Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's been a maternity...

Yesterday was my first day back at work after almost 14 months away. It was my first day at work as a mother, my first day at work since Swee'pea began his existence outside of my body, as his own little person, his own little person AWAY FROM ME.

(First off, leaving him was fine. I shed no tears. This, I am sure, is the result of two things: 1) I am so lucky as to have a workplace that was able to accommodate my wish to work only three days a week and 2) I LOVE LOVE LOVE my daycare provider... so much that I almost wonder if she's better for/with him than I am; so much that I didn't worry about him AT ALL. I have to buy her some flowers.)

It was weird being back at work after such an enormous change had been wrought not only in my life and lifestyle, but deep inside me, in the place where I make sense of the universe (as much as I can), but not much had really changed there. A few people had come and gone, but mostly it looks like the same work with different acronyms.

Settling down at my new desk with my new computer, putting up my calendar of Swee'pea and turning to the March page, finding a pen in the drawer... it made me feel very grown up. Calling the help desk when I couldn't log onto the computer, and having them press enter to solve the problem -- literally! -- put an end to that feeling.

Some other highlights of my First Day Back at Work:

  • getting a new security badge. Apparently they just threw away the badge I handed in when I left for maternity leave. So I had to get a new picture. I'm used to having awful ID photos, but this one seriously takes the cake. Not only does the little camera not have its own light source, thus allowing the sickly green cast from the overhead flourescent bulb to colour the photo and make my hair look like I tried to bleach it blonde myself and it turned out green like in Anne of Green Gables, but somehow the camera put a big black gap between my two front teeth. Seriously. I think I will have to try to scan a copy of the image, it's just that bad. I checked to make sure I didn't have anything black stuck in my teeth, and I didn't. It's just magic, I guess.
  • spending half an hour trying to track down the printer I printed to before calling the help desk (again) and finding out that the printer that was set up as the default printer on my computer is in fact unplugged and disconnected.
  • getting used to dialing 9 before every outside call... I think I'll need a few days at that.
  • trying to find a new source for better pens than the crappy ballpoints in the supply cabinet. No joy yet, but I'm sending out feelers in the workplace underworld. I may have to pony up and buy myself some of those nice gel/rollerball/fine tip pens that are SO much nicer to write with. I used to have a reliable supplier, but her stash is empty. I think she's gotten out of the illicit pen pushing business.
  • A drawn out Office Space moment trying to find my old stapler. I'm pretty sure I put it in my box of stuff, but it wasn't in there anymore. I spent a fair amount of time asking around, Have you seen my stapler? I need my stapler. It was in my box, but now it's not... It was a good stapler: reliable, it had a nice smooth shape, it was a Swingline (the best brand of staplers IMHO). It may not have been shiny and chrome like my friend's, it wasn't red like in the movie, but it was a great stapler.
  • I got a passionate welcome back from several of my coworkers, which actually unnerved me a bit. Especially when I heard the phrase, "Busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest."
  • Apparently they don't turn off our email when we leave, so I had 14 months of emails to go through/delete. One of them shocked me that they have actually changed the daylight savings time. I mean, I'd heard rumours, but it seemed like something that you just don't fuck with. I don't know what I think about this earlier time change... (Do any of you have thoughts about it?)
I can tell that one of the biggest adjustments I have to make will be to working part-time, that I can't put things off till tomorrow because I won't be in tomorrow. I suspect it will make me a more efficient and productive worker.

It was also my first day back at work as a blogger, and that is weird. I feel like this kind of stuff is ok to blog about, but maybe it's not. But at least I'll have an outlet for bitching about the perfectly able bodied person who gets on the elevator to GO DOWN ONE FLOOR.

I was also surprised to discover that I'm actually kind of ambitious. Already I'm wondering about what new projects will come my way, if there will be opportunities for advancement. This is weird. I've never considered myself an ambitious person, and I certainly never thought I would feel ambitious after becoming a mother. Just the other day I was thinking about how I'd like Sugar Daddy to live up to the blog nickname he chose so that I could focus on blogging, making photos, and belly dancing, along with being Swee'pea's mum. I worry that at least one of those things will have to go now that I'm back at work, because I don't want to be the mother who's always on the typewriter with kid(s) always wanting to be her world.

