I spent the bank holiday weekend in Northampton with friends. They live there because it’s too expensive to live in Oxford. When I asked K if the commute (a 2 hour round trip) was a pain, he said he’d got used to it and it wasn’t so bad. What he actually disliked most about his job was ‘inane colleague conversations about non-work things’.
I completely sympathised with that, because it’s one of my pet hates too. It sounds so innocent (and even unfair/judgemental) in the grand scheme of things, but it’s one of those niggles that grows over time. It’s one of the things that makes an average day a tedious day, and a bad day a really bad day.