I’m sorry I went silent; I’m healthy, my family is healthy, I’m still getting paid. We are lucky and I know it.
I realized the other day why working at home is hard for me under these circumstances. It’s because “the office,” is now COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!
I’ve already survived a freaking brain aneurysm that was at least partly caused by work stress, and one would think that this would have earned me a nice easing back into a part time job reading to preschoolers or something. It did not.
I am back in a stressful kind of job as an “essential worker” (yet still a contractor) and now I’m doing it from what was to be the cute, fun and classy Disney-themed home office I’d planned, where I’d write and create and have some fun. Little fun happens here. Mon-Fri, my desk is occupied by the office laptop. People who used to contact me via my desk phone or email now call my cell and text me. The job is coming from inside the house.
I have survived my post-nearly-dying-at work return to corporate America by learning to compartmentalize. For years I’d perfected the art of leaving work at the office. I really, truly could leave the building, start my car, and not think of work again until I sat at my desk at the office the next day.
We’ve been working from home since mid-March, and right now it looks like we’ll do it through May. I’m happy that the place I work has a healthy skepticism about these reopening plans, and will be keeping a watchful eye on the situation. But I realized this week that I’m really sick of having a job I already hate inside my house. I start the week in a fairly good mood, and by, oh, mid-day Thursday, I’m at fuck it, let ’em fire me. They won’t, because I’m doing a good job with a job nobody wanted to do, go me, but, yeah. I don’t like having work shit contaminating my fun Disney-themed home office. And I realize that this is a really privileged thing to whine about, because I’m getting a paycheck.
And I realized I’m mourning the life we had before, the life that will always be changed by this experience.