I found one of my special spots and went into the office, just starting to notice how the car park didn't seem nearly as busy as normal, let alone as busy as it would be on a Friday. As I arrived at my department in the office, it dawned on me. This was the night after the office Christmas party. People will have drunk to excess the previous night and, therefore, would either have rung in sick, or planned to make the morning, or indeed the whole day, as time off.
I'm not sure that I necessarily get the whole binge thing. Having said that, I drank to stupid excess a few weeks ago during a work do, but I felt encouraged to do this by circumstance... and it's not what I do... okay. It is. I do get the whole binge thing, but I'm not sure it's really something which we should do in this country. And why should we do it at Christmas all the more? I don't know. I was glad that I hadn't attended the office party myself. I started boycotting them a few years before, at a completely different company, when they seemed to stop being a consequence of a benevolent employer providing fun to its well-respected staff, and started more to seem like the by-product of people proving they can organise a party. An email asking for 100% attendance at one Christmas party was enough for me to find an excuse not to be able to make it.
However, as a single man, perhaps I should be taking the opportunity to get pleasantly merry with a bunch of people who work in the same building as me. For all I know, there's someone in the place whom I might get on famously with in the single man sense.
But I had had other plans for the office party night, and as I sit here writing this drivel, I have no regrets at all.
I raced around a couple of meetings and then went off to the afternoon's meeting offsite. The plan was to get lunch and discuss planning. As it was, things, as always, ran on longer than planned and lunch, which turned into afternoon coffee, turned into a return to the other person's office for about 5.30, where we started work again.
In a desperate attempt to prove that I am still a technical person, I took on a quick technical analysis of something and produced some conclusions and a technical recommendation. Wow. I think that's the first properly technical thing I've really done since I joined the company! Then we started the planning exercise again.
Around 11pm, the exercise was not quite done and we had pizza on order. A lunch trip had turned into a late nighter with pizza. Interesting.
The pizza and garlic bread were eaten and the planning suddenly came to a conclusion. Job done. Home time.
I got home after midnight. I was somewhat pleased that I'd not planned anything to do that night. I had had the weekend earmarked as a possible Newcastle trip, but that had fallen by the wayside. As it was, this extra evening's work wasn't really taking much out of my weekend...
... though the work I realised I'd have to fit in over the weekend, would appear to threaten to take some "me time" away from me. That and the conference call I suggested we did on Saturday lunchtime.
Is this my life?