Back in January 2020 my work department got an award in the form of a special bonus that we could spend on a group activity. The best thing would have been if the group activity had been splitting the money, but instead, after a delay of more than two years, we opted for a trip to Cheekwood. It was a good choice—something everyone could enjoy, and it was outside. The only difficulty I had was before I left the house when my wife said, “You do know how to get there, don’t you?”
Well I did before she said that. It’s funny how I can be absolutely certain of something until someone asks me about it and suddenly everything I know is thrown into doubt.
Anyway I made it and we all had a good time ambling around the expansive grounds of Cheekwood. I’d forgotten that I actually like the people I work with. I hadn’t realized how different it feels to be around actual people and, even better, to be around actual people with no set tasks. We didn’t have to do anything specific or go anywhere specific. We didn’t even have to stick together as a group, although we did anyway. At one point we all made our way to the hill where the mansion stands and in the distance could see downtown Nashville. I tried to spot our building but couldn’t find it. Still it didn’t seem that far away, and I commented that I knew that eventually we’d all be going back to the office.
“Why should we?” said one of my coworkers. “So much of what we do is online now there’s really no need for us to actually be there.”
She had a point, but I kind of miss actually being there.