I spent most of my long weekend reading science fiction novels of space travel and long dead alien civilizations or playing Fallout 3: a post-apocalyptic video game. (Appropriately, Wired released this all instant Thanksgiving Dinner, or all-canned as I like to think of it, in preparation for when turkeys don't exist in non-radiated form). Yes there was family too but all in all it was a weekend of escapism at its finest.
Coming back to the cold, hard (or perhaps soft) cubicle walls is like a shadow over my soul. As we have no television I only heard news second hand or when hearing NPR on the drive somewhere. So this morning was a bit of a downer to hear what was described as a cynical ploy by the GOP just a few weeks ago is now the modus operandi; Obama is freezing Federal employee pay for two years. Selfishly I had hoped Federal employment might be an escape from my corporate purgatory. Now it seems even less likely with pay freezes and cutbacks that I will be able to find a place there. On coming into work I was also informed of a major project that will be taking a hiatus due to funding until next year. It's not a big part of my workload but doesn't bode well in general.
The interesting thing with playing a post-apocalyptic game for four days in a row is how it changes your views on your world. In the game you can make unique items with random crap lying around, or trade those things in for the game's currency. It inspires one to become a packrat, and has me looking around wanting to pick things up and take them with me just in case I need them. Sort of the opposite effect I had after watching a whole season of Hoarders. And it makes the world seem so much more populated and crowded after the emptiness of the wasteland. And it makes being asked why I didn't call into some meeting that was two weeks ago while I'm still filling up my first cup of coffee seem like such a paltry concern.
But I must wake up from the dream. Much as every Friday I struggle to leave the concerns of work left undone or "hot" projects waiting on my desk behind me I must now put my work face back on, if only to last a little longer to the winter holidays. I must pretend to care about meetings and powerpoint and signature approval and release schedules once again. Maybe not everyone else is leaving behind a post-nuclear world, but I suspect we all have to struggle a little today to fit back in again.