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  • 1.  Change is hard...

    Posted 11-03-2022 12:08

    I am a creature of habit. In fact, one of my biggest triggers for stress and anxiety is when things change-quickly and without notice. I am less like a duck, looking graceful above the water while it's legs paddle fiercely, and more like a flamingo attempting to ride a bike. Cute visual though, right?

    As we are crawling our way back to some semblance of normalcy, I was looking forward to being in the office more and embracing all those informal interactions that made my day so lovely. I had my desk, my shoe drawer, knick knacks I've received from various events, lip gloss, advil, and a secret stash of red vines. It wasn't much, but some days it did feel like a little slice of heaven. And now-for reasons that make sense but I don't have to like them-my organization is moving to a model that has robbed me of this tiny home away from home.

    As I packed up my desk, still a bit like a time capsule from 2.5 years of sitting empty, I wondered 1) why anyone would have so many shoes and 2) whether I was the only one having trouble with this change. For the first few time I went back into the office I tried skirting the new desk reservation system by effectively squatting at my old desk. It felt comfortable, yet sparse. I knew how to get there, who I would see and which coffee mug I would use.

    But yesterday, trying to play by the rules, knowing that my organization is trying to get a handle on how much space they will need moving forward, I logged in and booked a desk. It took me a good 20 minutes to decide where to sit, weighing every factor. "Ooh, too many people in that row. That one is DEFINITELY too close to HR. That floor has high ceilings and good sunlight. Do I book near people I know, or people I don't? If I have a call, do I take it from my desk or a conference room? At least my old neighbors knew me and the types of things I talked about with members." I finally booked one, and IT. WAS. WEIRD. I got off the elevator at a floor I'm not usually on-clocked the surprised looks from people as I walked to the desk. "Good to see you…" I muttered sheepishly. Then I couldn't connect to the double monitors, didn't have a phone to call computer support, was already regretting my choice of shoe for the day (with no options at hand), and was just generally ready to catch the next bus back home to work from my predictable yet messy dining room table.


    Here's the thing-I know it will get easier and hopefully less weird. But the culture at this organization was one of the things I liked best about it, and a big part of that culture was who I got to spend my days with and around. Now, everyone who works with me is WONDERFUL, but as an introvert, I find the prospect of sitting near new people every time incredibly daunting. I like predictability. I imagine I'm not the only person feeling this sense of loss, I just wish we could have a moment of silence for the way things used to be. And a place to store my red vines.

    Lee Ann Searight

  • 2.  RE: Change is hard...

    Posted 11-03-2022 15:22
    Hi, @Lee Ann Searight! thanks for sharing these thoughts.
    I really resonate with this - both being overwhelmed by change AND reminding myself to BREATHE THROUGH IT. 

    I, too, am getting back to the office in a hybrid model, and while I do appreciate the flexibility associated with it, the "hoteling" model also feels much more... sterile (without the knick-knacks and personalization). And honestly, it's really challenging to bring so much stuff with me (with no place to store things temporarily).  So while I do appreciate that it's easier for collaboration (when I can indeed book a space near my colleagues), I am missing on the pieces that made work feel slightly more personal. 

    I can hear my Dad echoing in my ears a bit -- something something, The Grass is Always Greener -- but I also recognize that these feelings are indeed valid and real.

    Stay awesome,

  • 3.  RE: Change is hard...

    Posted 23 days ago

    Hi @Lee Ann Searight and @Quinn Drew!

    As someone who is new to Rotary and a fellow creature of habit, I appreciated your posts. Change (even good change like starting a new job!) can often be ​overwhelming. Quinn's advice to breathe through it resonated with me because that's something that's easy to forget!

    I also appreciated how both of you look at both sides of the hoteling model in the office. I find that when going through change, it's important to consider all perspectives because it can help your outlook evolve.

    Taylor Evans Ghosal
    Evanston IL

  • 4.  RE: Change is hard...

    Posted 22 days ago
    Edited by Arnie Grahl 22 days ago
    You are not alone @Lee Ann Searight. I also have found the change challenging. I had a very similar experience the first time I used the hoteling system. I found the equipment set up "some assembly required" and had to scrounge for the necessary connections to make it work. Although I intentionally booked next to people I knew were coming in, the different floor (with super high ceilings) and different location felt very foreign.
    I absolutely LOVE the flexibility of being able to work from home a lot, both for its time and money saving. BUT, the trade off is that we are losing some of that connection and culture that used to be a part of going in to work and sitting around the same people every day, five days a week. ​
    On subsequent days in the office, I have succeeded in booking my old desk, for the same reasons as most -- creature of habit. Though not having a stash of stuff uniquely curated for the office, and not having the same people constantly all around, is a loss.
    I think the only thing we can do, however, is embrace the positives, mourn the loss of what we miss, and move forward.
    The world so seldom seems to move backward.

    Arnie Grahl