I missed my office job – the labour of project work

Office jobs are boring they said. Get a job where you get to travel they said.

Whoever sold this dream about work travel being anything remotely close to leisure travel, may I please have a refund!!

After two weeks of being away from my office, commuting back and forth between Pretoria and Johannesburg, I have a new appreciation for my desk job. There are no words adequate enough to explain my exhaustion.

Never again will I take my office job for granted. I missed sitting down and a few other simple pleasures. So all those job seekers who want a job that requires you to travel, consider the following:

  • Convenience
    At the office: the only driving you need to do is from your house to the office.
    On-site: driving is a privilege,  public transport is now your life.

The convenience of going from your door at home, to the car door, to your office door is a thing of the past. You leave your car behind, you walk now, walk to bus stops to catch trains and walk from train stations to offices all while strained with the weight of your backpack.


  • Lunch
    At the office: you grab your skaftin (lunchbox), heat it up in the microwave and munch.
    On-site: you are a scavenger.

By far this has to be one of the most aggravating of all my issues with travelling. Where am I expected to store my salad and warm up my meat?! Nowhere apparently, it’s not my office.

Now I am forced to buy takeout.  There goes my budget for the month, my diet for the week along with my digestion and clear skin.

I want regular poops, not pimples!


  • Tea breaks
    At the office: when you’re tired from staring at your screen all morning – you go for tea. Walk around, stretch your legs.
    On-site: All you do is “stretch” your legs. And Tea? Ha! To put in which kettle and boil with what water little queen?

Some project work demands that you walk around all day and you will treasure that seat that your manager wants your bum to be on 40 hours a week.

Sure you’ll get your daily 10 000 steps in, Yay!

Nay, walking around that much will just remind you of how unfit you really are.


  • Saying  yes to the dress
    At the office: you get to dress up, literally.
    On-site: are you kidding?! With the bending over and the unpredictable Joburg wind, don’t risk that.

Now, this is entirely personal and gender-specific obviously, but if you are comfortable walking around and possibly climbing over things in a dress or skirt, by all means, go for it. I’ll be in my room digging out the same pairs of jeans to wear for the two weeks.


  • Friendly faces
    At the office: you get the usual morning greetings and familiar faces.
    On-site: stank looks and unwelcoming faces

As much as I may respond with a murmur or an abrupt hi when greeted at the office, working in other people’s space can make you feel like a real nuisance.

Some people take their work so seriously and don’t take kindly to an outsider being in their space. And they will make you feel it!

Unfriendly faces, no skaftin or tea breaks, no convenience or freedom to dress as you would like, and a roundtrip commute is 3 hours long – all of this, to do a mere FOUR HOURS worth of work, barely!

Oh and don’t forget that you need to write a report on your two-week journey from hell?

This must be a set up surely!?

I am going to round up my rant by saying: Travelling is “nice” once in a while, a long while at that. You need time to recuperate and a weekend may not be enough to do so. All that you will usually see the inside of your means of transport and the office where you will be working. That. is. it!

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