So here we are again. While my colleagues and I ate pizza in Ask on Thursday night we kept refreshing the phone screen to see what Boris was going to spout in the meeting, knowing of course that working in HR meant two things: the following day everything would need to be changed and communicated at work, and that we ourselves would be back home again from next Monday.
The contrast between what he was saying and the fact we were on a Christmas meal out was fairly humorous (you have to find humour in these dark times) and at the time the whole thing just seems a bit ‘here we go again’ rather than upsetting. At that moment I was just immensely pleased we managed coffee with a bigger group of fantastic colleagues, and pizza (and free tea towels) with the three people who I couldn’t have got through the last 2 years without, before disappearing off again into the world of 2D. The following day however, as the realisation of the announcement on the things we do hit me, I felt sad all over again and this time really quite angry. Because the consequences of the first time are so so vast and the people running our country are liars and cheats. They don’t feel the impact of these things – we do.
For me going into the office is by far the least risky thing I do. I know of course this isn’t the same for everyone but I have the luxury of not needing to use public transport and I work in an organisation that has stringent safety measures in place and hybrid working. I do lateral flow tests regularly and we have more hand sanitiser on the desk than you can shake a stick at. And I like going into the office. Yes it annoys me sometimes leaving the house at 7.30am 3 days a week (especially when I’m leaving everyone else here to have a leisurely breakfast) but on balance going in and seeing people is really good for my mental health. I do a lot of talking in my job and it’s just better face to face – that’s the absolute truth of it. At the end of the day this government has just made all the things that matter much much harder. And don’t give me that “you couldn’t have done it better” “I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes” bull. He is paid to run the country and him and his cronies have put personal interest in front of the people they represent. Over and over again. From Barnard Castle to PPE contracts to Christmas parties.I don’t put personal interest first in the job I’m paid to do. Just saying.
So now we are in the weird situation where I’m back working at home but going for coffee and Christmas shopping today in town. And I’m desperately hoping that all this doesn’t stop me seeing more of the people I love over the next few weeks because as I wrote the other day it’s helping me oh so much to see people and do things. I know it’s not about me (are you listening Johnson?), and it’s not that I’m railing against some attack on my civil liberties. I’ll do what I’m told to (again listening Johnson?) but I just can’t believe we are here. Although I absolutely can because this was always going to happen.
So what now? Lateral flow tests in the morning then a fantastic weekend catch up with friends that I cannot wait for. It’s a shame that the comedy bauble gifts I bought to give to our friends are stuck at customs (thanks Johnson) but we have mulled wine and Christmas spirit to pass along.
I hope in this scary world you are still managing to find the joy. Mine was somewhat stifled yesterday but onwards and upwards. Surely that – not backwards, sideways and a u-turn?