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to think that office wor is not natural, and working in an office always since leaving school does something weird to you socially?

118 replies

Boomba · 31/05/2013 14:24

I had a 5 year spell where my job was office based. Once I got over the novelty of having a desk/phone/computer/stationary cupboard etc etc...i got to thinking its damn strange....

i struggled anyway to stay still all day and sit in a chair etc etc...but its more than that

the thread about work experience kids making the tea, has brought it all flooding back. Peoples weirdy expectations are all magnified. Its like a continuation of school...with people all forced to be together all day in the same room with the same people

People who thrived, seemed to revel in the gossip and 'drama' and bloody organised 'things' 'Movember' Hmm

OP posts:
Windingdown · 31/05/2013 15:39

I've worked in offices for 30 years and like all workplaces they are just a boiled down version of life. You get all sorts there, some people fail and some succeed for all their own reasons. Some people don't want to fail or succeed, they just want to do a good job, enjoy working with colleagues. Your colleagues sometimes become lifelong friends, sometimes they're just fun pals you never see again once you leave and some are are loathsome buggers against whom to unite e.g. the old bag who picks on the new boy, never makes tea and stinks the office out with her fish soup every lunchtime.

Unlike school, you don't have to be there. If you hate it you can sling your hook and go off to run a flower shop in Saffron Walden.

Like life, people bring to offices and take from offices what they will. For some that means brilliantly leading a team of 25 people who all love coming to work. For some that means getting a real kick out of making their customer's happy. And for some that means nicking the stationery and growing a tache every November.

Nothing wrong with offices, only some people that go to them.

EuroShaggleton · 31/05/2013 15:42

Physically, definitely not. We are not built to be seated for so many hours per day. We are designed to be physical and use our bodies. It's one of the reasons for so many fat and flabby people.

Abra1d · 31/05/2013 15:43

I do a creative job (writing) and sometimes when I have been working at home alone for days without any company I long to be in an office with people I could talk to while I wait for the kettle to boil. I love the freedom of home-based work, the lack of office politics, commuting, mad bosses, etc, but sometimes I'd love to have some colleagues to go out to lunch with.

LittleDirewolfBitJoffrey · 31/05/2013 15:47

It's simple: you don't like that enviroment so don't work there.
But judging every office and every office worker by claiming that enviroment and that job is unnatural (much better Hmm) is quite rude IMO.

HollyBerryBush · 31/05/2013 15:47

I'd argue that outdoor/physical work is equally bad for you. I don't think I know a labourer, builder, gardener who isn't suffering with worn joints or arthritis at a very young age.

My brother is bent double after a lifetime outside and looks considerably older than his years. Everything hurts all the time, he can't straighten his back.

Even if you are enclosed, driving heavy plant, the vibrations jar your spine.

TheImpracticalCat · 31/05/2013 15:48

I think office work would be interesting if you enjoyed your job and liked (or at least could tolerate) the people you worked with. Lots of interesting and exciting jobs must be done in offices. For me, the only office job I've ever had was as a summer temp answering phones when all the proper staff were busy, and then getting shouted at by irate customers when I couldn't actually do anything to help them and could only offer to take their number and have someone call them back. I was basically being paid to be an answer machine, and it was the most boring thing I have ever done. I used to carefully ration my tea so I could have regular breaks to the hot drinks machine, and even going to the toilet became something to look forward to to break up the day! By the end of the six weeks I was entertaining myself by playing solitaire on the computer and having long conversations with myself in my head... I think if I'd been there any long I would have gone properly mad. But that's not a reflection of office work in general, just my crappy experience of it!

wigglesrock · 31/05/2013 15:48

But surely that's the same for most jobs. My sister ran bars for years - she was so sick of the smell of drink, the same staff, the same events every year. My mum worked in a bank - same stuff every day, my dad is also office based. I don't think they're strange socially.

Lots of people work in the same environment week in week out .

sweettooth99 · 31/05/2013 15:53

This reply has been deleted

We've removed this as the OP has privacy concerns.

NowThatsWhatICallANickname · 31/05/2013 15:53

Do people really stand there and wait for the kettle to boil?Shock

squoosh · 31/05/2013 15:54

Yep, sometimes, the kitchen is where you hear the juciest gossip.

GetOrfMoiLand · 31/05/2013 15:57

I work in an office now (well, based from home a lot). I have worked in a kitchen as a KP, waitress, behind a bar, sewing knickers in a factory, other menial factory work, in a sandwich bar, cleaning and gardener's labourer. And I much prefer office based work than anything else. I would absolutely hate to work outside or in a kitchen with psychopath chefs again.

