A Sea Of Grey


I picked a really bad time to start blogging again. Last week, I mostly abandoned my work to be here. I wrote 6 posts in 6 days. Yay! This week, I felt guilty about not working so much last week, so I figured I had better get to it. I don’t want the reason that my work from home utopia ends to be because I was slacking off. If anything, over the past year, I’ve shown them that I get more done at home. Well, regardless of any slacking I may have done, it looks like summer in paradise may be coming to an end.

Wednesday, my boss called me up and asked if I could come in on Thursday. He told me that the powers that be had commanded that working from home, where possible, should end on the 15th. It was already the 16th when we were discussing this, so I asked, “July?” He said, “No, yesterday.” Well, crap.

So, yesterday, I went in to work. My boss asked me to come in around 10am for a meeting with assorted coworkers, including the other art director who does the same thing as me, but for another brand (you may remember that dude as the former boss’ son from such highlights as this post and this one). Now that his mom is no longer our boss, he is much more reasonable. He’s still willing to sabotage me any change he gets (at the very least, he’s super competitive), but since our new boss is not his mother, that doesn’t get him very far. The thing is, we’ve always gotten along personally, but professionally, that’s a different story.

I rolled into work at 10am and everyone was there but the boss. I got stuck chatting with all of my coworkers. I guess that will happen if you haven’t seen people in a year. Even the ones I wasn’t super friendly with before were chatty. Former boss’ son was in his office (he still has an office and I still don’t). I assumed that he had been called in for the meeting just like me, but he told me that he worked all day Tuesday, too. Our boss told him to work at the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from now on.

My previous insecurity as scapegoat and redheaded stepchild crept in… He worked in the office on Tuesday while I wasn’t even told about coming back until Wednesday. What the hell?

After another hour, the boss showed up. We had our meeting about some work stuff, but mostly we just jibber-jabbered. In the 4 hours I was there, I only managed to organize my desk and turn my work computer on. I got no work done at all. At the end of the meeting, while my coworkers were all distracted with sidebar chitchats, I asked my boss what the deal was. Am I supposed to stay for the rest of the day? Do I have to come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays now? He told me I could leave for the day and gave me a conspiratorial shush.

I grabbed my stuff from my desk and bid my coworkers goodbye. My boss surreptitiously followed me outside. He told me that he’s working very hard to keep us working from home. For now, he wants me to come in once a week on Tuesday or Thursday for anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. He said, he doesn’t know how long he can keep it that way, but for now, that should be good.

Through surviving years of nepotism, my initial reaction was that former boss’ son was getting special treatment by being told about coming into the office before I was, but it turns out to be the other way around. He’s going to be so pissed when he find out that I only have to come in once a week and he has to be there 2 full days.

In any event, I expect that in a month or so, I will also have to go in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and that this whole work from home thing will end entirely before the year is out. Seeing my sad, little, impersonal cubicle in an entirely grey office awash with fluorescent lighting sticks and no windows made me really wish that wasn’t the case. Though it was nice seeing my coworkers again, it probably won’t be enough to make it alright. I have experienced a world without grey and now I don’t want to go back.

This is not my office, but it’s eerily similar. My office has even less color.