Weekend Plans Post: Work From Home

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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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56 Responses

  1. Avatar James K
    Ignored
    says:

    My weekend will be consumed by packing, with side-order of buying packing materials.Report

  2. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    Welp, most of the employees, except the actual production guys, had the ability to WFH on occasion. A doctor’s appt scheduled in the middle of the day or kid related or snow. I used it for snow a lot. Mid Feb my company sent everyone home that wasn’t on the floor and we don’t expect to have that decision re-evaluated until 1Q21.

    It WAS more efficient to go to someone’s office and get in their face about an issue and now you have to skype or call or email, but everything else pretty much holds to what you said. The CEO said in an all hands that they will probably re-evaluate the idea of permanent WFH staff after this “pandemic” is over. If that’s the case I just made do that and move out of the state where I work to find a cheaper place to live.

    Weekend: We have penetrated Zariel’s temple and will now claim her sword to free a city held in Avernus. The adventure will be over soon….time to start looking at rolling another character.Report

  3. fillyjonk fillyjonk
    Ignored
    says:

    I was mostly okay this week until a colleague – whose primary residence is about 2 hours away (they have an apartment here during the week) and whose spouse lives up there, stopped in and said “Since I don’t teach on Fridays, I guess this is goodbye until January, maybe” (We are going all virtual for the two weeks after Thanksgiving, and then Christmas break…)

    That just really hit me hard. I can’t travel for either holiday – no way to safely go that distance – so I will be alone until classes restart – if they restart in person, which may not even happening (They don’t know yet, and that makes it worse for me: I would like to know instead of having to plan two different ways, but also, psychologically, uncertainty is bad for me).

    I really miss the little casual contacts. Most of the stuff I do is now over e-mail, and e-mail is very cold and stilted. About 90% of the time when someone asks you a favor, and you do it, they don’t even e-mail back a thank you, and I’m sorry but I need those little pleasant interactions to keep going. I am not enough by myself to feel like I matter.

    It really hit me yesterday afternoon when the head of a group for which I am a check-signer came over because she needed a couple of checks signed to pay employees and after I had done it she said, “Thanks, sweetie”

    I’m sure she didn’t even think about it,, that’s the kind of person she is, but I realized it was one of the few “affectionate” things I’ve heard in a very, very long time. I’m going to be thinking about that for a while.

    Anyway, for me, WFH absolutely sucks rocks and I very much want this pandemic to end so I can go back to having people around again, and not feel the weird constraint that being masked up adds.

    This weekend? I suppose I should clean the house some more and think about putting up Christmas decorations next week, maybe that will help. This whole pandemic has been me grasping at tiny bits of normalcy and saying “maybe this will help.”Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to fillyjonk
      Ignored
      says:

      That sucks donkey testicles. People can still be gentle and kind over email. Jeez.

      You read as an extreme extrovert, in the sense that you need regular infusions of other people’s energy to maintain status quo psychologically and emotionally. My wife is the same way – she maxs the E on Myers-Briggs. So this has been really hard for her. which is all to say I know first hand some of how you are feeling.

      Does your institution and/or department have weekly on-line coffee’s? Celebrations of any kind? or are you the lone E inside a bunch of content I’s?Report

      • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        that’s funny because on the MBTI I come up INFJ every time. I think it’s just that I have been “taught” in the past that I cannot trust my own assessment of myself, and I need other people to tell me I’m OK or I start to think I’m not.

        Everyone else in my department is either part of their own family bubble (I live alone) or, the one other unmarried person seems to be a hardcore hermit and loving it – he noted in a Zoom faculty meeting he had written three manuscripts this fall.

        There’s really very little informal get together stuff, and Zoom meetings feel strained.

        It just “is what it is” to use a now-infamous phrase. Most days I figure I’ll make it through, probably it’s only six more months or so. I hope.

        I think I have other stuff going on as I had some major unresolved losses coming into the pandemic – lost my dad last year, lost a close friend quite suddenly a few weeks after that.Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to fillyjonk
          Ignored
          says:

          SO I score as an I on Myers-Briggs as well, but I’m close enough to flopping over to E that I can play an E when needed. Its exhausting for more then a couple of hours however. You may be in the same boat and if so let me assure you the world was NOT built for folks like us.

