I’ve been feeling a little sad lately in the whole career department. Not that my job isn’t great — I enjoy it. Since we’ve moved to Chicago, however, my office environment is just, well, a little boring. It’s very quiet, the cubby walls are higher, and I have conference calls instead of meetings. Other than the 2 to 3 hours I spend on the phone each day, I have very little human interaction. I’m certainly an introvert, but I still need a few hours of face-to-face interaction interspersed throughout my days.
I was very lucky to have great friends and co-workers in DC. While my work assignments weren’t always great during my first two years as a government worker (understatement much?), I could always run into a friend’s office and shut the door and say “You will never guess what….just said.” (And someone was always saying something crazy.) One coworker was the yin to my yang, checking my spreadsheet formulas while I checked her sentence structures. When I needed a break I had a few colleagues that I knew could always cheer me up over lunch or coffee, or that would pop by my desk for my special brand of encouragement and funny stories. I’m a pretty excellent office-mate, let me tell you. Sorority advisors and terrorist cat owners have fantastic stories.
And while it’s super fun to whine all the time about how everything is terrible, tonight I’m starting a secret mission to love my new team. I’m going to say hi to every person in my office at least once a week, even though that means literally walking into their workspace to say hello because I never see them otherwise. I’m going to find a way to casually introduce myself to the two random guys who still have not spoken to me eight weeks into my time in the office. I’m going to cheer up my work-space, keep my desk clean and my guest chair available, and hang up some posters or photos or maps of Chicago in my giant, blue-felt covered cubby. I might even get a fake plant.
And, I’m bringing brownies tomorrow. These brownies, which are 816 comments delicious. And so chocolaty I think they might just be squares of chocolate without any brownie in there at all.
If you have tips for bringing a quiet office out of its very thick but hopefully breakable shell, please leave them here!