Yesterday I packed my lunch for the first time in 15 months. I hauled my tea thermos back out too.
Then, I headed back into the office.
What a crazy world!
I picture Glenda the good witch making her way around the county summoning all of us who have been working at home back to business.
“Come out, come out wherever you are.”
And, though I’ll never, ever be mistaken for a munchkin, I imagined myself peeking out from behind my laptop that has been perched on my dining room table throughout this stretch, just a little bit hesitant to dress in real clothes and skip down that yellow brick road to work.
As it turns out, though, I was thrilled.
I greeted everyone as I made my way past my fellow employees to my desk in the back of the building.
“Hey! Great to see you! I’m so excited to be back!”
Then, I reached my desk and immediately realized I had forgotten my phone.
“Hey! Still great to see you, but I’ll be right back!” I said, mildly humiliated at having to mulligan my big entrance.
I have some back-in-the-office etiquette to work out too. For instance, I must apologize to Intern Devin, who sits across the room from me, for blithely waiting 22 minutes into a video conference before realizing I should have popped in my ear buds. Now he’ll be able to include “tuning out old lady chatter” when he lists the skills he’s developed this summer.
All in all, though, it was an excellent first official day back.
I’ll always be grateful that my company had the foresight and financial commitment to equip us all to work through any pandemic-related shutdowns. And, I’m excited that those capabilities remain so employees can work from home when they’re contagious, or nursing sick kids or trapped by the elements.
But, part of what I have always loved about my job has been collaborating with people I respect and enjoy.
So, it was really good to be back.
Tomorrow, I may wear my ruby red slippers.