… two days’ worth, in fact.
Which is to say, my report on my first two half-days back at work:
I could get used to this going in at 10 and leaving at 2. “See you suckers later, my four hours are DONE!”
Bonus Points: I suffered only minimal guilt from slacking off, due to the fact that my back and ribs still hurt like a mother-duck, and thus a limited work schedule is justified.
Mitigating Factor: I suffered maximal pain, due to the fact that my back and ribs still hurt like a mother-duck.
But again, it got me out of the office, so it was worth it.
I had underestimated the Prodigal Son factor of my return: During much of my time yesterday, and even some today, people were welcoming me back.
I hadn’t dared to hope that they would regard my return as a positive experience.
And even if it’s not sincere, I’m touched by the fact that they made the effort to pretend they’re glad I’m back.
But anyway: I’ve talked to a few of my co-workers on the phone since the surgery, but not to anyone from the lab, so they were all hearing my long boring stories for the first time, including the grand and action-packed Fainting Story, which never fails to startle and amaze.
Another great aspect of the last couple of days is that I returned about 25 pounds lighter — always an uncommon occasion in one’s life, a never-miss opportunity for looking good.
But I told everyone that I wouldn’t recommend the Brykmantra weight loss plan, which is quick-started by the removal of five or more pounds of lung and tumor tissue, followed by two months of not enjoying eating.
Still, the positive attention made it all worthwhile, and as a bonus I’ve got a couple dozen pair of jeans and khakis that I couldn’t get into three months ago.
I had pondered whether or not to retain some or all of my beard, but I decided that I needed to return to work completely civilized.
2 months absence + one-half days X 1 scraggly face = Negative professional image.
You do the math.
Believe it or not, I have actually also gotten some work done — or, more accurately, I’ve got it poised to be done. I’ve got two big boxes on my desk, full of our products that I have to process for certification through our industry association, and I’ve gotten a start on the documents for 12 boat containers that we’re shipping to Japan.
And that’s just the current stuff, not the catching up.
It’s always disorienting going back after such a long absence, especially when so many things have changed because we’re in the process of moving to a new building. Our shipping department (Hi, Vickie!) has moved and a new tenant has moved into their section of the warehouse, plus more than half of our inventory control department is also gone, and their whole space is now empty.
Closer to home, Soon to Retire Boss is still around to help with the transition and the move, but he’s taken an office in the new place, so his old office, which is right next to mine, has been converted to a mini-conference room.
It’s true: You can’t go home again — with “home” in this case being defined as a comforting continuity …