or “Ode to being a travel agent”
or “Feeling inadequate in lockdown”
“Oh, sock drawer, why do you taunt me so?
So many, there’s now an overflow.
There still seems to be more,
They’re tumbling to the floor.
I desperately need Marie Kondo”
My sock drawer is overflowing so much that it refuses to close. It is stuffed full of colourful cotton work socks, once-white sports socks, thick woollen explorer socks, as well of a few of those low cut you-cant-see me-but you-sure-can-feel-me-as-I-slide-off-your-heel-and-curl-up-and-sit-annoyingly-on-your-instep socks.
So many socks. Who needs that many socks?
I decided during the “covid crisis”, I would spend some of the forced free time sorting through and clearing out “the sock drawer”.
As the weeks went by, I still seemed to be spending a full day in the office. There was still a lot of customer queries – not for new bookings, but how to cancel the bookings they already had. Obviously, the result of this was lots of cancellations which resulted in a lot of phone calls to suppliers and airlines and reading a lot of supplier and airline cancellation policies. Cancellations seem to involve a lot more work, a lot more time and a lot more paperwork than the actual bookings themselves.
There was a lot going on that required my attention, so I had little left for the sock drawer.
That bloody sock drawer keeps taunting me….”give me some attention”. It taunts me when I get dressed in the morning, it taunts me when I came home from work, it taunts me when I go to bed at night.
It has become a metaphor for everything that was going wrong in my worklife. I wanted to fix it. I wanted to make it better, I wanted to be able to close it.
That bloody sock drawer just made me feel inadequate – everyone else seemed to be doing great in lockdown.
While my world tumbled around me, everyone else seemed to be in lockdown and working from home. It seemed to be easy for them as they were doing fun Zoom meetings (my Zoom Meetings pretty much went along the lines of the loudest person wins and we get to only hear what they have to say, or “we can’t hear you, you’re on mute”, or “change your camera as we don’t want to see your bathroom”).
The bloody sock drawer remained full.
While my world was crumbling around me, everyone else seemed to be making apple crumbles, or baking banana bread or fermenting sourdough. The only fermenting I was doing was drinking my way through all the alcohol that people had brought into the office as a thank you gift. (Don’t judge me, it’s 11 o’clock somewhere in the world.) Thank you, each one was a very welcome gift. I had pretty much exhausted my supply of Duty Free with little prospect of restocking soon.
Oh, how I miss those Duty-Free sized bottles in their foam-lattice protection ☹. Nothing says travel more than an extra 250ml of alcohol. A trip to Dan Murphy’s just does not have the same appeal, or postcards.
The bloody sock drawer remained overflowing.
While my world was stumbling, everyone else was either doing online exercise or posting on Strava about how far that had run, ridden or walked, (which seems strange in a time when you weren’t meant to venture too far from home). My F45 membership was on hold, so the only burpees I was doing was what was coming out of my mouth from eating too quickly. My belt was now taunting me as the “normal” belt hole was beginning to strain. It was taut with taunt!
It was now a case of lose it or move it.
I decided to “lose it”, but instead of following the process from the “Couch to 5kms” app, I went straight for 5kms…..which then put me straight onto the couch. I had sore knees, shin splints, calf soreness and aches that medicos haven’t even got a name for yet. No one wants to see bouncing man-boobs anyway.
Despite taking out a pair of sports socks, the drawer still bulged.
While my world was fumbling, everyone else seemed to be upskilling. I seemed to be the only one not learning a new language, or singing a parody about coronavirus, or make macramé potholders. I was participating in a lot of industry webinars. So many webinars that I think I accidently gave a Ted Talk on the “Covid-19’s effect on the Macro-biology of the 16 micro-ecosystems of the Amazon” (all set to the tune of “Blame it on the Boogie”).
I decided to formalise some study by enrolling in a Business Innovation course through University of Queensland. So far, I am two weeks into the course, and I am already 4 weeks behind! I am not sure how that happens, but it seems that everyone else has more time on their hands. I bet they have perfectly organised, colour-coordinated sock drawers.
While my work world has been tumbling, crumbling, stumbling and fumbling…it has also been quite humbling. The thanks that I have received from clients who we helped to get back home, the wishes of support from friend and family, and the offers of help (and even money) have been overwhelming during a time of intense craziness.
The sock drawer is still full, it’s still overflowing, and I still cannot close it, but it is now a symbol that there is still work for me to do. My clients have not given up on me, so I’m not going to give up on them.
When there does come a time that I have plenty of spare time, I am going to Marie Kondo the fuck out of that bloody sock drawer.
It will be great to have some closure, by being able to close that bloody sock drawer.
The Don’t Forget Travel Group is a boutique travel agency that plans and curates custom-made holidays.