For the last six months or so my office has been here there and everywhere.
It’s been on Koh Samui beaches at sunrise, squished up against windows on overnight buses from Bangkok to Surat Thani and hurtling along bumpy roads from Myawaddy to Yangon.
It’s been lazing by the pool in thirty degrees heat with squinted eyes, lazing on flea-ridden beanbags in a bohemian mental asylum and sat on white wicker chairs on a mosaic tiled roof terrace. It’s been in hostels and hotels and coffee shops, yoga studios, meditation centres and beachside cafés.
And despite how much I’ve adored the blue skies, white sands and quasi-Digital Nomad lifestyle, there’s just something about the office life I miss.
Playground For Adults
Offices are like playgrounds for adults.
Show ‘n’ tell gets upgraded to powerpoint and we swap milk cartons for espresso cups, but most of the time we’re still running around in circles screaming like lunatics getting absolutely nothing done.
Some company cultures make you feel like you’re walking into a morgue in the morning and others make you feel like you’ve accidentally ended up on the film set for Wolf of Wall Street. There’s never usually a happy medium.
It’s either suits and boots or tatty converse and deliberately ill-fitting jeans. Serious faces on middle aged men with comb overs or twenty year old Directors with three iPhones in one hand.
There’s the teachers’ pets, the jokers, the classroom hotties and the smelly kids you dread standing behind in the queue at the canteen.
There’s the ring-leaders, the show-offs and the know-it-alls. The gossip queens, the smiling assassins and that one in the corner with a permanent resting bitch face.
And between the hours of nine and five, this bizarre bunch of personalities are huddled together under one roof, plied with ten trillion cups of coffee and given myriad scenarios to test their patience.
Bonds au Bureau
Some teams bond over their ladder-climbing ambitions, others on how much they want to murder their boss. Cliques form and friendships blossom.
Flirting tactics go from PG to R rated.
There’s sackable comments at the printer and bend-and-snaps in skintight dresses at the stationary cupboard.
Then, once a year, this behaviour sees a notable spike which usually launches unlikely couples forward into lustless affairs after some alcohol-fuelled fondling in the back of a taxi after the Christmas party.
But whatever bonds are formed, more often than not, colleagues end up being the people you spend more time with than your own family.
And that’s it – that’s what I miss about the office, being part of a completely unwanted and totally dysfunctional family.