Back in the Saddle
The first day back at work went far better than I expected. It took a few hours to get used to wearing a headset again and having to squint at the tiny monitor. But I think the thing I missed the most about being on vacation was the ability to go to the bathroom when ever I wanted. At work I have to wait for my scheduled break or the in case of an emergency when I know I can't make it to break then I have to ask for permission. Every time I have to do that I always flash back to fifth grade to a particular classroom and the teacher who was the first teacher I ever had with a strict "bathroom only by permission and I might deny it" attitude. I suppose it was her way of preparing us for junior high and high school where virtually no teachers would ever grant a student a bathroom pass. And as it turned out, preparation for the work force as well because many of the jobs I've worked at have had similar policies. I never understood why, as a switchboard operator/front desk receptionist, I was allowed to put a sign on my desk and forward the phones to spend 15 minutes making copies for an executive, but under no circumstances could I do the same thing so I could spend 2 minutes taking a piss. I'm pretty sure that for some employers it was a nothing more than control issue, but that doesn't seem to be the motivating factor where I work now. In fact, this wasn't the policy when I first started there. I could go on a rest room break at any time without asking permission. I didn't abuse it, but there were plenty of employees that did and sure enough, the policy was changed. It's a pattern I've seen time and time again in my thirty years of employment. It's much easier to clamp down on the entire employee population than spend time finding and dealing with the ones who are causing the problem. And since 9-11, this same sort of corporate attitude has been applied to the population of the US by our own government. We are all logged, tracked, and monitored at every turn because a small percentage of the population might be ne'er-do-wells and/or quite a few government officials are control freaks. Most of us, myself included, just sigh and muddle on rather than kick up a fuss. Now I suppose some people are actually afraid to say anything or do anything, but that's not my issue. I just don't have the energy to do much other than whine about it. My adolescent self would be appalled, but I no longer have the fire and drive to try and change the world. That sort of thing is better left to the young, but I suspect the youth of today are not start the revolution of tomorrow. Although I do have hope for their kids.