Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fun Days at Work

This week is definitely adding up to be more fun at work than any I’ve had so far. Today was day 1 of the the office Olympics . The ‘sport’ for the day was a scavenger hunt. We randomly drew teams from a hat. As luck would have it, not only was my team one person less than anyone elses’ but one of my teammates turned out to be our HR manager. As I’ve mentioned in the past, she’s not the, um…brightest bulb in the box. She can be very sweet but sharp thinking is not her forte. Thus you can imagine that I was exactly ecstatic that she was on my team.

Nevetheless, we had fun, which was the point. The scavenger hunt involved things like making pictures of a turkey with a Xeroxed copy of your hand and making paperclip men. Our team didn’t quite meet all of the challenges but we tried. The problem was that the HR manager didn’t really understand the concept of it being a timed event (we had an hour) and she got a little too focused on tasks that really should have been done super fast.

We managed to come in last but we were given ten extra points for being handicapped due to the fact we were short a person. We still came in last.

I like scavenger hunts. They’re a lot fun. It’s also nice to get to do one with coworkers I normally don’t get to spend much time with and to not have to be working.
Well, technically, we were all supposed to be working but we’ve been so quiet and diligent all week, we deserved a break, I think. Tomorrow we have some more scheduled activities. I’m hoping I can climb up from the bottom of the pile and manage to get some points to win a ‘medal.’
Even if I don’t, it’s made me realize that this job can actually be fun. Most of the jobs I’ve had in the past have been fun at times. There’s always been moments where you can be silly or laugh and take a break without feeling like you’re being watched. I can’t say this company doesn’t try to make things fun but they’re usually forced attempts to make us socialize instead of organic moments of silliness like our office Olympics.

I suppose we should feel bad that we’re taking extra long lunches to play games in the office but, truth be told, I don’t think any of us do. I think we all quietly agree that while we’re relieved we didn’t have to go to the conference and to a presentation, we all feel like we’re on the ‘reject’ list in a way. It’s a strange mixed bag of feelings. I’m ridiculously glad not to have to have gone to the conference because all that forced socialization is exhausting. Yet, at the same time, there’s a teeny voice in my head that wonders if it’s going to count against me, whether my smarmy coworker who loves to steal my spotlight is going to climb even further ahead of me on the political ladder of the office.

Then I come home from work and release the puppies from their crate and I realize I don’t actually care. Usually the realization comes somewhere between the time the dogs go scurrying from their crate to the back door from where they spurt outside in pursuit of potential bunny sightings. Usually after this initial activity and after she’s done her business, Sookie will come and find me and want to sit on my lap for a moment to be petted and to let me know she missed me. Lately, Rory’s been doing this too. It’s a lovely feeling to know you’re loved and needed by two such cute beings.

It really does put things in perspective. Work is only important while I’m in the office, being paid to do my job. When I leave, it doesn’t have to follow me and I refuse to let it. I might need to have a vent to my mother or friends but after that, I go back to my real life.
This week has been a refreshing reminder that even though my job may not always make me happy, it isn’t all bad. After all, it’s been a week of ice-cream, scavenger hunts, Olympics with some work thrown in between. It’s made me realize that without the normal politics of the office, we can all get along fine and have fun while doing so.

Bring on the paper plate discus contest tomorrow!

Happy Friday!

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