Monday, 6 January 2014

It's all tangents these days.

Back at my desk, in the office which consists of mainly grey, corporate "furniture" of a uniformity that is utterly stultifying, the noise suddenly strikes me. They moved us from a building initially designed as a production environment (with commensurate noise-damping surfaces and high ceilings) to an open-plan office in which you can hear a colleague fart twenty desks away. Each phone conversation, often participated in by those who have complete obliviousness to the volume level of their voices, can be heard word for word forty feet away. I feel occasionally like wandering round to explain this before realising that perhaps I am the same: Perhaps my discussions, enunciated carefully and clearly for customers who I know well and for whom English is a foreign language (albeit one which most of them manage better than many of my British colleagues) are equally loud and irritating.
It leaves little room for thought. My reconstructed brain has regained almost all of its original functionality. But if I was a little ADHD before, I am a positive flibberdigibbet now. Some mechanism pertaining to attention (never a strength of mine) is yet to mend and perhaps now never will. Hence, every person wandering by, glimpsed out of the corner of my eye, causes a "non-maskable interrupt" (a computer programming term for the insistence of a process that it must have the processor's undivided attention and no, will not take "I am busy!" for an answer). A turn of the head in each case and a requirement then to appraise the situation before returning to what was I doing, each stage of which takes a finite amount of task-switching time. Most disruptive.

So, the conversations intrude and my mind is filled with other peoples' imperatives and requests and observations. And all my own thoughts are roughly jostled out of the way, some of them falling into an abyss of forgetfulness, never to be rediscovered. And the greyness of the environment makes the appearance of new and interesting thoughts in my addled bonce increasingly unlikely. Most frustrating.

Being a bit creative is often required in most jobs. But it's surprising what saps the creative energies, leaving nothing left for that which we would like to create. Well, this piece of drivel is one example: This is the result of a sincere intention to write something entirely different, the gist of which I have no recollection of now. The bottom of that abyss must be a really interesting place, with all those fragments of forgotten concepts and insistent thoughts that must surely lie broken at the bottom. Perhaps down there they kind of decompose like a layer of mental compost from which one day a great and glorious tree of inspiration will emerge.
I do hope so because I have a surfeit of words all clamouring to be expressed and nothing much to apply them to.

Anyway, (and a complete non-sequitur here) I have decided that although it is not a resolution as such, 2014 is to be my Year of Friends. This year, it is time to reach out in every way possible, and touch the world and the people in it. It has been a long time of looking inward (mostly to see what is still working and what needs yet to be fixed).
But no more: Time to come out of the shell and venture some invitations, suggestions and general connections.
And I also intend to learn foxtrot. A chap needs a project and the Argentine Tango is all very well, but I have kind of got the hang of it now and it wasn't what I expected.

Happy 2014. How on Earth did I get here?


Jenny Woolf said...

Sometimes I wonder at the people who design offices. Reminds me of the people who put irritating music drowning the words of radio and TV programmes, or print magazines in white on grey. Fine if you can deal with it but distracting and difficult if you have even mild problems. Reaching out to friends sounds like a very constructive idea.

Librarian said...

For many years, my work place was in an open-plan office. Being the only woman on the sales team, all my male colleagues had no difficulty in making their voices boom out my own. Sometimes, when they were getting particularly noisy around me, and I was in a phone conversation with a customer and could hardly hear myself think, let alone the customer speak, I turned round at them, making gestures and asking them to turn down the volume.
Each time, they apologized, having been perfectly unaware of how loud they'd been.
I am glad that I do not work there anymore. Noise is, for me, the stress factor Number One.

Wishing you all the best for your friends plans!

Friko said...

I like this ramble
I particularly like the idea of the big compost heap at the pit of the brain full of rotting (not rotten) ideas which may eventually become fertile ground for bew creativity.

Enjoy the foxtrot. It’s a lot easier than the Tango.

I have a similar resolution to yours: I am going to smile more, at people, myself, dogs and cats, the view, anything.