Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

The new normal?

So...  I was back in the office this week.   Was that ever a surreal experience.   I was there for three days; my boss was having an offsite, that included his whole team (which means people flying in from UK, US, and Vancouver), and since so many were coming to Toronto, a few other teams came in as well.   He arranged the schedule so while there were workshops, there was also lots of networking time.

Not sure this post will have any coherence, but my random thoughts over the last few days.

  • Getting up more than 2h before the first meeting *just* to get to the meeting on time...  Less fun ;-P. No dog walk, no exercise, just to get there.   And that's when staying in Oakville.
  • While there aren't nearly as many people commuting, they've shortened the trains and made them less frequent, so end result is still over-crowding.
  • However, since the platforms haven't moved, the doors still open in the same spots they always did. And turns out the same trains are still on the same tracks.  End result, I knew where to stand to ensure I pretty much always had a seat.  Win.
  • On the flip side, the GO parking lot is empty.   I'm loving the non-reserved "reserved" spots.  And the fact that with half the lot closed, I could still get an ideal spot mid-rush-hour.
  • Remembering what to bring in my train bag.  lol headphones, water bottle, etc
  • The train was busiest on Thursday by a LOT.  The couple people I know who've started going back into the office have mentioned that, but I hadn't really expected it.   I'm slightly confused as to why (I prob would've guessed Tues or Wed) but evidently Thurs is the day.
  • I haven't worn adult shoes in years.   Let's be honest - I rarely wear *shoes*, much less grown-up ones.  My feet.  My poor feet.   Before I even got to the office, I had to find a pharmacy to buy band-aids, just to make it through the first day.   Also, that was more of a challenge then it should've been since most of the PATH (for non-TO people, it's actually very cool) is out of business :(.  Random stranger gave me directions - thankfully accurate as I was hobbling by that point, so exploring was less fun.
  • Day two I wore flats instead; I noticed the vast majority of the women did the same.  To be fair, I can count the women on one hand -- it's still a very male-dominated area -- but we were all shorter on day 2 ;)
  • In the "before times" if you were in a hybrid meeting, the people who were remote would always be causing delays and struggling with technology.  Here it was the people in the room, every time.   Couldn't connect computers, had no idea how to make the speaker work.  Ironically as the least technical person in the room, this was something I had no issue with since my last world was also hybrid, I'm well used to the tech.  But *this* office had been 100% in-office before the world shut down (like think actual desktops) so it's all new to them.  Moderately amusing as it is, in fact, a tech team.  The remote people needed a lot of patience this week ;)
  • Where I failed in tech was the elevators.   More often than not I'd push the button to call the elevator and forget to check the screen for which one to get in.   This is the reverse of what used to happen when I was super-used to that, but then I'd go into a building without it and just stand in an old-school elevator wondering why it didn't move 😂 
  • When you've only met people online, even though we always have cameras on, you have no real idea of size: either height or weight.  There were people *way* taller, skinnier, or heavier than in my mental image.   Apparently they thought I'd be taller 😂 
  • Pre-commuting me: packs tank top blouse.   Current me: remembers I didn't have a reasonable jacket to wear and put off going to Winners too long, just accepts I'm going to freeze.   Put on tank top and underneath is a neatly folded office-appropriate sweater.  Thank you past me!
  • The quick downward slide amused me.   Day one: set alarm an hour early, transition into an adult, have breakfast before leaving, etc.  Day two: set alarm 45 mins early and 30 mins early.   Wake up at first alarm, get up at second alarm, eat breakfast, and go.   Day three: set alarm 30 mins early.  Get up at 15 mins.  Out the door with time to spare.  Not a ton of it, but some!
  • It was really great to catch up with some colleagues from previous teams that I haven't seen since before the world shut down.

As to actual work?  Nothing got done.  It was a great week of networking, actually super helpful as far as building relationships, having casual conversations, and generally getting to know people as humans rather than work-only squares on a screen.  But now it feels like I've been on vacation for a week; it's all the catching up of the work that didn't happen in all the rest.


Post a Comment