A few years ago, a friend who works in a very demanding job, told me “You just don’t really feel the overtime when you really like what you’re doing”. I had a hard time imagining a job like that. But at times, that’s true for me, too. It’s a blessing that I work in a Swedish environment where excessive overtime is discouraged (and I secretly check my email at home, not daring to forward them to my co-worker because she will frown the next day and say, “Helen, why do you answer emails at 10 p.m.?”) because otherwise I’d still be at work when sun sets.
Coming back from my first long vacation, I found myself at a desk with a mountain of to dos and an overflowing inbox which I today, two days after coming back, haven’t even managed to plough through. Släcka bränder, to put out blazes, is what my co-worker often calls our day to day business: With a big event that needs much attention coming up in two weeks, an intern to start in four, a strategy sitting to prepare, an important board meeting to take care of, a magazine to produce and an entire jubilee to organize it feels like I probably never will take off time again.
But I won’t complain because at least currently a lot of work is fun and the parts that are not fun I can complain about at length to my co-workers. They were also the ones who greeted me with the above sign at my new computer (we finally got new computers and it’s like a whole new world!), my extra co-workers got excited to have lunch break with me again and when my colleague went home my first day back at work, she left saying, “Have a nice evening. I’m glad you’re back!”