Features

The Office Sunset Blues

Take a good look at this photo. Go on, I’ll wait.

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Once you peer past the stacks of paperwork, the confusingly shredder-shaped dehumidifier, and the dual-monitor setup – that’s a pretty damn nice sunset, right?

This photo was taken from my work desk.

It was something like 5.15pm. Painfully close to clocking out and grabbing dinner. I’d stretched and looked around, and noticed the gorgeous view out of the window. Well, apart from someone else’s desk arrangement in the way.

I tried getting up and moving closer to the window. I peered out through the blinds. The sunset didn’t look as good. Crap.

So, disappointed, I shuffled back to my desk and took the shot as it is. Uploaded it to Instagram with a sarcastic caption, as you do.

It got more ‘likes’ than I’ve had in months. One of my friends told me it was a ‘great’ shot. She’s a pro photographer. I nearly fainted with pride.

See? That’s a bloody nice sunset. Even an amateur with an outdated iPhone like me can make it look good. It transcends photo-taking ability. Like those people who manage to be crazy photogenic even while sneezing.

And that view’s going to haunt me for months.

Even in summer, the sun sets earlier in Japan than it does in the UK. Something like two hours earlier. This has always bothered me. I came here on summer holidays, and found myself wandering outside in the dark at 7pm.

So I have to put up with seeing (most of) an incredible sunset happen while I’m still working. Every weekday. For at least half of the year.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful to have a job. It’s a step forward in my career, and my coworkers are lovely so far. (And I took the photo from a very comfy chair, too.)

But now I can look round and see my time here passing. And that’s sort of depressing.

You’d think having that view to my left would be motivating. All it inspires is the urge to drop everything, get in the lift, and find somewhere that sells white wine. (Sorry, boss.)