out goes day-drinking, in comes office chit-chat

It’s been a time of reckless dressing and drinking and plenty of navel-gazing. But that’s coming to an end, and it’ll be life-changing.

(Image: Tom Red/Private Media)

Like Christmas or explosive diarrhoea, normal is coming — ready or not. But after the past 18 months, who the hell even knows what normal is any more? From personal grooming to political gimmicks, there’ll be a lot of reacclimatising. Crikey satirist Tom Red reads the tea leaves.

Groom for improvement When lockdowns began, the slide from “dress-to-impress” to “impressed-you’re-dressed” was swift and comprehensive. Coming back from that sartorial abyss will be a struggle of epic proportions. Some wags have suggested using vaccination rates as a fashion guide. If your state is still below 70%, it’s fine to keep wearing activewear at home and in public. At 80%, try to introduce “other clothes” when you’re out and about. And when December 1 finally hits, activewear can only be worn when you’re being active.

The chitchataphobia challenge COVID-19 was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to finally unclutter our work-related social lives. Like bears in hibernation, we perfected the art of never seeing anyone from the office. So how will we feel when we emerge from caves, eyes squinting at the prospect of work drinks, farewells, birthday lunches and trivia nights? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Chitchataphobia — morbid fear of small talk during work-related functions — is a real and potentially debilitating condition. Psychologists warn that more needs to be done to help people identify the signs, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.

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