          I do think you disrupted grieving process could be a part of this – and I suspect you know yourself well enough to know what role that is playing. Regardless I hope you can find some support and some relief – I’d hate to see us loose any member of this community – even George.Report

        • Avatar Pinky in reply to fillyjonk
          Ignored
          says:

          I would have read you as an I, because you’ve talked about awkwardness in trying to expand your circle. We I’s are still human beings, and we may bond stronger but with fewer. E’s don’t bruise as easily from feelings of rejection.

          I’m still doing ok with the isolation, but I find myself increasingly bothered about not having something specific to look forward to.Report

          • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Pinky
            Ignored
            says:

            Yeah, I describe myself as an introvert who likes people. But I do also have my limit. The dumb and weird thing is that the “ideal amount of interaction” for me is between what I’m getting now, and what I had some years in the past where I was just exhausted from too many people and too many meetings.

            Not having things to look forward to is HARD. Weekends have lost their meaning to me; they used to be a time for getting out and doing stuff life going antiquing or going to nature talks but that’s not really possible now.

            I am telling myself the news that the UK might start vaccinating people by Christmas means I just need to hold on for a few more months but I will not lie, this has been the hardest year of my life, bar none.Report

      • Avatar Fish in reply to Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        Ok, so this is weird…last week I had occasion to go over to a friend’s house (since our kids are friends, we’re “sort of” bubble-ish) and help them move some furniture. It was a matter of a few hours of work and took long enough that we ended up doing some food and some beer and some conversation. I felt SO GOOD after that actual in-person social exchange that I tweeted out something to the effect of asking people to check on their extrovert friends because they probably aren’t doing as well as they claim they are.

        And then Monday morning I discovered that I had been exposed to a person at work who tested positive, so I went straight home and have been WFH all week (and plan to stay this way until at least January–test results pending but I feel fine going on about day 9). I’ve been resistant to WFH because I didn’t want to violate the boundary between “work” and “home,” but to my surprise I’ve discovered that the crushing anxiety and dread I’ve been feeling about my job have been almost completely absent this week. And I’m far more productive at home than I was at work, so much so that I have to consciously remind myself to get up and go pace around the deck a bit or go walk around the house a little bit to give my body a break and my subconscious a chance to worry over a piece of code (still waiting for the gods of sed to reach down and give me an answer).

        I don’t know how much of this has to do with being an I or an E, but my expectation would have been the opposite of what I’m experiencing here.

        Good point about emailing that “thank you,” filly. I make sure to send one every time–even when it’s clear that that last thing the person on the other end wants is to read another email (thinking about you, lady at the government office who responded three times in quick succession to the question I asked that you would have answered had I just been patient!).Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to fillyjonk
      Ignored
      says:

      This really sucks. I know how very, very lucky I am to be in my situation (I might have to go into the office twice before 2021 and the rest of the time, I’m Safe at Home) and I know how unhappy I am with it. And I’m lucky! My cup runneth over!

      But I miss my friends, I miss going to my climbing gym, I miss going to 7-11 and getting a hot dog.

      I can talk to friends over chat and I can go jogging and I can make hot dogs at home. This makes me lucky.

      But I am still missing things.Report

    • Avatar gabriel conroy in reply to fillyjonk
      Ignored
      says:

      Anyway, for me, WFH absolutely sucks rocks and I very much want this pandemic to end so I can go back to having people around again, and not feel the weird constraint that being masked up adds.

      Ditto for me, too.

      I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to work from home. I always saw it as a trap or a way to intrude on my personal space.

      Now, I still much prefer NOT to work from home. I have the option to go into work, which I do twice a week, but after Thanksgiving, that arrangement might be (and now, it’s looking like it probably will be) cancelled as my institutions will probably lock down because of rising covid cases, like our institution.

      And then, I think of all the people who have lost their jobs, or who must put themselves at very high risk, and I am grateful that I have the opportunity to work from home, even though I really don’t like it.Report

  4. Avatar DensityDuck
    Ignored
    says:

    The guys at work made a huge deal about how everyone had to be in the office to improve collaboration.

