Friday, March 5, 2021

After 363 Days

Friday, March 5, 2021

After 363 days of not setting foot in the office, I reported for work last Wednesday. Being in the office felt like nothing has changed yet everything has changed. The building remains squat, drab, and grey, but the parking lot that had always been packed with vehicles was, on that day, empty. The guard who barely glanced at our IDs before now checks the temperature of everyone entering the building. The lobby is newly renovated, and the biometric machine is gone—replaced by an online timesheet. 

When I entered our office, it's as if I was never gone at all. My table was exactly how I left it, organized and clutter-free, yet coated with a year's worth of dust. The page of my calendar was still set to March 2020, the month when our lives were upended and the whole world changed. 

From my seat I used to observe employees from other departments going up and down the stairs, but on that day there was barely anyone in sight. Most are still working from home and only report for work once or twice a week. When my colleagues arrived, I greeted them as if I just saw them yesterday. We actually did but online.

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