Back at Work
So that was my first week back at work. It went well. In fact it went by without any real incident, so it’s difficult to talk about in any detail. I have to go through training again, which is being handled via patchy one-to-one coaching with an old colleague. Today, being Friday, was a dress-down day, which meant that I was wearing a t-shirt. I was very slightly nervous about it, but it’s actually kind of difficult to remember that my scars might have any impression on other people, so once I was there I didn’t really think about it much.
I think they’re being gentle with me, which is nice but kind of boring. But I guess it’s a kind of mutual re-establishment of trust. The truth is, I’m much more able to deal with work now than I ever was before. I’m not dangerously tired and I’m not having to deal with my life falling to pieces around me. It’s the first time I’ve ever been in a job where I’m not constantly exhausted. Just being able to deal with mornings is astoundingly nice. I get up and have time for a leisurely coffee or two, do all the usual morning stuff and have a reasonable amount of flexibility built into my journey into work, so it doesn’t really matter if my bus is late. When I was working before I’d be so tired that I’d hit snooze until I eventually dragged myself out of bed in time to pull some clothes on, maybe brush my teeth and lurch out the door.
Breaks last a lot longer when you don’t have to rush outside for a cigarette. In fact it’s a year ago today that I gave up smoking (my last cigarette was actually sometime around Christmas, but I made the decision to quit on November 28th 2007). It might not have been the perfect time to quit, but it was so worthwhile in the end.
Looking back, I think the best preparation for going back to work was the volunteering. It let me get used to being around people again in a work-like environment. I’m continuing to volunteer there now, which seems to work out well. With the sleep being pretty much sorted out now (and hopefully for the future too), I don’t have to worry about being awake for things. I enjoy it, and the really good thing is: I’m actually developing skills and experience for my future career. I kind of like my job – it’s fairly easy, but engaging enough that it’s not mind-crushingly boring – but even with 16 hours logged so far, I know it’s not something I want to do for too long. It’s scary to see so many people around who are in pretty much the same roles they were in when I left.
In short, everything’s working out pretty damn well. It’s really good to be back at work and 16 hours seems to be well within my tolerances at the moment.