The 9 Universal Stages Of Going Back To Work After Christmas

The only solace is knowing we’re in it together.

By Rachel Moss 02/01/2020

It’s here, the first “proper” shift back after Christmas – and we feel your pain.

Gone are the days of “winding down” for the holidays, or logging on and half-arsing it between Christmas and New Year. Once more, it’s time for work to feel like work. The only solace is the knowledge that we’re in it together.

Here are nine things we’ll all experience today:

1. Instant disorientation when your alarm goes off.

Where are you? Who are you? What is this fresh hell? And why is it so damn dark outside? The winter solstice may have passed, but it still feels like the middle of the night after all those Christmas lie-ins.

2. The hellish commute.

You’re probably late because you struggled to get out of bed. On the road, every other person has forgotten how to operate a car. On the railways, it’s business as usual – with a late train to kick off proceedings. And let’s not even start with the fare hikes.

3. That inevitable question when you walk into work.

“How was your Christmas?” they ask. “Fine, thanks”, you reply, resisting the urge to say “a bit shit, actually” – it’s still too early in the day to be revolutionary.

4. The desperate urge for snacks.

It’s barely 10am and it’s setting in. This is the longest you’ve gone without a mince pie in a week. You look in your desk drawer and find just the pre-Christmas Celebrations on offer. Only Bounty are left. The world is cruel.

5. Fierce clock-watching.

You take lunch at midday, not a minute later, choosing something hearty and mourn the fact it’s no longer acceptable to pair it with mulled wine.

6. The post-lunch meeting commences.

Your boss is full of pep, talking about “exciting plans” for the year ahead. You feign enthusiasm while dreaming of your duvet.

7. Your attention span wanes.

You procrastinate from anything resembling productivity by embarking on the mass email delete – new year, new you, new inbox.

8. The end is in sight.

You kill yet more time with a tea round or two. You clock eyes with a colleague who’s browsing Twitter instead of working and nod in solidarity.

9. You have made it!

The end of the day! Home comforts are calling. But first, pub? “Why not?” you think. “Start the year as we mean to go on.”

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