Today is February 1st. I have been at my job here at the underwriting firm for just under six months now, which marks the longest time I have ever worked full-time in an office before. Generally, it's been one, two, three months stints, over Christmas and summer breaks, between degrees and adventures and teaching positions.
My week began with a man chirping, "Happy Monday!" into the phone when I answered his call early Monday morning.
We talk about traffic a lot. About the weather. About the lack of sunlight and the fact that a certain yoghurt has a certain number of WW points.
Just the other day, a woman left the office at 4:30, yelling back to those of us still inside, "see you in twelve hours!" She meant 16, but it's just as well. Sixteen hours away, eight hours here. 13.5 hours away, if you're counting commuting times & preparation for work. I am.
As the receptionist, past whom everyone must walk to get to the bathroom, I hear a lot about my co-workers' urinary habits: how much water they're drinking, how much they usually drink, and their commitments to staying hydrated. As the receptionist, I sit next to the candy jar that the semi-retired owner of the company keeps stocked with Werther's Originals, peppermint rounds, and those strawberry candies with the ooze in the middle. I hear a lot about my co-workers' lack of self-control, about the weight they've recently gained, and about how their grandmothers used to keep candy jars filled with very specific treats during their childhoods. In the words of my esteemed gentleman friend, "Shit don't change."
Since starting as the receptionist here, I have been sick approximately nine times, which--if you're counting (I am)--is four more times than the number of months I've worked here. I think I may be fighting something off right now, to add to that list. If you have been paying any attention at all to my health or my immune system in the past few years--and, of course, I have--the number of times I have been sick since starting this position is approximately seven more times than I normally get sick in an entire year.
I may be more than a little skeptical about third eyes and chakras, but I can take a hint. Oh, Lord, can I take a hint.