Back To The Office: Part IV - A New Hope

Back To The Office: Part IV - A New Hope

What's this? A trilogy in 4 parts? Turns out I'm not done with this subject after all.

What hope?

Honestly? I don't know. I'm coming around to the idea of "Hybrid Working". Slowly. I still think it is completely arbitrary to enforce physical location when jobs are clearly getting done (and done well), but those feelings aside - perhaps the change of scenery a couple days of week will be good for my head.

This is about something bigger than just how I feel about things, and with time and perspective - perhaps compromises will be met one day.

Where's that negativity we've come to know and tolerate?

On the whole, I really like my job. No two days are the same, and over the years my role has slowly become something that I really enjoy doing. Like, not something I got used to - stuff that I do in my free time out of work anyway.

I make no secret of my contributions to the incredibly popular (in it's niche) open sourced project Pi-hole. Since 2016 I've gone from getting my first pull request accepted, to being a core team member, and everything that comes with that. Over the past 5 years doing that, I have learned all sorts of skills that I just didn't have before. Hell, before I started on the project, I didn't have a clue how to use git, or even how to write a simple bash script.

I've taken those skills, and I've applied them to my day job. I've been able to not only introduce, but sell and implement tools and ways of working into our department. I owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the other members of the Pi-hole team for sticking with me and helping me grow over the past five years.

As a totally unrelated aside (😇), the core team of Pi-hole are based all over the world - we've never once been in the same room as each other, all of our work is done in our Mattermost server.

I think there is probably at least a grain of truth in the saying "Do what you love, love what you do."

So, no negativity?

The negativity is still there, bubbling away under the surface. There are a few things that really get my goat, the more I think about them. There are also an awful lot of what-if worst case scenarios happening in my head, but for now that's all it is. Whether or not they become reality, well - I'll cross that when it comes.

As mentioned in the previous part, we've been told that we must be in the office a minimum of two days a week, and I have opted for Mondays and Tuesdays... I very much do not like the idea of returning to the office for a full five days a week - I've learned a lot about myself in this past 18 months, hell, I've even grown (physically 🐋, and mentally 🧠),  and I'd rather not regress.

One thing that really grinds my gears. Any kind of messaging  that is headed "Returning to Work", when really it should be "Returning to the office".

I've worked hard over the past 18 months, facing sudden challenges brought about by a pandemic, and facing them head on. My productivity has not dropped , and I've generally remained pretty motivated. I can't be the only person working hard, right?

To hear "Returning to work" makes it sound like anything that has happened over the past 18 months cannot really be considered "work", and frankly, that is fucking insulting.

Of course, it's likely just me reading too far into it. I'm sure all the hard work that people have put in over the past 18 months despite there being a global pandemic is appreciated. And I think deep down I know that it is. But reading the words "Returning to work" just makes it all seem like it was for nothing.

Words are important. Semantics are important. It can be the difference between a sentiment being well-received, or making people feel like shit.