One of the best perks of working through a temp agency is you get placed in really amazing companies. I’m offered opportunities I would never have on my own because my placement means I’m disposable. They can bang out a project and send me on my way without the work involved in a typical onboarding process.
Company hopping means I have had cubicles but I’ve also worked in open floor plans with sparse desks that lack personality. I’ve had standing desks that lift with the touch of a button. (I miss that desk. We were friends.) Right now I have a laptop computer that opens up with recognition from my fingerprint. I’ve had touchscreen laptops, dual monitors, touchscreen phone systems and noise cancelling headsets. I’ve been to kitchens that were stocked with healthy free foods and insane amounts of junk to gnosh on. Some companies regularly cater lunch on some days and others offer free products that they work really hard to sell to the public. They stock half and half next to the almond or coconut milk. There are touchscreen coffee makers that use Starbuck’s coffee or machines that will brew a triple shot espresso and in the next cup you can have a mocha latte or vanilla coffee. On the way to my desk I’ve walked next to ping pong and foosball tournaments, full indoor basketball courts and dogs that go to work everyday. I’ve been offered margaritas on the work patio or kombucha and beer on tap. I’ve avoided monthly emergencies with a bathroom fully stocked with feminine products for free and unlimited Bath and Body Works soaps and lotions. I’ve been next to co-workers on balance ball chairs that bounce and move as they type or handle calls. I’ve seen showers and a lactation lounge and heard about Summer flex days where 3 day weekends are expected and paid.
These companies treat their employees like they want them to stay. They remind them to take breaks and stand and snack or relax. Consistently, I have been in conversations with people at all of these companies where I wonder, if you’re not going to take care of yourself, who will?
I see (usually younger people) working through their lunch and forgetting to eat. On a great day, I do it too. There’s a zone where purpose meets drive and productivity babies don’t even need to be burped or changed. But I also make it a point to take care of myself. I still treat myself like I love myself. I act like I need to care for the toddler in me.
In my first week with this new company, I kept hearing complaints about the snacks. The company was moving toward healthier snacks without bothering to focus on internalizing the ideals of healthy foods. The masses revolted and complained. I was on the elevator one day, and laughing at the outrage. I mean, I used to love rolling out of bed for a cold Tommy’s chili burger for breakfast after several hours of too many drinks, too little water, and feet that were tortured in pumps on a dance floor all night. A few years ago wheat sensitivities changed my ability to eat anything crusty, flaky or relatively cheap. Earlier this year my gall bladder was taken out, changing my ability to handle fat. My age has made changes necessary, and they were complaining about food I can no longer eat, while sitting in the same spot at their desks all day. It was almost funny. They were abusing their bodies, not knowing that age will take care of the rest one day. I mean, if you refuse to take care of yourself, who will take care of you?
Self care is so important.
Rest when you need to. Eat when you need to. (I only put in my mouth what will make me insanely happy. Good food is a necessity.) Eat foods that will make you feel good. Play. Enjoy sunlight and laughter. Cry when you need to. Scream when you need to. Say, “no,” when you need to. Commit to what will make you happy. Take care of your body and your heart.
Seriously . . . If you refuse to take care of yourself, who do you think will do it?