I spent the morning in an Actual Office, where Actual Other People do Actual Work. Wearing Actual Clothes because they have also Actually Showered, because Actual Reality! It was so real, you guys.
A few observations and assorted tips for any fellow Work-At-Home Hobbits out there, contemplating a return to the corporate fishbowl:
1) Office furniture has not changed ONE BIT since the last time I sat in an office. Which was in 2006, and I'm pretty sure that there hadn't been any big innovations in the Dark Cherryesque Laminate Desk-and-Bookshelf world for a long time before that, either.
2) Office phones, however, are as terrifyingly complicated as ever. Pick it up, press 9 for an outside line, BEEP BEEP ERROR AUTHORIZATION NOT RECOGNIZED BEEP BEEP JUST USE YOUR CELL PHONE IDIOT.
3) I don't look nearly as skinny as I used to in elevator-door reflections. Sigh.
4) Always bring a back-up pen to a meeting. Mine ran out of ink about 10 minutes in and rather than admit that I needed a new pen, I sat there like it was the damn SATs, scribbling frantic circles all over the edges of my notepad in hopes of getting it to work again. My meeting notes look like half-formed chicken scratch interspersed with a series of tornados.
5) If you opt to wear a stiff, suit-like dress with a crossover design in the front, you might want to take it on a test-sit before going anywhere in it, on the off chance that a safety pin is required to keep it from gapping and showing everyone in the room your black lacy bra OH MY GOD.
BABY IKE APPROVES OF THIS DRESS.