As my first work anniversary is around the corner, I thought it just to document my observations at places that I’ve worked at, pointing out occurrences that not only strike a chord (or nerve) but also frequently serve as afternoon amusement.
The floor that I work on is usually the one that gets the most traffic, due to being sandwiched between the tide of sales guys coming down from up above, and the flood of staff from the second. The frequency of the lift having to stop doesn’t bother me much, neither does the occasional human squeeze.
What does bother me however, is when second-floorers enter the lift with the full intention of going down to the ground level, but do this panicky, jerky half-movement where they’re caught between a twirl back to press the ‘1’ button on the lift’s button panel, but stopping themselves just in time when they remember there’s only one place left to go and that’s the ground floor.
I’ve always found it strange that they actively pressed the arrow down button whilst on the second floor with the intention of heading to the ground level, enter the lift, see other people who are obviously heading to the ground level who must’ve had the common sense to press the ‘1’ button, yet make the effort to turn around and attempt pressing the button themselves.
Where did they think the rest of the people were headed? The car park is above the ground, as they probably would’ve seen it before entering the building.
I have seen people do the craziest things to smuggle their belongings out of the office, in an attempt to inconspicuously duck out of sight toward the end of the day.
From carrying the tiniest of purses to the office to sandwiching their purses between a stack of miscellaneous paperwork, these attempts have always boggled me.
The majority, even when leaving a mere 15 minutes early, perceive their flight as a ‘walk of shame’ of sorts, clutching their bags closely to their bodies as they scuttle out of the office, staring blankly into space and determinately making no eye contact, only to squeak a frantic ‘goodbye!’ if and when their colleagues say goodbye.
I don’t get it, because the companies that I’ve worked at are usually in complete favour of a healthy work-life balance. Working from home options are available especially for late night meetings, and managers are not unreasonable. They practice flexibility to a certain degree, and as long as you get your work done by the deadlines agreed upon, leaving at a reasonable time after your work is done isn’t seen as such a crime – least of all needing to smuggle your way out of the office just to beat the evening rush hour.
This is similar to the End-Of-Day Guilt that I observed above. Though it’s well within an individual’s means to use their lunch time as they please, e.g. popping out to nearby malls or beauty and wellness stores to knock back some lunch-time retail therapy, it’s not uncommon to see these employees attempt to conceal their shopping bags – as if retail therapy was a heinous sin to be atoned for.
I’ve even witnessed colleagues anxiously repacking their purchased items into their tiny handbags just to avoid being seen with a shopping bag, or stash them at another colleague’s desk/reception just to avoid being branded ‘the afternoon slacker’ or ‘that retail-whore’.
Come on guys, it’s 2018 and I think people have moved past (most) judgement and embraced flexibility and multitasking as the new tomorrow. We can’t be a society open to modern collaboration tools such as presence detection and data sharing, yet be bogged down by something as trivial as perceived discrimination over lunchtime shopping and/or a healthy work-life balance.
It’s high time to get past that, don’t you think?