Evening, Viewers. How’s your week been? Shit has started to get a bit surreal. I mean, the panic buying and whole toilet paper thing is bizarre enough, but there’s other stuff going on as well. We threw a party last weekend for 150 of our closest friends and fam – it was epic. Everyone was partying like they would never see each other for months. If the party was this weekend, we would have had to cancel. So, maybe they were right?
And there’s been rumour after rumour that school was going to finish early or the holidays were going to go later or something and maybe workplaces might, you know, let everyone work from home. So, I ducked out and panic bought a couple of things for the just in case, like an extra monitor and a decent wireless keyboard with a number pad because I was working from home that day anyway, and seriously, excel is an arsehole at the best of times, let alone on a 14″ screen.
Then people started throwing words around like social distancing and isolation and quarantine. Then it happened. Probably a good idea to take your stuff home. Make sure your numbers are updated. And next thing you know, I’m no longer a boring office clerk. Well. I was never that, but hey. Now, I’m a boring dining room clerk.
I’ve always quite enjoyed working from home. Most of the time, though, it’s been because I’ve had something on I need to deal with in the middle of the day. So, I start nice and early, set up my laptop on a couple of cookbooks and work solidly for a couple of hours, do my thing, work the rest of the day and chuck my laptop back in my bag and my fat cookbooks back on the shelf. And job is done. But this is going to be for a month. And we’ve never seen or done anything like this before. Ever.
Plan is this – I’m going to jot down my thoughts about working from home long term, and document vaguely and in a half-arsed fashion how I manage working full time, and do school at home for a couple of teenagers, one of whom is in his final year of high school… Yeah, not thinking too much about THAT side of things. Ahem. Living history at the moment, so should record it. So here we are…
The Dining Room Diaries – Week One.
There’s a lot to be said for the Dining Room – I have a lovely view of the street and the trees, and the middle aged blokes who have suddenly taken up a morning constitutional that involves huffing and puffing up the hill. If I turn my head the right way, I get a glimpse of the bay. Lovely. At work, I look at two car parks.
The Table itself is quite splendid – it’s very big and has more than enough room for me to spread out all over. Which I do. I am not a tidy person. I like to see all the things. It’s big enough that I can see all the things. My desk at work is quite small. I have things like plants and piles of journals and random bits of crap that I need then lose under layers of paper.
And coffee is like ten steps away. And it’s proper coffee. And it’s free. AND it’s in a proper china cup. Oh, and snacks. There’s snacks. That are also free. And my co-worker is adorable, makes sure I get up every half hour or so to open and close the door for her, and she never lets me eat all the snacks. She’s also quite keen on a walking meeting or two. (Although our last walking meeting ended up with someone needing a night in hospital. Ahem. That will teach someone to eat things that aren’t supposed to be eaten.)
It’s also quite peaceful. I pop the radio on when I start work for a bit of background noise, and aside from that, it’s just me swearing at excel and the doggie making huffy puffy noises when she wants to go look at the possums.
I’m still in contact with my colleagues all the time – we’ve discovered video chats and the internal messenger service that we never used, so there’s plenty of social contact, and plenty of social distance.
But there’s a couple of downsides as well…
- I’m suddenly missing around two hours of incidental exercise every day. That’s quite a lot. I’m no longer walking to and from work, I take ten steps for my coffee, rather than walking to the cafe. And my lunch breaks at home have so far involved folding things and putting things away.
- My sedentary office job was nowhere near as sedentary as I thought… I’d wander off to the kitchen to fill my water bottle, go talk to someone for five minutes about something or other, walk around the block to nut out a problem… Now I really do sit on my arse all day.
- To work from home properly, you need quite a lot of shit. I’ve got a second monitor, a table whatsis to pop my laptop on, and my monitor is on a couple of cook books. I do have a fancy arse office chair, and an ergonomic mouse. Plus all the notebooks and pens and crap.
- I can’t print from my work laptop. I have to email it to my phone and print it from there. Or, send it via my ‘printing mule’ (thanks Reg!!!) ready for the next day. I am an analogue thinker. I print a LOT.
- I’ve refused to hotdesk on principle for quite a long time – it’s been proven to ruin creativity and well, it’s actually a breeding ground for disease (ew). Now I am at home though, I’m camped on the Dining Table. The Dining Table is a fucking dining table. Sometimes we eat there. Sometimes we do craft there. Sometimes Reg looks at his computer there. The dining table is highly contested real estate. I need to pack up every night.
- Fuck, that’s annoying
- Maybe the real reason I hate hotdesking is because I am too lazy to pack my shit up every night.
Anyway, this week has all been about learning what I can do from home and what I need to do to adapt so I can do the rest of it. Like printing. And I’ll know by the end of next week what’s happening with the kids.
So there you have it. One week down…Moderately socially distanced, I’m physically interacting with around ten people each day instead of 30+. Not mad. Yet.