Plague Days: Home Work

I haven’t worn shoes in 6 days.

I work barefoot.  I run around the house barefoot.  I do all my gardening barefoot.

I also just had to count back to the last time I left my house, in order to determine how long it’s been since I wore shoes.  What day even IS it?  It’s Friday, I realize, and I haven’t been anywhere outside my domain since last Saturday.  Hence, I have been shoeless for 6 days.

Meanwhile, my last time in the office downtown was Monday, March 23.  This means I have officially been Work From Home (WFH) for 16 days.

I could get used to this.

It took a lot of work and build-up to get to the stage where we could get everyone into WFH status.  (Hence the Biz Continuity work mentioned previously.) It was funny, almost.  A lot of tech checking – that last week in the office everyone was actively using Teams for conversations.  In the office.  Often with people on the other side of the 3rd floor, or just down the hall.  I was going bonkers from the bombardment of Teams and Skype call sounds:

DOOONG DOONG dadada boop boop SQUEEP SQUEEP!!!

But it was good.  We did it.  And now, unless there is a necessary reason to go into the office, we are all WFH.

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The home office cave.  Taken on my remote test day, the week before we all stopped going in.
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It was during the remote test day that I learned that my new assistant is a complete bum.

I tend to get a little delirious here in my work cave.  It’s a slow road for me, toward realizing that I don’t have to be chained to the desk in my home office, so I get a little angsty sometimes.  But then I get up and I go out and walk in my garden over lunchtime (or whenever the hell I want, really), and take care of household shit like doing dishes which means I don’t have to save it all ‘till “after work” in the evenings.

The morning routine is more relaxed, too.  To keep a regular cadence, we still get up at 5:00 a.m. for a workout (most days) (..I mean, we’re trying).  And then I go through the regular get-ready program…except I don’t have to wear makeup if I don’t want to and I’m throwing on comfy stuff and there’s no drive downtown, all of which makes the process far shorter and gifts me more happy morning coffee-on-the-porch wakeup time.  I’m not hustling and hauling ass anymore, and it’s really damn nice.

And while I’m working, I can listen to music!  I can take puppy breaks!  Holy crap!

Downsides?  Hmmm…

Well, lunch is spotty.  It was alright the first week.  But really, I’m running out of ways to make a sandwich interesting.  Yesterday was the culmination of my culinary boredom.  I was hungry.  Really hungry.  But everything looked SO BORING.  So I had flavored water. Today, J had to make a supply run and brought home a couple of frozen pasta lunch things and I was THRILLED.

Also, and this is very important: I don’t have access to copious amounts of coffee that SOMEONE ELSE MAKES.  I have a Keurig.  I can make one cup at a time.  This was fine back in the normal days, when I had one cup in the mornings before heading off to work where SOMEONE ELSE MAKES IT and there’s a LOT OF IT.  Now, I have to stop everything to make one cup of coffee.  Oh, the humanity.

But the coffee is all I miss about the office break room.  We generally don’t keep junk food in the house, ever, so I am now safe not only from coronavirus, but also from the impending stress-eating of the crap in the break room cabinet.

I’ve lost a couple of pounds because of this.  And also because of my apparent propensity for eating flavored water.  Either way, it’s great.

Other WFH cons…Oh!  Video fatigue.  It’s the only way to have meetings now right?  So I’m staring at folks on screen constantly.  My eyes are tired. And the other trouble with that is that I also end up having to stare at myself all day too.  I do try to keep myself reasonable-looking with makeup and stuff for my myriad work-related “close ups” but yeah.  Laptop cameras are not flattering.  Nope.

And the final con: WHAT THE HELL DAY IS IT?!?!?!  Enough said.

J is also working from home.  There are a lot of nuances to sharing an office space with your spouse.  First and foremost above anything else, you have to have a sense of humor.  If you don’t laugh about the fact that your “meeting room” is double booked (ie you’re both about to hop on different video meetings at the same time in the same room without knowing about it), you’re doomed.  You end up setting a different cadence together.  You kind of become coworkers, except you totally have to make complaints to HR frequently.  It’s pretty alright.  Is this what it’s like to be in a space capsule with someone?

Anyway, this WFH thing isn’t so bad at all.  I hate shoes.  Today is the first day I decided not to wear makeup because I’m sick of doing it.  I haven’t stopped wearing a bra during work hours though, so I’m not that barbaric yet.

I get pretty fun and goofy though when I’m left to my own devices.  It’s like, oh yeah!  THERE’S Sooz!  That dorky person!  I’ve missed you!

So here’s some fun shit from my first week in the home office cave. It’s nice to have some freedom during the day to fuck around, and it doesn’t help that I’ve been rereading Transmetropolitan again.  How could I resist with Spider Jerusalem towering over me as I sit here typing, like he’s my new boss or something?  (I could live with that).  And the home office is also our nerd room (video mtgs have everyone staring at the Batcave behind me) and Spider’s glasses are very much a part of the nerd room and they were RIGHT THERE  and I AM the Filthy Assistant, sooo…

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Day 2 working at home. Have already gone native. Send me a MonkeyBurger (TM) and hold my calls.
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Day 4, aka last Friday around 4:30 p.m.  I hadn’t figured out yet that I was allowed to leave my cave so I was 100% bughouse.

And then I found myself a new comic filter app.

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YAY NEW TOYS.

This week hasn’t been nearly as goofy.  I DO actually get 90 tons of work done during the day.  But I’m settling into a cadence and finding the time to get work done AND do other things like, I dunno, write stuff here.  😉

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Lest my captivated readers think I wasn’t goofy at all this week.  Yesterday on FB, I was very caffeinated on my one-coffee-at-a-time regime: Behold my mighty flying carpet of justice! BEHOLD! (Actually we were just cleaning it and I was delirious. But BEHOLD ANYWAY! ZOOM!)

And now the stay-home ordinance has been extended to at least April 30.

**

To close this: In all seriousness, and goofiness aside, this actually sucks.  It sucks for us but it truly sucks for all of my friends who have been laid off, or furloughed, or who are self-employed, or contract, or who work for restaurants and bars and who are tour guides and artists on the Square or who perform or sell at all the closed festivals and everyone else who is panicking right now about how the hell they’re going to pay their rent or get their next round of groceries and wondering just how long this crap can go on before it just sweeps them away completely.  Or the ones who want to work from home but still have to go out there every day either out of necessity or because their boss is a jerk…I wanted to write this in a lighthearted way for my own sanity, because I try to see some humor in most things (unless yer dyin’), and I need to in order to stave off my cabin fever and claustrophobia, but I just wanted to take a moment to love each and every one of you.

Next time, how to make things fun even when things actually aren’t so great.

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