The London Grind

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My first four days back at work have been intense. Not just due to the work itself, but because the commutes have also been difficult due to train delays and cancellations. Mix cold and rainy weather into the equation and what do you get? The grind.

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Sometimes I don’t mind walking in the rain. In fact it can even be therapeutic. But during a commute, its a bad way to kickstart my day. Even if I try to maintain a positive mental attitude, I can feel other people’s negativity in the air. Everyone just wants to get to work and (of course) the streets of Central London are packed so it takes extra time.

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This has become my predominant view from Monday to Friday. I wish I could make my desk more comforting by adding photos or decorations. But we operate on agile working, which means nobody has their own desk. Every colleague has to find an empty desk each morning and work on that. Its actually a great system, but it does mean every desk looks sterile and uninviting.

I’m also training two new team members right now, so I need to maintain a sense of professionalism and tidiness. Its strange. I never thought I would be managing my own team. When I was growing up, that was never my ambition. Yet, I’ve fallen into a field of work in which I’m valued and trusted to get things done. Things like training.

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There are lots of perks in this job. While the pay isn’t amazing, it is decent and it pays the bills while allowing for some luxuries. On top of that we have benefits like flexi-time, occasionally working at home, and semi-regular parties offering mountains of free food and alcohol.

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Ultimately, I am happy here. Of course it gets stressful at times, but what job doesn’t? I think the key to a happy career isn’t avoiding stress, but learning to deal with it constructively. My wife is always encouraging me to do that instead of automatically reverting to ‘Grumpy Mode.’

For that – and for many other things – I truly love her.

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