays to relax just never pan out for me. Like you said, insane. 😉

    – RG>

  15. I went in for my first day with my new Federal gov’t job today. After the 8-hours of PowerPoint briefs I met my supervisor, found my cubicle, and was encouraged to log in to read about the meetings that I need to attend this week. 93 emails and I’ve only been there a day.

    Federal service, how I missed thee. 🙂

  16. Love that last paragraph. If you are considering a career change, have you ever thought of becoming a motivational speaker? 🙂

  17. Grouchy – Ya, I couldn’t relax on a holiday if I weren’t getting paid, either. That’s not a holiday at all.

    Susan – Bwah-ha-ha. You should have a nice bunch of blog posts coming up out of this adventure.

    Loth – I would LOVE to be a motivational speaker. They get paid a fortune, plus their travel is paid for AND they get put up in luxury hotels and fed well. And all they have to do in return is blather on about something or other for an hour. The last paragaph is a trick of the trade. You first get them all motivated, then bring them back to the ground so that they think they need more motivational talk from you.