IcouldstillbeJoseph · 31/05/2013 15:59


Abra1d · 31/05/2013 15:59

I used to when I worked in an office and it was my turn to make the tea/coffee. Perhaps these days they dock your pay if you're away from your desk too long. Or they have those taps which deliver boiling water. {New fangled}

HollyBerryBush · 31/05/2013 16:00

Bar work is the shittiest work. Surrounded by drunks, all wanting to pour out their sordid little life stories, propping up the bar until last orders. I always wanted to say "and that, my friend is why your wife left you/is shagging the milkman, try going home now and again". It really did plumb the depths of humanity.

arabesque · 31/05/2013 16:00

Is it natural to leave school and then go back and spend years working in one?

Or to spend your days chasing celebs around with a camera so that you can tell an enthralled world who their latest boyfriend is?

Or to walk up and down a catwalk for a living wearing weird clothes that hardly anyone can either wear or afford?

There's loads of types of work you can put a spin on and make appear 'not natural'. But I'm sure the people doing those jobs would tell you there's a lot more to it than what I've just posted above.

Yettish · 31/05/2013 16:03

I hate having to sit on an office chair looking at a screen for upwards of 40 hours a week, solving bloody awful difficult problems that other people have created, but that's what work is, innit?

I also think people who say 'oh, I could never work in an office' are being a bit insulting to those of us who have got FUCK ALL CHOICE.

LRDtheFeministDragon · 31/05/2013 16:06

Ah, different types of work suit different people, is all.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom · 31/05/2013 16:07

I completely agree, OP.

I left an office job to be a freelancer.

Office work (for me) means sitting on furniture you didn't choose, looking at walls and pictures you don't like, talking to people I don't really know, doing often fairly meaningless tasks (no-one would die if I didn't draft a policy briefing), using words and language that doesn't really exist, day after day after day. A kind of weirdly surreal existence.

I quite liked being able to afford posh coffees in the morning though

suckmabigtoe · 31/05/2013 16:12

i think there are people who love the office structure and set up and people who physically cant cope with being copped up and restricted like that (can you tell which type i am Grin?)

my dad is the latter also, he had a job in the civil service when he was 'courting' my mum but he hated it with a passion despite the steady wage and ended up leaving to go back to the building sites. he's been a labourer, joiner, tiler and back to labourer more recently. he's an active person even out of work and i think he's just the type that needs to be on the go.

arabesque · 31/05/2013 16:13

(no-one would die if I didn't draft a policy briefing), [Quote]

Well, in fairness, unless you're a heart surgeon or a fireman or something, that could apply to practically any job. No one would die if I didn't create the things I do, but that doesn't make my job meaningless. Likewise, no one would die if the newspapers weren't published tomorrow, or Coronation Street wasn't broadcast, or the Lord Mayor didn't show up for a function. Does that mean being an editor or an actor or a Lord Mayor isn't a rewarding job?

NowThatsWhatICallANickname · 31/05/2013 16:27

The office language would rub me up the wrong way. It annoys me now when i hear people using certain words/phrases so i think it would tip me to boiling point if i had to endure it everyday.

Some office jobs verses alot of shop jobs/manual work and especially catering jobs are on the same level in terms of how important the job/person is but for some reason when you add a suit they think their job is 10 times higher and more important. It's really odd. Even at my local leisure centre the people on the customer service desk (so not even an office job) who have to wear suits walk around like they are running MI5. It's not nice having someone look their nose down at you even when you know your job position is higher than theres but you don't wear a suit or work in an office so you must be inferier.

louisianablue2000 · 31/05/2013 16:28

Oh do I get a gold star for being in a job where not writing a document might actually result in someone dying? preens

louisianablue2000 · 31/05/2013 16:30

And OP, YABU, lots of jobs involve bring in an office at least part of the time. Like an architect or scientist or lawyer.

HauntedArmchairOfDoom · 31/05/2013 16:34

louisiana definitely. And I for one am impressed.

I know what you mean arabesque - and I'm writing now, so I don't mean that all jobs that aren't heart surgeons or nurses aren't worthwhile.

I guess it's just that in the 12 years of my career that were office-based I felt like a cog in a machine that was just sort of generating itself, round and round and round in a pointless cycle of meaningless meetings and work and petty rivalries.

I was a mostly civil servant Grin can you tell?!

cantspel · 31/05/2013 16:37

I am sure no matter what the job whether it be in an office of as a gynecologist it gets boring and a case of "same old" every day.

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