After years of working from home, and half a year working part time, today I headed back into the office to cover for a secretary with a messed up ankle who is supposed to be out for a month.
After my first day back, I have to say, WTF was I thinking?
First, going in I was soooo stressed. I had bad work-dreams all night (little did I know these dreams would pale in comparison to my actual day). I left the house and had to turn around and go back in to throw up. Rebrushed my teeth, and tried again.
Made it to the office. Made it to the desk. A desk where the person left, expecting to be back the next day. A desk that has had nobody sitting at it for a few days. A desk with all kinds of nasty adventures lurking in every corner.
Did I mention our IT guy stayed home sick?
Just so you know, I am not an idiot (well, not a complete idiot). I know my way around computers and peripherals. I am pretty good with the systems used by the office. Silly me, I thought I had things covered.
First, how to turn on the monitor. It’s a magic monitor. I did not know such things existed. There were no switches or buttons anywhere on the damn thing (and I looked every-fucking-where). A passing attorney was trying to figure it out for me, and accidentally touched the right spot on the (totally smooth unmarked) base and it turned on – like magic.
Then, how to get stuff to print – at least print somewhere that I can actually find it. I seem to have sent a large number of print jobs off into the ether, never to be seen, heard or smelled again – at least, I don’t know where the fuck they went.
Now dredge up all the stuff that I long ago deleted from my mind when I started working from home – stuff like, dial 9 to get an outside line (I know, I know); my user name and password to access Federal Express, my password to access the copiers, my password to access the legal forms system; how to request a check from accounting using the billing system; how to enter and edit time entries. Shall I go on?
Did I mention there were over 100 emails (new emails; seeming urgent emails) in the inbox?
Did I mention I couldn’t have my system open while I had the secretary’s system open?
Did I mention the document management system’s search function decided to bail for awhile?
Did I mention that MSWord crashed on me – a couple of times?
Did I mention, besides covering a desk that serves 3 attorneys, I am still doing the word processing for the firm?
Sometime around 3 pm the diarrhea started. I guess, given a choice, it is preferable to puking.
I know (hope) that this will get easier as I get the desk under control, but in the meantime, it is not going to be pretty.