Back to work blues?

Now here’s a thing. I’ve been reading round various blogs and articles about starting back to work after a holiday, how people feel, whether good, bad or indifferent, and one thing stands out: The top tip for people worried about going back to work, to not get too het-up about any back-log of stuff to do or having missed something vital is….. drum roll, please…. Return to work one day early.

Think about that one. Not only do you cut your time off short but you do it voluntarily. And it won’t make the slightest bit of difference to anything because no one knows this is actually your holiday. To everyone else you are just 'at work', doing your job and, anyway, No One Else Cares. So, you not only give up your free time but you get to worry about all the things you were worried about one day earlier. Yey, result!

Another tip that comes up time and again is “The day before you go back to work write a list of things to do and put them in order of priority”.  But there’s no explanation of how you are to know what you are going to have to do on your return (without having read all the emails you’re fretting about, or seen the back-log of stuff that you will be expected to get through, or talked to people who want to talk to you).  So, again, it’s basically saying “Go back to work one day early”!

And so it went on.  Time after time the “helpful hints” and “guides to life” all boiled down to spending the day before you had to return to work working. (Well, I say “all” but the other one that they all trotted out was “If you feel like this then take it as a sign that you need to change your job for one that ….blar blar living with the fairies blar blar blar”).

There was actually a tip that made me spit my coffee over the laptop and laugh out loud (not a good look if you’re wanting to impress the boss through your diligence in turning up for work one day earlier than expected): “Take into the office a candle with an aroma that reminds you of your holiday”. Seriously, this was a genuine tip. Bring in a smelly candle.  Set it up on your desk, light it and then, presumably, spend the rest of the day sniffing ostentatiously, eyes closed, with a blissful expression on your face. A really sure-fire way to impress the boss, eh? That is, if the aromatherapeutic fumes haven’t set off the smoke alarms and you and your colleagues haven’t been evacuated whilst the building’s alarm system sprays water everywhere and you have to go home.

Yey, result!

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