Post-Uni Lifestyle

The Prodigal Apprentice: Office-ally Back in Business

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I return to work next week and I’m absolutely terrified.

Them: Get a hold of yourself!
Me: Please, I’m not ready!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

It’s literally been 7 months since I was last at work, (7.5 since I was in the office itself) so this is going to be a big ol’ change. No more waking up in the middle of the day, because I ignored my arbitrary alarms that tried to keep some sense of normality. No more going to bed at 3 am because I left important things on my to-do list until 10 pm… I’m smart.

After months of trying (and failing) to keep myself sane with Twitch streams, rearranging my living space and making up new recipes, I get to return to a place that feels like part of a previous life. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to apply my extensive knowledge of Fall Guys techniques to my current role. Damn!

Past Life Progression

In the distant beforetimes of March 2020, my workplace felt very familiar. If I needed to find someone or something, I would know where to go instantly. I mean… I sort of have to know – I’m an office assistant, after all. Now, I have to reacquaint myself with my old duties whilst learning new policies, learn the office layout again and remember who isn’t there anymore.

Some of my colleagues are no longer with the company, which brings me great sadness. I’m also surprised I didn’t join them, but I guess my employer decided to keep me on so I could finish my qualification. I’ve been told my job is secure until the end of my apprenticeship. According to that timeline, my contract will finish 3 months earlier than expected.

This is good(ish), because I can either apply for another position within the company (dependent on industry recovery) or move onto another place a lot earlier than I’d initially planned.

I’m just glad I have somewhere to go. I know there are plenty of people who haven’t had the same turn of events. So, why am I terrified? For a bevy of reasons…

Reductive Reasoning

  1. COVID-19 is still raging on
  2. My co-workers sit close to each other and don’t wear masks
  3. I don’t want to be made fun of for taking precautions
  4. I’ve barely left my flat complex more than 5 times in the past 7 months
  5. Imposter Syndrome is causing me to doubt my ability to perform my role
  6. Death is certain, but I have so much more that I want to do

Just laying those out made me want to smash my head against the wall, but I’ll refrain from doing so. Now, that’s the real self-care.

As I have mentioned before, I was afraid of becoming a hermit over this furlough period. Guess what happened?

Well, you don’t really have to guess if you read Reason 4 above. I’m afraid of leaving the house and I’m sure that feeling isn’t a rare one, especially now. I wrote about this issue in my only StoryFire post (so far). I’ll get to talking about what I think of StoryFire soon, I swear.

One Fear to Rule Them All!

“The fear of leaving the house” is the lynchpin that brings all my concerns together in one big worry bundle. I will illustrate my point using the table below:

ReasonWhy it’s a problem
COVID-19 is still raging onI still haven’t gone to the doctor’s to figure out if I have any health conditions that make me vulnerable.
My co-workers sit close to each other and don’t wear masksI might keep thinking about them not socially distancing so much, that I’ll feel uncomfortable or not focus on my work.
I don’t want to be made fun of for taking precautionsI’ll feel stupid and pathetic because I’m scared of dying and people will think I’m being over the top.
I’ve barely left my flat complex more than 5 times in the past 7 monthsI have little to no experience navigating the outside world during a pandemic.
Imposter Syndrome is causing me to doubt my ability to perform my roleI’ve lost my confidence, so I have no belief in my abilities.
Death is certain, but I have so much more that I want to doOooh chile, I don’t want be un-alived before I reach my dreams!
Apparently, this is an assignment because I made a table and everything.

Even if you felt like I was overreacting, the explanation highlighted in red should change your mind.

Everybody’s Got to Learn Sometime by The Korgis

It was inevitable that I would have to return to the outside world one day. I’m just upset that I didn’t really prepare myself for it. My adamant attitude about staying home; no matter what, kind of screwed me over. Knowledge isn’t an issue, because I pay attention to any new restrictions and the tips my friends and family have given me. I just don’t have the practical experience.

I did travel to the office earlier this month to have a discussion about my return. That was less stressful than I expected, but I think I detached myself from the situation somehow. I’m not sure if allowing myself to dissociate for 3 days a week is a healthy coping mechanism though. We’ll see what happens.

*ring ring* – A Call to Action

If you’ve returned to work recently, let me know how it’s going for you. Send me a DM on Instagram, send an email to or leave me a comment below!

For now, I will leave you with this terrible meme I made. I’ve had it in my head for a while, but finally got around to actually using a meme generator. Enjoy…?

Feel free to share this and have your friends judge you

EDIT (01/11/20): As far as I know, I’m furloughed again for the month of November. Looks like all that worrying was for nothing – typical.


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By Ade

An aspiring creator in way too many areas, Ade loves to try something new, as long as it doesn't interfere with the balance of the universe too much. Trying to take each day as it comes, Ade edits videos for YouTube, occasionally records podcasts, and writes with strange mannerisms to entertain the world.