Friday, April 17, 2020

Telework Week 5 - Apathy

I may never go back to the office again. I wonder if my plant is still alive. Has it really been five weeks? The days tend to run together.

Humans are such adaptable creatures. I've unwittingly settled into a routine -- wake up at 4:00 (yes), totter down to the kitchen with my cat, fix him breakfast while I simultaneously attempt to brew a pot of coffee, trip back up the stairs (with my cat), will the coffeemaker to drip faster. Smoke a couple of cigarettes, check the local news, go back downstairs and fix myself a bagel, then slump up the staircase to start work, coffee mug in hand. Hot coffee is the highlight of my day.

Like virtually all industries, the shutdown has infected my job. No one is going to the doctor, no one is having elective surgeries; thus, medical claims have dwindled to a dull ooze. The hourly employees in my department were coldheartedly informed this week they would be "furloughed" for a week (a fancy term for "poor"). No one told me directly, but I got a screen shot of the letter from a friend and it stated, "as a non-exempt employee", which was my only clue that the hammer wasn't about to drop on me.Being exempt actually has an upside! My bank account is already overdrawn, so I thanked God for small indulgences.

Who ever said working from home was a money-saver? Perhaps if one didn't have to order superfluous amounts of grocery items in the hope that something might appear on the doorstep; maybe if one didn't have to stock up on nicotine on one's rare excursions outside the house or didn't have to get liquor delivered in amounts that spared delivery fees (c'mon; you do it, too.) I used to spread out my expenses; now it's all or nothing. And, BTW, where the hell is my stimulus check?

Work-wise, I'm floundering. Mornings aren't so bad, but the dearth of work for others creates a chasm for me. I do the second claim review, and if there's no first review...

In my first couple of weeks of working at home, I relished those fifteen-minute breaks and the opportunity to escape outside for sweet clean air and a chance to stretch my cramped bones. Now my mind doesn't even register breaks -- I stay inside and keep working. It all seems like too much effort. And there's always someone about who doesn't understand the six-foot rule and I have to look like an anti-social jerk and hold back while they pass in front of me, simply to slide a key inside my mailbox and retrieve worthless direct marketing mailings (could we put a quarantine on those?).

Trying to order my life has been inordinately difficult during this time. I have no access to a scanner or even a printer, so I had to beg my insurance broker to mail me a Medicare Advantage application. My dentist office is closed and I sorely need work done before my dental insurance ceases. I'm going to be cutting it perilously close.

We were informed today that our new return-to-work date is now May 18. Guess it's time to pull the trigger and submit my retirement date to Human Resources. I guess the retirement  party is out.

Things I've done this week:

  • I ventured out to my local convenience store on Monday. I made sure to bring along my bottle of hand sanitizer and waited until no customers were lurking about. My workday friends at the store now stand behind plexiglass. I spent $200.00 I don't have to stock up on cigarettes.

  • I ordered groceries online. I was suffocating in a Microsoft Team meeting and missed my shopper's messages, so I didn't get the most vital items. 

  • I ate anything and everything that caught my eye.

Things I've learned this week:

  • I despise my chair. No configuration of pillows and quilts provide any relief for my back and legs. I went on Amazon tonight and ordered an ergonomic cushion. What's one more overdraft in the scheme of things?

  • After thirty years of working at a computer, I'm developing carpal tunnel, so I've employed my friend Barb's sock/mask. She informed me she could use it as a combination wrist rest/coronavirus mask. I located one of my husband's orphan socks and rolled it up. It's gold!

  • All those wondrous things I swore I would do in "my free time" aren't happening. I've done next to nothing. And never will.

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