The Friday Club

We all know what working in the office ‘two or three days a week’ means but we’re not saying it loudly in case the organisation realises: Tuesday and Wednesday, with Thursday only if there’s a promising leaving or birthday drink planned. Because who in their right mind would choose to go in on Monday or Friday? We’ll even get up earlier on the two dog days to bag one of the reduced quantity of desks to avoid getting roped into collaborating with the extroverts in a room made of Lego, whiteboards and wheelie-poufs. Thinking to order just gives us a headache and another layer of imposter syndrome.

So that leaves all the people who aren’t in their right mind. Right? Well, not entirely. Because there’s a special club milling around the leg-eating gates on the first unofficial day of the weekend.

The Nocturne: ready to go OUT out. Thursday was just a warm-up for a proper night out that will last for around 48 hours. The reversible jacket reveals a sparkly side, rarely seen. At the end of a day on Spotify the laptop is swapped in the locker for a strip of Pro Plus, a sachet of Resolve and a toothbrush. There’s always a change of underwear in there at the back, in case it accidentally becomes Monday.

The Regular: they think the war is still on, so they’re there every day and know exactly who else is and isn’t, all recorded on an encrypted spreadsheet should interrogation result. They slip through the week, unnoticed, doing all that’s needed and no more — recognition would destroy years of reconnaissance. And as Sun Tzu said, reconnaissance is seldom wasted.

The Contrarian: whatever they’re told to do, they’re programmed to do the opposite. So Friday is a natural response. They make a huge point of their attendance to those at home in their embarrassing pyjamas. They make sure on a web call that its known that the background is the actual office which is why half their hair doesn’t disappear when they move slightly. “You should try being here sometime” they remind their colleagues who were in on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Territorialist: the wide open plan spaces are like a breath of mountain air, they occupy a whole bank of desks to themselves and do the angel-in-the-snow thing in the middle of the brainstorm room. If anyone sits within half a floor of them they begin screaming like hedgehog caught in a wire fence until the offender relocates a minimum of a storey away. They walk home across the park.

The Gamer: attendance is the new productivity. It’s where salary increases and promotion are won and lost, the battleground of the hardy and committed. Getting Friday onto the card means easy points because no-one’s expecting anyone to actually do any work. You can even wear your own clothes. A later train, a second latte — it’s all upside for the crazed winner. Remarkable.

The Weekender: the office is a handy stop-off for the mainline station. They have the sort of wheelie trolley everyone on the platform falls over, and sit as close to the office entrance as possible until they can drop the shoulder for the 2.55 to Launceston which has a buffet service. Being in on Friday buys them a Wednesday at home to plan the weekend’s excursion.

The Re-kindler: the divorce was horrible, but there’s still plenty of time left to party. So they’re ready, in the fashions of their previous cocktail days, to hang with the kids and give it another go with the benefit of all that accumulated wisdom. While it doesn’t seem to translate yet, they feel they’re getting closer. It’s going to happen. Maybe this weekend.

The Suppressed Anarchist: fearful of a custodial sentence for protest and wanton damage, they restrict their activities to ultra-low level disruption like swapping chairs between worksettings, loosening the Allen keys on monitor arms and swapping the recycling materials. Friday is the perfect day for it. They give nothing away — the encircled A is scrawled on the inside back cover of their notebook. They know it’s a long game but they’re convinced it’s worth it.

Their common purpose of the 10% creates a special bond that no-one else would understand.

They’ll probably be in on Monday, too.

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work & workplace protagonist | #ElementalWorkplace and #ElementalChange originator | rumoured to create human environments | known to blog

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Neil Usher

Neil Usher

work & workplace protagonist | #ElementalWorkplace and #ElementalChange originator | rumoured to create human environments | known to blog

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