I felt a little vibration on my wrist. My watch says that I’ve been sitting way too long and that I should move a little and take a breather. I would love to, but there aren’t many places in this office to walk around, so I just picked up my water bottle, walked to the refilling area, and took a quick bio break. Next thing I know, I’m back to my desk, staring at another excel sheet, impatiently waiting until the end of my shift.
This is how I spend my weekdays– a staring battle with my laptop, cramped in a tiny cubicle inside an office that’s way too isolated from malls or parks or even proper walkways. It’s a small, midrise building; a little decrepit, to be honest, but still pretty decent with clean bathrooms, very little population (compared to our other sites with over 3,000 employees), and easily accessible by trains (we’re just beside the LRT). Sometimes, the days pass by so quickly, I didn’t even notice that the week’s already over. But most days, it’s like this: it drags on and on, with weird gaps that I can’t seem to fill, and clocks moving in slow motion.
I’ve been working on this project for the past 9 months, and what was supposed to be a quick gig became an unexpected regular position at a company. I was supposed to be here as a freelancer, and now, I’m tied to it and I’m not sure for how long.
What I’m handling is an extremely slow project, with a lot of idle time, and most things in limbo until I get approval from other people involved. To be extremely honest, I never really felt the importance of what I do– it’s for something that requires so many efforts but provides little to no impact on the business. I thought I’d be okay with being on the sidelines, people not minding me, and just me, left alone to my devices and decisions. I didn’t mind at first, and I was also quite preoccupied in the first months. But lately, it’s been a challenge. I thought I was in it to earn and sustain my lifestyle, but I guess the idealistic part of me still wants to do something that would make sense for others. Something that would be bigger than who I am.
This sounds sad and it seems like I hate my job, but honestly, I don’t. I like my teammates, the project management aspect is interesting for me, reporting is something that I don’t really mind doing, but there’s something within me that keeps on asking if this is all that there is. It’s like a tiny inconvenience– like a small stone in your shoe– that’s not a big deal but it just keeps on bugging you. At the back of my head, I ask if I could do more, if I could make this project matter more, but at the end of the day, I’m just a small aspect of this team, and they could carry on easily without me. This project, although seemingly valuable, isn’t as important as many aspects of this company, and I feel the same. It’s not self-pity, it’s just the truth.
Most days at work are filled with ideating possible projects, daydreaming of future ventures, and wanting to go out of the office to do something else. Sometimes, I’d think if I made the right choice of leaving my carefree, freelance life, but other times, I’d feel motivated to get this project done and make a difference. I hope that I’d feel more of the latter every single day.
Lately, I’ve been catching myself hoping that Friday gets nearer. This is the reality for most of us, but I suppose, me asking for Friday is just a metaphor of looking forward to better days. Idle time at work is the worst because I feel useless, but just like anything else, these things come to pass. Friday will come, another week will start, and hopefully… it would get better.