Friday, 9 January 2009

The Office

A couple of days ago I’ve had a new colleague with me at the office: baby Dylan.
Jo had to go to a dentist appointment near work, childcare is closed for their holiday break (as opposed to my holiday break, which would have been better had we had childcare been open), and thus I was appointed as the babysitter for an hour or so in the morning.
And what a strange experience it proved to be.
For a start, I’m not used to being with Dylan but out of the house. Definitely not while dressed for work. Whenever I do go out with Dylan it’s either for a brief excursion around the house when he’s sick or I have Jo with me. I know this problem of mine sounds minute and rather petty, but hey – having someone with you that has no clue of how to take care of himself and totally relies on you is quite the eye opener. Don’t dismiss me until you’ve been in my shoes, please!
Problems started right away. While I gave Dylan his breakfast at our office floor’s kitchen he was busy filling his nappy. That raised a new type of problem: say what you say about our floor’s toilets, they do not contain baby changing facilities! I went to several floors to check my options but found nothing that would be comfortable for Dylan and wouldn’t earn me the curse of my fellow workers. Eventually I decided to go for the nearest mega shopping mall (one of the many Melbourne is “blessed” with); on my way there I met colleagues who told me that there is, actually, a baby changing room in our building and they even told me where it was.
It turned out to be in a security room. So secure that upon realizing I left the baby wipes somewhere during my searching expeditions I found myself locked inside the room and had to bang the door for a rescue to take place. I was rescued quickly enough, though, retrieved the wipes, and changed a rather amused Dylan who was actually quite intrigued by that morning’s rather adventurous nappy change experience.
Wait, there’s more. In an effort to entertain him and pass the time till savior Jo comes to my rescue I let Dylan loose in my cubicle. I have to say he was a very good boy, but I also have to say it made me look at the office differently: for the first time, I was looking at my office from the point of view of someone less than half my height that has an uncanny ability to get himself into problems with stuff that was obviously not designed with 18 months old babies in mind. Luckily, the most interesting items for this 18 months old laid on the very cluttered desk of a colleague and not in some power plug.
Soon enough Jo came to my rescue and Dylan was gone. The office, however, will never be the same. Remember that place where I have an hour by hour calendar and everything happens on time? That place that used to be a haven for law and order had had a baby invading it.

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