Friday, April 3, 2020

Telework Week 3 -- Drudgery and Depression


Organizing and decorating my home office no longer carries the cachet it did during weeks one and two. I'm used to the room now and like everything else in one's house, it's rarely even noticed. I have found, however, that all those special office supplies we think we can't live without are simply trinkets to collect. I use a small legal pad and a pen. Sometimes a sticky pad. That's it. And I barely use those.

In Week 3 many people's nerves are fraying. I only know this via email communications, of course. Attitudes that were once excused or ignored are now confronted. I know because work friends have forwarded me some of their email exchanges with other people. For my part, I have endeavored to remain upbeat in my correspondence, knowing that others aren't having any fun, either. I did receive one snarky response today, and I took a few minutes before deciding how to reply. (I let it go.)

Wednesday was my worst day. My system slowed to the point of complete inertia and then froze up completely several times (shut the PC off, re-log in, authenticate my login, try again; lather, rinse, repeat).I finally shut if off and walked away; did some laundry; tried to lower my blood pressure. Worse, I knew I'd have to face the same imbroglio the next day. I can't expect my IT Department to solve my problem; I think it's simply a matter of fifty million people or so gobbling up bandwidth.

Working from home has become complete drudgery. It's no longer novel; it's tedious. Telework does not bring freedom -- I rarely leave this room. I probably walked around -- no, I know I walked around -- more in the office than I do at home.

Shall we talk about depression? It may have been Tuesday night, and it was my own fault. I flipped on the TV when I lay down for the night, and as the minutes ticked by, the reports grew increasingly horrifying. I understand why cable news does that, but mitigate, people! Any rays of hope at all, folks? What I gleaned was, don't leave my house under any circumstances. If I do, it's essentially a death sentence. And maybe I've already contracted the virus -- the incubation period can be up to fourteen days.I visited my local convenience store twice in the past two weeks. Should I be drawing up a will?

What no one on TV will (or can) answer is how long this will go on. May 4, our original return-to-work date, now seems like a cruel joke. My tentative retirement date is June 12 -- will I even be able to return to the office to retrieve my personal belongings? Is this called "going out with a whimper"?

Things I've learned this week:


  • Online grocery shopping is the highlight of my week, as frustrating as it is.Why is there such a shortage of paper towels? The hell with toilet paper -- I have a cat who barfs regularly (as cats do) and paper towels are an essential item. I've begun weighing whether I really should be wasting a half-sheet of paper towel for tasks I previously whipped off a good-sized wad to tackle.Luckily I can blow my nose with toilet paper, because facial tissue is non-existent as well. I do tip my Shipt shopper well, because that's a thankless, health-endangering job. But all in all, I'd be tickled to do my own shopping.
  • I've spent all the bill money on groceries. The piper will be piping soon, but right now I need snacks.
  • There are things I'd like to order from Amazon, but I'd feel too guilty making a driver deliver my impulse buy when there are people who really need stuff, like paper towels (there aren't any, by the way; but I'm just saying.)
  • "The Office" reruns are the highlight of my week.
  • Being able to do my regular job anytime soon is a pipe dream. The whole reason I applied for the trainer position in 2003 was because processing claims all day made me want to hurl myself off a high precipice. Guess what I'm doing now.


Things I've done this week:


  • I gained probably five pounds.
  • I took a shower almost every day.
  • I downloaded a prayer app, but I keep forgetting to reference it.
  • I slept fitfully and my dreams were all disturbing.


There is always tomorrow (I say rhetorically, since tomorrow is Saturday and I won't be working). I have fits of despondence, but my fallback outlook is positivity. Raise a glass with me that Week 4 will be a revelation.















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