According to MSN House & Home, chocolate brown is the new black. That is why I got so excited when I got a brand-new counter table in this color for my office recently.
Having the new modular furniture installed in our office was like a breath of fresh air to my jaded existence increasingly afflicted by a fatal dose of corporate ennui. Three and a half years of slaving it out in our stiff corporate sanctum and I already have the equivalent of what everyone would call the seven-year itch.
“God knows if you keep on transferring jobs Ajay, you will never get anywhere,” intoned my Mom who taught for 30 years in the same school prior to her retirement.
“Just imagine how others would like to be in your shoes. Considering the present unemployment problem, it’s a job most people would die for,” croaked my best friend.
Until last month, I wanted to be based at my company’s office in Cebu, my mind salivating at the thought of all those beaches and fresh seafood; wearing my sarong on the shore the way those suntan commercials do. I have also set my sights on someday working in Macau or Las Vegas, greeting chinky-eyed punsters with “Ni hao” while taking their bets away.
But the change in furniture has had the positive effect of letting me embrace the status quo, making me wonder if this was my company’s way of saying “stay put, you wandering idiot!”
Suddenly, I have this primal urge to keep my desk clean which wasn’t so when we still had our Jurassic-era table as a companion.
When you think about it, it’s amazing how some of us spend more of our waking hours in the office than at home. From eating to watching TV to brushing our teeth, we now do everything in the staid corners of the office. The only thing left to be permanently brought here are our children and some other indulgences that are better done in the confines of our bedroom/bathroom/kitchen.
I have also observed that people shed different personalities between their home and office. We tend to show our real, more laid-back selves in the former while being more civilized and courteous in the latter.
At home, I can wear my frumpiest clothes to watch the idiot box and nobody would care. In the office, I have to don the requisite business suit because our central airconditioning says so.
In the office, I answer ever so courteously “This is Ajay speaking and you’re lucky am having a good hair day, may I help you?” At home, I can just bang the phone down to the grated ear of the pesky telemarketer.
At home, I only have to deal with the occasional tantrums of my kids. In the office, I have to deal with the different characters that populate our department.
At home, I am the boss. In the office, I have a boss.
In Japan, they call it “karoshi” or working to death. Office workers in the Philippines probably earn less but they can at least choose to work comfortably or leave when the clock strikes five.
This office or any other office that will be my HQ in the future is an extension of my home and is unfortunately everything to me. So I will love it, as I have not loved a man, forever.