This working from home thing isn’t exactly new. Working from home for weeks on end with no end in sight is a new thing.
As of this writing I am about three weeks into this and still trying to adjust. To keep some of my routine, I still shower and get dressed every morning.
I don’t wear business casual clothes, but I do put on pants! Since we are home all day and don’t want our gas bill to go through the roof, I usual wear a sweat shirt or a fleece.
I talk to my colleagues about once a day instead of every five minutes. I talk to someone in management about once a week usually on Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
What I Think about when I Work from Home
We use the dishwasher a lot
I’ve been noticing that we run the dishwasher at least every other day. When I went to work every day I ate at least one meal from the cafeteria at work. Or I brought a single dish to work with my breakfast and maybe one for my lunch.
It seems that making and eating these same meals at home creates more dishes than eating them at work.
We try to use plates and coffee cups more than once. But still the dishwasher is filled up every other day. Maybe I notice it more because I’m setting 20 feet away when it runs?
There’s lots of traffic on my street
We live near the end of a cul-du-sac. I’ve set up my home office in our dining room in the front of the house.
I see people walking by and the neighbors walking their dogs several times a day. I wonder if they are out walking during normal times?
I can’t believe how many cars go by! Some neighbors go out several times each day. Where are they going during the Corona Virus Lock Down? Haven’t they heard of social distancing and stay the hell out of stores?
Then there are the unknown cars that come flying down our dead end street thinking it is a cut through. For some reason we don’t have a dead-end sign at the end of our street. Surprise!
Then there are all of the delivery vans. UPS, FedEx, Amazon and the USPS make several trips all the way to the end of my street.
Some go down just to turn around, but those folks at the end of the street get lots of deliveries.
I guess if you can’t go out and the shelves are bare when you do, you order your toilet paper on line.
Most of The United States is under a “Stay at Home” advisory or order from the Governor.
This is a good idea, but I still need to go out for a run once in a while. And I need to go to the store.
I really want to drive my car down Route 93 at 85 MPH just to feel it. I’m tired of sitting.
When I go out for a run I see very few people. Last Saturday I went for a 15 mile run and waved or said hello to just about everyone. I guess they were practicing social distancing.
I saw this sign at a local park when I was out for a short run.
We received a message from the Mayor about parks being closed. When you see a sign and tape across the entrance, it makes it real.
For anyone with kids it must be difficult telling them that they can’t go to the park down the street. After a few days in the house kids start to bounce off the walls.
Our kids are grown so we don’t have to worry about these things. But when they were young we went to the park a lot. They particularly loved the swings.
Shopping Under Quarantine
We’re not under quarantine or isolation, but it sure feels like it.
When I go out it sure feels like something is going on. All the drive throughs have long lines. The parking lots are nearly empty.
On one of my recent ventures outside I stopped by McDonald’s for lunch. It’s been a while.
The drive through line was all the way back to the parking lot entrance. I noticed that a few people were parked and then I saw someone walk out with food. The lobby was open!
I pulled into a spot and went in. The seating areas were all taped off like a crime scene. The bathrooms were closed.
They had one person on the register for walk ins and she had a plastic panel in front of her. It was odd. She felt a little odd also and we had a few laughs.
There was one couple in front of me and a guy came in after me. Without being asked, we all kept our distance.
As I sat in my car and ate, a few other people went into the lobby.
When I went in I had gloves on and carefully took them off in the car. But what if the bag had Corona on it?
I sprayed some sanitizer on my hands and rubbed it in. If you miss a spot and touch your food or face it could be trouble.
I really felt like I was taking my chances. Just crazy.
But I was helping those folks at McDonald’s keep on working. Every little bit helps.
Liquor Store Run
The last thing I want is to be stuck at home without refreshments.
Even with all of this time on my hands, I’m still only good for one or two beers a day. I must be getting old. I’m getting a little extra sleep but I still feel tired after a beer or two.
When this all began I went to Home Depot to get some items to help keep me occupied and stopped by Total Wine since it’s next door.
I was there before the liquor store opened, so I waited in my car. Some folks couldn’t wait.
I was really amused by this. I mean, I was there before the store opened also, but I stopped at Home Depot first. Was this their main destination?
Who waits in line for a packey to open? Were they worried the store would be closed by The Governor? Maybe they had other stops on their itinerary and had to squeeze this one in?
When they did open the doors the manager was there to make sure we kept a 6 foot distance as best he could.
Since it was early, the store wasn’t crowded and keeping away from people wasn’t too difficult.
At the check out they had tape on the floor to keep us safely separated. And the manager was there directing us to the next open cashier. We couldn’t line up at the register.
Fortunately, the shelves were well stocked!
I’ve seen the tape on the floor at Stop and Shop also, but it still felt weird.
Some of the Things I think About
So those are some of the things I think about while working from home.
Of course I think about work, both the task at hand and work it self.
How will the world be changed after this? When will “after this” happen?
What the hell will the new normal be? I guess there will be more hand sanitizer around?
Maybe the restrooms at my office will have signs saying “All Employees must wash their hands before returning to work”? Should have been a no brainer anyway, but not everyone got it.
Maybe we will get reminders at work about washing our hands and general hygiene?
I try not to think about how this will effect the economy. Some of the numbers are freakin scary. Up to 30% unemployment? An economy only 80% of what it was before? The pie shrinks and some loose their slice.
So while I’m working from home, I try to spend most of my time thinking about the task at hand. I need to keep my slice of the shrunken pie.
Thinking about what may happen to some people is just too depressing.
What do you think about while you are working from home?