The majority of recruitment consultants have been in the office for a week already, maybe two. Some have been sporadically popping in as a bit of respite from the homestead or to water the poor dehydrated plants. I personally haven’t been into the office once since August 17th making today, my first day back. It coincidentally coincides with the opening of pubs throughout Auckland and specifically our local haunt, Vultures on Vulcan Ln. Last night had a bit of a mixed feel to it, sort of like going back to school after an extended period of time; excitement but trepidation. Looking forward to seeing my pals but worried the remains of a tuna sandwich will be in my cubby. I guess a closer analogy would be someone who has been educated at home going to a real school. I’ve never been in the situation where that’s happened but I assume the new student is deemed weird until proven otherwise. We’re entering into a scenario where we’re all that weirdo. A bunch of home-schooled students enrolling in a proper school and some habits you’ve got into at home might not fly in the real world. To avoid the equivalent of calling the teacher ‘mummy’ I’ve taken the liberty of providing a heads up on things to remember now that we’re joining general population again.

Hygiene

I’m a shower in the morning guy.  The thought of not grabbing a wash before work prior to lockdown was inconceivable. However, during a lockdown, I’m known to run or cycle come lunchtime, and two showers a day is just decadent. Meaning I may have a slight musk, a scent steeped in pheromones that my lady has already fallen prey to. However, your colleague did not sign up for that shit. ABC people, always be clean.

Appearance

A close cousin of the first point and adjacent to godliness. I’ve not worn ‘pants’ in months. In fact, my lower half has been a combo of footy shorts, swimming shorts, and boxer shorts. My hair has been up in a cute pineapple and I’ve grown somewhat of a beard. The beard is more of a social experiment than an attempt to carve out an identity. Again, the boho bro look works at home but when you’re back in the office a collared shirt and tie is still the default for doing business.

Social

We’re all at risk of becoming overly stimulated today, the bright lights, the strange smells, the loud noises. Not sure if I’ve mentioned it but the pubs are also open today. While getting pished in your house is essentially the same thing, at home people have to tolerate your hard stance political/medical/gender-based views. The people you work with however, do not. Even more, they could potentially have opposing views. Remember to internally say ‘dickhead’ instead of openly declaring it as you would at the TV from the safety and anonymity of your couch.

Deadlines

Am I the only one who sometimes tries to drive like I’m learning? Hands at 10 and 2, mirror, signal, maneuver all that jazz. Sometimes it’s good to get back to basics. In lockdown I tried to revert back to core hours; 10 am – 12 pm, candidate stuff, and 2 pm – 4 pm, client stuff. The thing is with working from home is that you can stretch the day; you’re organising interviews post 9 pm. This is the double-edged nature of the lines blurring between home and work. When you’re back in the office you need to be a bit more focused and disciplined to an end. No more Top 10 spooky UFO sightings in the middle of the day.

 

The schoolyard does come with its risks; bullys, cooties, overly keen teachers depending on how religious your school is. However, there is a huge upside that tends to outweigh the negatives of living in a world with others. Especially in what we do! We need people around us as recruiters, pushing you to do better, feeding you leads, regaling you of deals gone bandy. I’m glad that we’re back to having this type of shared experience away from the boring lockdown stuff. Welcome back Auckland!

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