This mothering business... I sure am learning a lot about myself.

Apropos of nothing, here is one of the snowboarders I saw on that yucky walk last week. Sugar Daddy helped me with/did the photoshop stuff.

urban snowboarder detail


Aliki2006 said...

Welcome back to work! I'll never forget the giddy/anxious feeling I had when I went back to working when Liam was two.

Good luck!

Beck said...

That photo!
I think that for many, many women, your step-up (with working three days) would just be ideal.
As for blogging about work, I think so long as you're not writing negatively about your coworkers or workplace it should be fine.

mamatulip said...

"Busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest."

That's the best thing I've heard in a LONG time.

I hope the back-to-work transition continues to go well!

Oh, The Joys said...

Welcome back to the rat race!

Mimi said...

great photo!

and i really recognize your recounting of what it feels like to go back to work. spot on! you're so good with these descriptions!

isn't it nice to get to be a grownup for several hours at a time?

kgirl said...

did you write that at work?

i seriously laughed my ass off reading this post. i thought the badge thing was going to do me in, but then i got to the part about the stapler. if i wasn't blogging at work right now, i would have fallen off my chair laughing.

glad you're feeling good about it!

cinnamon gurl said...

mamatulip: yeah, I work with some pretty great people. The person who said that is particularly fantastic.

kgirl: actually, no I didn't write it at work. I was quite impressed (and ok, pleasantly surprised) that I didn't do any (much) blogging at work. AND the day went by really quickly.

cinnamon gurl said...

But I might have made a few notes in my work notebook...

ewe are here said...

Wow. I think it will be a serious culture shock when I eventually venture back into the realm of the employed. Sounds like you're handling the transition beautifully.

And, like MamaTulip, absolutely love the line: "Busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest."

cinnamon gurl said...

Oh - and I did find my stapler in the end.

metro mama said...

I think part-time is perfect. That's awesome that your workplace supports it. Glad you had a good transition back.

NotSoSage said...

I read that line about the changed acronyms and thought, "She must work in government." Only in government would acronyms have changed in 14 months.

It is weird going back to work. I wish I could have chosen to go back part time. Maybe next time...or maybe I'll be in school again by then.

Welcome back to work!

NotSoSage said...

Oh. And, uh, blogging at work? Who does that? For shame!

Mouse said...

TOTALLY get the stapler thing. When I was on maternity leave (a whole eight weeks), there was a fire at work. My office had some water damage and there were some things that had to be thrown out. The rest was boxed up and stored for me. When I finally got to go through it all later, I couldn't find my stapler. Not red, but a Swingline, and the best stapler I'd ever had. We were allowed to purchase items that had been lost on insurance's dime, and I made sure to find the exact same model.

bubandpie said...

I am very, very opposed to the changing of Daylight Saving's Time. I am finally at the point that I wake up naturally at around 6:40, with actual daylight coming in the windows, and now it's back to another hour of pitch blackness each morning. I usually love the switch to DST because the kids sleep longer, but lately they've been sleeping until 7 most mornings, which is actually better than having to be roused out of bed to go to daycare.

And! They're moving the switch back to the first weekend in November, apparently for the sole purpose of ruining Halloween. (Now, if we wait until dark to go out, it will be well after seven instead of a nice respectable 6:30.)

Alpha DogMa said...

I love a good Swingline stapler.
I've stolen one from every job I've ever held. I'm a klepto when it comes to office supplies. Just one of the reasons I'm highly unemployable.

Nancy said...

14 months of e-mails to go through? Wow, you have my sympathy on that...

I am glad the rest of your first day back went relatively smoothly. hope you do find your favorite stapler!

Mad Hatter said...

Welcome back. I'll be interersted in knowing how the 3 days a week plan works out in the long run. I work 1/2 time but it's 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. I find it is just enough time to get nothing useful whatsoever done.

I do remember that sqeaky clean feeling of the first day back. It is a good feeling.

Em said...

I'll never forget the liberation I felt as I march off to work for the first time after having baby #1. It was great ... I reclaimed the old me and went about my business :)

anna said...

Wouldn't it be great if all problems could be solved by pressing enter?