Posted by: chlost | March 26, 2012

Office life

We have about this many people in the office. Most of us do have a real (small) office to ourselves. With a door!
Image via wikipedia


It has now been nearly 4 months since my job change. I have been working full-time at a position that I had previously worked as a part-time independent contractor. I had my own office, a private practice. I have gone from being on my own in a home office to working in an office with 10 full-time and approximately 6 part-time employees. For nearly 20 years, I was my own boss.

There have been a few adjustments:

-I am expected to have my butt in the office even if there is really not much work to do. My caseload is small right now. Things are usually slow at this time of year anyway. It will definitely not stay like this much longer.

-I have to make conversation with folks who are younger than my children, including listening to their overinflated egotistical war stories about their job experiences.

– It is expected that I earn vacation days. I am supposed to ask to use my vacation days.  My vacation days are paid!!

-If my office is too cold, or too hot, I have very little control to change it. I did purchase a small heater to keep on the floor near my desk. However, if I use it, it blows out the circuit which is also used for several other people’s computers.  So, I bought a sweatshirt to wear if I am cold. It might be scary to see what happens when I am too hot.

-If I don’t make a lunch in the morning, I have to spend money to buy a lunch. As I rarely am together enough in the morning to make a lunch, I end up spending too much money to have lunch each day. And I certainly would never miss lunch!

-I have had to learn new computer programs. Each of the programs has a different password to access it. It is expected that I change my password every month or so. If you have read this blog much at all, you know what a challenge that is for me.

-The office phone system sucks. No way around it.

-The politics of spending money in this department is worse than I ever imagined. An employee in an office in another area had an affair with a violent person (a former resident of a prison). That violent person came to their office and threatened all of them. Now every office will be having a security system installed-at who can imagine what cost-even though no one in our office would ever be so stupid as to date someone like that. It sure would be nice to have those funds applied to raises for staff. There have been no raises for approximately 4 years. Due to budget problems.

-The personalities of the other employees are interesting. You do get to know other people when you share an office. Hearing telephone conversations through the office walls ( I do not eavesdrop! The walls are just very thin) can be interesting.  Sharing a bathroom with others on a daily basis can be even more revealing.

Image via wikipedia

Image via wikipedia









The support, encouragement, input and assistance of other employees who are also doing a very difficult job for little pay, even less respect and absolutely no idea what we do on  a daily basis is priceless.We are routinely vilified by the public. We have very few “wins”. We rarely hear any thanks, even from those whose lives have been changed by the work we do.

This job may work out after all.



  1. I can only imagine what a challenging change you’ve made after working at home for 20 years. Glad to hear that 4 months in an office doesn’t see you ready for the loony bin! It’s good to be around others who “get it” though, isn’t it? Hoping things continue to work out for you and that you get enough vacation time to stay sane … I know that’s one of my personal challenges. 😉

    • Thanks!I live for traveling….and so far, I need vacation time to do that-no one has offered to pay for me to travel.

  2. It sounds like you’ve got good people around you, but not much else. Congratulations for being able to go back to work and tolerating it!

    • It helps to have others around who understand….and sympathy from others to whom I complain! Thanks!

  3. Going back to work would be my biggest nightmare but sometimes I miss the very office atmosphere you describe. I admire that you worked at home for 20 years. That takes a lot of self motivation. Life is too short. I say do what makes you comfortable and happy.

    • See, here is the thing….although I did a great job, I could control when I did things. I wasn’t so self-motivated, and that has been part of the challenge of this change. I have to get up and go to that office every morning rather than sitting at the computer for a few hours reading blogs.

  4. Thank you. I have no idea what you do, but I sure do appreciate you. Bravo.

    • Oh, Mage that is such a wonderful thing to say! Thank you!

  5. There are things I miss about working in an an office v. private practice (paid vacations, mostly) and things I do not.

  6. My wife retired a few years back from CPS. It was such a part of her life it was difficult to separate from it. Just recently she became miffed at me when I recycled a couple of boxes in the garage of a bunch of her training materials; stuff about assessments, treatment, adoptions. It was taking up space in our garage and she would never have cause to ever use this material again. Still it was difficult for her to separate from her perception of her career; getting rid of that (I think) sort of forced her to do that.

    The up side is now I have a place to use my table saw.

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