Yikes! I never thought I’d say it, but I sort of miss corporate work.
Now that I’ve been out of it for a while, I realize that there are actually some things I really miss about it.
Looking Back With Rose-Tinted Glasses
Once enough time passes, you begin to think more fondly on those memories of your corporate desk job. It’s actually similar to the rosy colored glasses through which we view past experiences and relationships.
For example, my wife and I went to Chiang Mai, Thailand a few years ago. It started off well enough, but then I got sick with an eye infection (pink eye) and later on bronchitis.
But when I think of that vacation, I don’t ever think about the incessant eye gunk and the continuous coughing. I think about the amazing food, beautiful temples, and lively night market. I think about us wandering the streets of the city at night and the Thai cooking class we took.
Later on I realized that I’ve started to look back on my work experiences in the same way. I actually wax nostalgic, thinking fondly of that troublesome employee who called the police (for no justifiable reason) or taking that inebriated junior analyst to the local ER after teambuilding or even heading off that employee strike.
Late last year, I was recently at a large insurance company’s office for a meeting with my agent. To my surprise, there was a holiday party going on, with an abundance of food and cute decorations on the walls. Since my agent was running late, the receptionist invited me to partake. And partake I did!
But it wasn’t just the wonderful food and decorations that gave me the warm fuzzies all over. It was witnessing everyone coming together within a common sense of identity. Even though I really only knew my agent, I could see the archetypical roles and interactions from my own experiences.
There were the elder statesmen (and stateswomen) magnanimously offering holiday wishes to others. There were the jovial clowns that dressed up in holiday cheer. And, of course, there were the straight-laced, all work and no play types that hardly participated in the festivities. And there’s always that one female who takes the opportunity to dress in the most revealing clothes possible, and of course, openly talks about it.
All these people, as diverse and separate their personalities and even individual goals may be, still had one thing in common. For that moment in time, they worked for the same company in the same office. They were part of something larger than themselves, even if many of them may move on in a month or so.
So yes, despite all the stresses and exasperation I felt because of my corporate job, I sometimes miss it.
A Vacation From Not Working?
Sometimes, I even play with the idea of taking a “vacation” from my current life. I imagine showing up at a company office and going through the motions of being an employee. I would have my own cubicle, my own desktop. I would attend status meetings and say hi to colleagues as I walk down the hall. Read and respond to emails. At the end of the day, I’d start the commute home. It would go on like this for a few days, maybe even a week.
But then the “vacation” would be over and I’d return to my normal life! 🙂
How about you?
For those who are already FIRE, do you ever get work nostalgia?