On my first day of work I guess you could say I came back down to Earth. With the afterglow of the initial job offer still burning in my eye it seemed that things were so much more sparkling than they actually were. In my mind I had visions of my new coworkers swarming around me trying to get me up to speed on my new responsibilities. The reality of what happens over a few hours versus a few minutes is that those same coworkers are tied up in phone meetings or offsite meetings about 50% of their time and so it can feel a bit solitary and quiet.
I’ve been used to jobs where I was valued in sitting behind my computer terminal writing or composing material. Now I’m starting to join the ranks of the many who seem successful in the corporate environment. Once you become sufficiently important, valued, in sometime of leadership role, in the mainstream of the action you life seems more and more revolved around meetings. You calendar now becomes partial property of a secretary who can without your consent schedule you up for a meeting. And if you just want to call up someone or chat with someone down the hallway, you may be out of luck, and you may just have to schedule a meeting.
The inner child within me has probably perceived that the more you moved and traveled in your job the more important you were. You were living the faced paced life. “Hey there it was good to meet with you, maybe we can talk next week when I’m back in town. I’ve got to head off to a meeting at our site in DC and then I’ve got to visit a customer over in Brussells…. blah blah blah” And so I see this faced paced life working quite a bit with many of my middle-aged colleagues at work. Certainly anyone who has been my supervisor has traveled a lot and been tied up in meetings in the office and over the phone. And time flies. And in this flurry of activity it seems that if you make a list of goals and things to achieve those goals, all those things and goals frequently get pushed aside because your brain is tied up participating in meetings, preparing for meetings, traveling to and from meetings, and scheduling meetings.
So my naive inner child steps me back and thinks something here doesn’t feel right. Why can’t we just go in our office sit and look out the window at the sun? Why can’t we just color in our book? Why can’t we just explore all the hallways of the big building and go up and down all the many many elevators? Why is everyone always vacant either staring into a computer screen for hours at a time or behind a closed door in a long phone call, or away for a lot time at some other location? Why do people prefer to eat lunch alone in their office? Why doesn’t everyone just all go to the cafeteria when the lunch bell rings and sit at the same tables? Why isn’t there a lunch bell?