Deep joy at being back in this rat's nest of a dump. Everyone's come in early, to get it over and done with I suppose. At least that was my motivation. And indeed my only motivation: the combination of the utter despair of trying to get anything achieved remotely properly here and the effects of the antidepressants I have to take to survive being here pretty much do for what little get-up-and-go that this old fart had left. I deeply resent having to take the antidepressants but seeing as the day I forgot to take them I was literally weeping with relief at getting home in the evening I suppose they're a necessary evil.
I expect I had this in mind when I was making myself a cup of coffee in the staff room. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have twigged the significance of the conversations around the table. Two people were debating the pros and cons of having a fanciable counsellor (pro: having someone you fancy hanging on your every word for an hour has to be good for your self-esteem; con: if you start drooling and babbling inconsequentially you could get sectioned). Someone else was telling a story about the dreadful effects of forgetting the doctor's advice about mixing alcohol with their prescription (two glasses of wine and she was singing Tina Turner songs in the car park). Others were comparing their IBS symptoms, the pains in their chests and/or the number of times they threw up before setting off for work this morning. I didn't join in, I'm a rank tyro in comparison. Besides, I was too busy being shocked: this isn't an out-patients' waiting room, a field of war or a high-octane emergency service, it's a public library service and it's taking this sort of toll on the people working in it.
I know that none of this is new but it still comes as an unpleasant surprise when I get my nose rubbed in it.