Today was my first day back in the office. (I went back to work on Friday, but wasnâ€™t yet physically present.)
Part of me felt guilty â€“ not just because I was leaving the muppets behind for the day, but because I was excited to be back. (Please donâ€™t let that make me a bad mom. I just like what I do.)
As I said before, of course I wish I had more time with the muppets at home. And as I headed back toward corporate America to continue sorting through 3,000 emails (this is not an exaggeration), it seemed fate also wanted me to have more time. Or fate at least wanted to drive home the point that I shouldnâ€™t be too happy to be back.
I popped out of bed bright and early â€“ ready to tackle my new roll as a working mom. Well, in reality, I clumsily rolled out of bed to soothe the screaming children who felt they were being cruelly starved to death and really needed their parents to HURRY UP AND FEED THEM. But I digressâ€¦
I havenâ€™t worn work clothes in four months and 12 days. Itâ€™s been even longer since I wore heels. This adjustment combined with my new larger (and significantly higher vehicle) made for a very interesting attempt at coolly sliding into my car. Instead, I teetered out into the morning air â€“ balancing my computer bag, notebooks, the pump and my purse â€“ and made several futile efforts to launch myself into the SUV without flashing the entire neighborhood. I finally scootched myself up and over just enough to ensconce myself in the car without ripping my skirt.
Crisis averted. And off I went, oh so pleased with myself that Iâ€™d remembered to get gas yesterday.
I arrived at the office gate feeling perky and professional. I havenâ€™t had any coffee in 10 months so I wasnâ€™t dragging from the lack thereof. I surveyed the vast array of parking spaces still available and swiped my card across the card reader thingy.
And the gate remained firmly shut.
I repeated this process a minimum of five times, all the while reminding myself of Albert Einsteinâ€™s quote that â€œinsanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.â€ Finally, I gave up and pushed the button to ask security for help. Sadly, security informed me I was now a corporate risk so they couldnâ€™t let me in.
I did work Friday, so I was relatively certain I was still employed. I was also completely certain I was blocking a line of cars trying to get into the parking lot. So I peered out my window and shouted to the man with the bemused expression in the car behind me.
â€œMy badge is broken and security wonâ€™t let me in,â€ I explained to the general downtown area. Ever so contentious of security concerns, the man in the car behind me got out of his car, walked up to the gate and magically opened the gate with his working badge.
I parked and bee-lined for the head security office so no one would escort my rouge, badgeless presence from the campus. Turns out the badge automatically turns itself off after a period of non-usage. Security took about five seconds to reactivate me.
Crisis averted. And off I went, oh so pleased with myself that I remembered where my cube was.
I strolled up to my cube and set my multitude of packages down. Then I noticed things were not as Iâ€™d left them. My plants were still there. But they were dead. And I mean dead dead. In reality, my plants were gone; I had pots of dirt. Power cords, phone headsets and monitor cables were nowhere to be seen. My cube had been pilfered! (Not that this surprised me. At my last job, my monitor was claimed by a colleague before my departing self had even cleared the door.)
I wandered back downstairs until I found the technology department and secured replacements for the necessary cables. At this point I realized what fate had really been trying to tell me.
â€œTricia, your workplace has coffee bars. Utilize this perk.â€
Amazingly enough, the rest of the day flew by. Iâ€™m back in the groove. And when I got home this evening, the muppets were even cuter than when I left them this morning.