In nearly every office across the country, there is a a culture of relying on caffeine to get through the day. No matter if your vice is coffee or tea, chances are that someone will offer to do a round of hot drinks every hour or two. I normally drink two or three cups of tea per day, and maybe even more during those chilly winter months. Tea has always been a vice for me. It warms me up while the air conditioning is blasting, and it always seems the cheer me up. It’s refreshing, and it feels like home.
So why did I decide to give up caffeine forever?
Wednesday 22nd March 2017 was a weird day. In many ways, it was completely unremarkable. I’m lucky in that, for my job, I get to do a lot of work on twitter so I was checking our feed when I noticed a tweet about reported shots fired in Westminster.
Within minutes, or even seconds, more of the story was developing. I was giving everyone else in the office the information that was coming through as I saw it reported on Twitter.
My office is about a fifteen minute drive away from Parliament so there was never a major concern for our safety. We carried on working throughout and didn’t leave the office so much as a minute early. The office is on the ground floor of a very busy road, though, and we listened to endless police cars streaming past in packs. Three or four would tear down the street, usually about five or ten minutes apart, for what seemed like hours. I couldn’t believe that so many police were available, let alone that all of them were needed at once. It made the whole situation feel uncomfortably close.
The more information that filtered through to us, the more terrifying it got. Some people were cracking jokes. Others were still on lunch and had no idea, or were trapped in dull meetings when they would rather have their eyes glued to the news.