    And it turns out that mostly what I do in the office is run around looking for somebody else, and they aren’t at their desks because they’re running around looking for somebody else, sometimes me.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
      Ignored
      says:

      It wasn’t about workers’ ability to work but about managers’ ability to manage.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Bingo. and Managers inability to TRUST that remote workers were actually working.Report

        • Avatar InMD in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          This is exactly it. Old school chief brass doesn’t like it for reasons of trust. In fairness I’ve heard bigger verticles with lots of junior people have struggled more. Mainly folks who haven’t figured out expectations yet or struggle with self-starting.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Luckily my managers are all perfectly capable of managing us from home.

        For me, WFH is a no brainer, because my boss and two co-workers are in Detroit, another is in NY, another in Orlando, my supervisor is in Texas, etc. Coming into the office was less about face time collaboration and more about a secure place to store machines and a big fat internet pipe.

        Now all the machines are encrypted, data is stored remotely, we all use a VPN, and the company is wondering if it isn’t cheaper to just upgrade employee internet rather than making them come into the office.

        Everyone always knew that the whole “Open Office makes the magic collaboration happen” was a load of BS, this just proves it.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    There are somethings that are harder for me at home like telling a paralegal how to assemble a document for filing. That is much easier in person. Also I have two screens in the office and only a laptop at home. Working from home is fine with me because I do not have school aged children who need assistance. I feel for people who need to care for others and keep up productivity. As always, America bears the burden down. “What? You did not have a stay at home spouse or live-in nanny before the pandemic? Well that is your fault.”Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Another downside of working from home:

    I came downstairs, checked my email, checked my messages, started to build a linux vm, it clanked, I figured out that it was a problem with the virtual networking connections, made a bagel sandwich, started hammering away at the network configs, made my baked potato for lunch, looked at my timecard, and I requested today off a month ago.

    THIS IS MY DAY OFF.

    DANG ITReport

  7. Avatar Pinky
    Ignored
    says:

    It’d be nice to think that we’re efficient working from home, but I doubt it. It’s been 8 months and some people still haven’t figured out the desktop sharing software. Bad software or bad staff? Kinda doesn’t matter.Report

  8. Avatar PROFESSOR ESPERANTO
    Ignored
    says:

    I am only hanging in there. I don’t know if I am isolated or if I am isolating myself. Little things get me like our shopping discount cards now being disconnected. The little glass lamp in the window not being turned on for me when I come home in the dark. Worse I am overthinking other relationships like why doesn’t Mattie call me or text me, but I reckon I’ll just leave her alone and bid her a Happy Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving.

    Working from home is awful, especially when there are mandatory meetings, Zoom or otherwise. Also based on the savings companies are making with people working from home, they damned well better start raising people’s salaries.Report

  9. Avatar InMD
    Ignored
    says:

    Personally I could happily work remote forever, but for the occasional important meeting. I think people greatly overstate how much collaboration actually happens at the office and under appreciate just how much messing around goes on. Working from home has done more exposing people who weren’t doing anything anyway than it has been a detriment to people who work hard.

    I have to remind myself every day that none of this is a good thing and lots of people are hurting. For me it has meant more time with my son and my wife, more exercise, a better diet, and no drop off in work. Obviously there are plenty of things I miss and I want people suffering helped. Otherwise I vote death to the office.Report

  10. Avatar Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    Since I no longer work* other than the infrequent consulting gig, the pandemic hasn’t really changed much. The last full-time gig with the state legislature would have been very difficult to do from home — statute required that certain committee meetings be done in person. The General Assembly is holding a special session come the first of the month to debate what they might be able to do since the feds seem unwilling to provide any further emergency aid. They may allow a bunch of online things for themselves that are not currently legal. The last tech gig would have been tough. A lot of that was demos and evaluating new tech when face-to-face (and the resulting travel/hotels) was necessary.

    * I am not idle. I have a research project that I can probably pursue until I die, and it keeps spinning off odd little bits of software. Some not so little.Report

  11. Avatar Slade the Leveller
    Ignored
    says:

    Early Thursday morning my wife passed away. I was working from home to be with her for the last couple of months, but prior to that I was going in every day as the sole occupant of the office while everyone else worked remotely. I guess I can resume that again when I go back.

    I wrote this little remembrance to try to sort some stuff out, and to share with friends and family.
    https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/deannsherlock/journal/view/id/5fb7bf878cd8c0954c8b4590Report

  12. Avatar Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    Off topic of almost anything, the new place felt like home: cooking supper, every pan and utensil was in the first place I looked, Alexa was playing Eagles’ tunes, nothing was undercooked or burnt.Report

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