Most of the last decade of my working life was spent playing with Excel. I quite enjoyed it, even if it didn’t feel like my more technical efforts were always appreciated by those more important than me.
But, despite that enjoyment, I’ve not seen an Excel spreadsheet in ten months and I’ve not missed it at all. Google Sheets on my iPad is a poor substitute that I don’t use. Excel has just disappeared into my history.
Yes, I miss the social side of work. By that I mean the football banter, the stunned silence when a younger member of the team says she’s never head of The Eagles, the humour that might occasionally enter a team meeting. Not that team meetings were particularly common when most of the team work 200 miles away.
But the petty politics. The need to justify your existence to get a good appraisal grade because line managers didn’t really appreciate you or anybody else. The feeling of deja vu as a failed idea from the 1990s comes around again, championed by an over-educated upstart. And the intransigence of the big corporate lacking in flexibility when applying one size fits all policies to its people.
Least of all I miss the need to reapply for my job, or just any job, every twelve months as the job losses continued. A key benefit of having lost my job!
Yet, bizarrely, there’s still a strange affection there. My disabled parking space of choice remains outside the office. Perhaps a vague hope somebody I know will appear through the doors to chat before I trudge off to do whatever town centre business I occasionally do.
I don’t feel isolated. I have found a life beyond work. I miss the people, even the distantly located ones. But I don’t miss doing a job I actually quite enjoyed.