It always strikes me as funny, in these first few days of a new season, that everyone forgets what to do with the new clime.
Today, inevitably, the temperature in the office started creeping up until, around mid morning, it was decidedly sticky. "I'm so hot I can't think," moaned one of the partners. "I don't know what to do with myself. I need to do something to cool down." There was a pause. We all looked at him, waiting to see what he was going to do. He looked at his watch and said, "oh look! Time for elevenses. I'll put the kettle on! Tea all 'round?"
An hour later, it was hotter. We all slouched at our desks fanning ourselves with property journals and leases. (Well ... they have to be useful for something!) Having not yet done a full 12 months in our office, I still find, from time to time, that I don't know where things are, but I assume my longer serving colleagues do. I caught the eye of one, and wondered whether we ought to dip into petty cash to buy some fans. "Oh, we've got loads of fans," he said, hopping from his seat and darting around the office pulling desk fans from cupboards and drawers that I didn't even knew existed. When five fans were propelling a clammy breeze wafted through the office, he pottered back to his desk explaining that he'd forgotten that we had the means of cooling down.
People's general attire is also a bit wonky still. I went for a short walk at lunchtime, and spent my time gawping (perhaps in an indiscreet manner) at people's clothes, and realised that I wasn't the only person to wake up this morning and realise that I couldn't remember what to wear on a hot day at work. People in the queue ahead of me at the sandwich bar distractedly tugged at the hems of skirts too short for non-tight-wearing legs, and hot feet were slipped out of heavy shoes. Men, used to putting on their suit jackets to leave the office, fidgeted awkwardly, not yet used to the more causal dress code which we can enjoy for the next few months. Summer skirts and winter jackets, floral frocks and big boots, or ... worst of all sins ... open toed shoes and tights! AAAGGGHHH!
No-one seems quite comfortable enough to fully embrace the summer yet. But this afternoon, as I cast my eyes around an office of people all sitting at their desks devouring ice-lollies, I got the feeling that it wouldn't take us long to get the hang of things.
2 weeks ago