Top 5 Complaints from Your First Week Back at the Office

Sherry Mayle
4 min readJun 17, 2022
Photo by fizkes/

Companies who still haven’t figured out how to tell if employees are actually producing are calling their employees back to the office to make sure they are. Here are the most common complaints you’re likely to hear.

5. Noisy chitchat is still everyone’s favorite pastime.

No matter how many foosball tables are installed, everyone still prefers to gather around your desk, specifically, to talk about their weekends.

No one ever does anything more interesting than “chill” or “go skiing.” Occasionally some brave soul will chance a joke about having to see their in-laws, but anything they did that’s truly of interest, such as snorting cocaine like an ant-eater off a friend’s dining room table, is tastefully edited out of the conversation.

The result is an endless milquetoast stream where no one says anything yet never runs out of anything to say. Having to hear the chitchat over and over is like being peed on — you try to swat it away, to move out of its path, but it’s futile.

Your productivity begins to drop. Your manager doesn’t notice because your manager doesn’t know how to measure your productivity, which is why you’re in the office in the first place.

4. Smelly lunch guy took zero culinary courses during the pandemic.

Smelly-lunch-guy is still eating fish for lunch. He didn’t learn how to make anything new during the pandemic.

You google around and find out it’s still socially inappropriate to comment on smelly lunch guy’s food; you’re stuck living in a passive aggressive situation. You’d forgotten why you resented him so much in the months you’d spent happily chatting alongside him on Zoom.

3. Not all sheep are equal.

You can’t help but notice you’re one of twenty unlucky employees forced back to the office. The top execs show up whenever they want, mostly to count their sheep in the pen and ask the shepherds (middle-managers) why there aren’t more sheep in the pen.

Then the shepherds have to make up excuses about how some of the sheep have covid, and some of the sheep are on…



Sherry Mayle

Laughter is the best medicine if you don’t have any real medicine.