When I had an office job, I often called friends during lunch breaks at my desk. It never crossed my mind that I was interrupting anything important. If they were busy, I assumed, they wouldn’t pick up the phone.
Friends called me from their desks too. I looked forward to those calls as a breather in an otherwise dull-but-stressful day.
Now, as a stay-at-home mom, I do not call friends at work. The workplace is no longer a place where I am comfortable. My suits are nearly ten years out of date and, after three kids, a bit snug. My former colleagues have moved up the ladder if they did not take time off for children.
The workplace seems like some sort of sacred ground, a place where one whispers and thinks deep thoughts and accomplishes so much more than I do − although when I was immersed in the working world, I certainly did not feel that way.
But I don’t call them.
I don’t want to interrupt great thoughts or rising stars.
How can I feel this way? In reality, when I get calls from my working friends, they are much more focused on the call than I am. With three boys, my house is loud, while the office is relatively quiet. My four year old still doesn’t grasp “if Mommy’s on the phone, no talking unless it’s an emergency!” My working friends’ colleagues and bosses are far more respectful.
Is it just me? Have I translated this feeling of being unnecessary to, unwanted in, and under-dressed for the office into not calling my friends there? Do I envision them rolling their eyes when my number comes up? Or looking and sounding so important that I feel the need to call only when they’ve changed into their jeans?
When the time comes for me to return to work, I will clearly need to work up to it.
I may start by calling my friends at work again.