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Hypochondriacs Addendum

I’ve just found out that I might not have Attention Deficit Disorder after all. Apparently, ‘High scores on this examination may result from anxiety, depression or mania’. Wicked, more stuff to get anxious about potentially having. But being back at work is bound to be depressing after six months sitting about, right? Well it is for me, but everyone else I’ve spoken to has said that they kind of expected work to be crap, so it didn’t bother them. What really bothered them was the miserable people hating their jobs that live back home.

Well for me, I expect to enjoy work. Not just because my self-help books tell me to, in the same way they tell me not to drink milk with Prozac on an empty stomach. But because it should be fun.

What is it like being back at work? That’s not the question people ask me. What I get asked is, “Are you back in the swing of things yet?”

This has to be some sort of euphemism, and I’ve spent a short while trying to figure out what people are really saying:

  • “Has the youth and exuberance been sucked out of you yet?”
  • Have you submitted to the overbearing futility of what we do here yet, or do you still have the high-fallutin’ ideas of a man with per-spek-tiv?”
  • Have you been normalised to someone who fits in with the kind of thing that happens here?”
  • “Do you have that resigned look yet?”

No-one has asked me if I’m having fun yet. Wassup? No, really what’s the matter? Why don’t people expect me to be having a blast doing what I’m doing? And if they do, why isn’t that what they ask? I remember a great colleague of mine telling me that you should only turn up because they pay you to, after all, if they didn’t pay you, you wouldn’t do it. Bollocks to that, say I. I work here because there’s enough fun here to stop me going to have fun somewhere else.

Reality was a bit different to that over the last few weeks though. Often, the best reason for going to work sometimes is the fact that a few doors down is a cafe that has wicked sausage and bacon rolls. Documents you need to read are shown to you and they just look like lists of words. With some words in bigger letters than other words. Reading them past the contents and introduction is a real challenge. Falling asleep staring at your screen in the early afternoon is generally frowned upon. Your boss asks you what time you arrive in the morning so he can meet you for a career-shaping meeting full of opportunity, and you reply, “Oooh, about ten-ish”.

Actually, my boss is OK. He took me for breakfast at the great cafe down the road, and actually asked me if I was enjoying things. So I mustn’t grumble.

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