1. Health Insurance: In the corporate world, this was one of my fundamental rights as an employee that I took for granted, like life, liberty, and health insurance for all. Sure, besides my gazillion prenatal appointments and that one day I pushed out a baby and had to stay in the hospital, I am mostly a healthy person who goes to the doctor’s at best once a year. But that once a year stuff usually is pretty serious, like broken limbs and infections, and had I not received proper treatment in the past, I might be foaming at the mouth and look like a mutant alien by now. Of course I am in the process of getting independent insurance since I am not working anymore but because I have to pay out of my own pocket for it, I am choosing a really cheap package that allots me exactly 3 visits to the doctor’s office a year. So let’s hope I don’t have another baby anytime soon. *blink blink*
2. Around-the-clock Coffee: Yes, I am serious. I miss having freshly brewed pots of coffee sitting in the kitchen throughout the day just waiting for me to swing by, pour myself a hot cup, and inhale. And all those birthday cakes and pastries that get brought in by someone seemingly everyday! If I have a hankering for a little sweet something-something these days, I can’t just walk through the marketing department’s corridors to sneak a treat in they always have lying around. I gotta go to the grocery store, find the smallest package of muffins for sale, determine that even the smallest amount I can buy for myself will still go stale by the time I can eat them all, and not end up getting my muffin fix. Those sweet chocolate-studded muffins with ever the tender crumb *sigh*.
3. Water Cooler Gossip: It’s the little things in corporate life I miss. The friends that give me all the juicy and deliciously scandalous office gossip updates, the ongoing speculation if two people at work are involved in some hanky panky, grimy secrets the executives are keeping away from us low-level employees…basically all the dirt my company had that made any episode of The Office look like child’s play. Then there were the 5 Instant Messenger conversations I would always have going on with different coworkers (usually not work-related), the forwarded emails in my inbox asking me to answer 7 questions about myself and then pass it along to 7 of my other true friends, the occasional chit-chatting with Patrick when I walked by his desk…my, what a social life I left behind! And two more words for you: Lunch dates. I miss going out to lunch with coworkers everyday. It made me feel important.
4. You Will Never Be Important Enough To Have To Deal With Everyone’s Problems: Probably the best advice I got in the office space was that I am not paid enough, not important enough, to have to solve all of the problems within my company. Sounds like very common sense knowledge but for someone who tends to take everything personally, it was nice knowing that I can always, and should always, send bigger matters straight up the chain and wipe my hands immediately clean of it. When you have your own business, you ARE the chain so you have to deal with the good, the bad, and the ugly solo.
5. Finding Love In The Office Space: Cooler than the ubiquitous internet dating scene, what better place to find the love of your life, your soul mate from another lifetime, and kindred spirits than in an office, small, wearing a dress skirt, short, and working on some project together into the late hours? Hey, look at me—I am an office space success story! I found Patrick, we gots ourselves a baby, and INSTANT FAMILY! Just add water. Results not guaranteed.