Day 4 — Open Office Floor Plan
“Hey Daisy, do you want to know what happened to my kids yesterday?”, her sweet voice pierced through my ears. Right in the middle of slide 7 on the 100-page powerpoint deck I was working on. It took me 3 hours to gather enough focus to start slide 1. That typically happens when I wake up late and I have a shitty morning. I bribed myself with a massive breakfast, and had to remove “call mom” from my todo list in order to concentrate. Just like that, my train of thoughts screeched, sputtered, and stopped. Now that I am back in the realm of the living, I realize Chris across the table was speaking loudly on a conference call. I removed my earbuds, looked up at Pam’s big green eyes, let a small smile crawl onto my face, and whispered, “what has Dan been up to this time?”.
But deep down inside…
We have all been there. Open office floor plans are the worst. It’s much more terrible if you are a millennial because you can’t complain about it. After all, the decision makers teared down the cubicle walls because they thought it will make you interested in joining the company. But if only they knew about ADD.
Here’s my coping strategy: I am lucky that I have a flexible work schedule. I get to work at 6am and get shit done before those folks (who will not let me be great) start rolling in around 9am. And when they do waltz in, I disappear and go do something (take a walk, grab coffee, do breakfast) as they settle down. By 12pm, I have done a ton of work, and I am totally ready to talk about which diaper to buy on Jet.com. I socialize during and after lunch so people don’t think I lack interpersonal skills (of course I do) and mess up my chances for promotion.
But yesterday night, I forgot to plug my phone into the power outlet, the battery died, the alarm never rang this morning and I got to work at 9:30am.
I engage Pam for 5 minutes and I try to settle down and gather my thoughts so I can finish up this deck. I mutter a prayer to the ADD gods, but I am not sure that will work because Chris is yelling at his mouthpiece like a college football coach corresponding with his quarterback on game day.
Fucking Chris. #FML.
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This is fiction. Try that coping strategy if your schedule permits. If not, let your boss know you’ll be working out of meeting/huddle rooms a lot because you get easily distracted. Also, buy a lot of phone charging cables . It’s more difficult to forget to charge your phone when you have a lot of cables hanging out of many outlets. Hopefully, wireless charging that doesn’t fuck up your body tissue will be here soon.