I had a severe reality check Wednesday afternoon, I’m not joking for effect because although lockdown this past 7 weeks has been a living hell, self isolating in my home for 23 hours each and every day being near intolerable, but if I’m honest with you dear readers, in some respects slipping into a routine of doing very little can be likened to a staycation. I’ll not lie waking of a morning at 9am beats my pre-pandemic 5.45am hands down, better still COVID restrictions mean I don’t have to queue at the bus top then endure a 1 hour commuter ride into Oxford, crammed like sardines in a tin rubbing shoulders with 50 other weary commuters. Yep lockdown does have its upside, I’m doing very little to keep my brain active and the Government pays my wages!
Oh yes returning to Wednesday’s afternoon!
Well first I receive a text saying my boss will arrive outside my home within minutes, also a reminder to socially distance at all times and we’d better get used to it because this is the new normality. Then just as I finished reading my text a Van pulls up outside my home, so I stepped out into the May sunshine to meet with my work boss, a guy I hadn’t seen for nearly 2 months and I think we both enjoyed the banter and conversation. Then he opened the rear doors to his Van and placed a selection of computer equipment between us on the pavement.
As you can glean from my photograph of a newly assembled computer workstation, my employer has purchased new laptops, screens and peripherals so that we Technicians can work from home, yep a reality check that my 7 week holiday time is well and truly over. But having to work from home isn’t so bad, I’m emailing colleagues and I’ve sensed these past several weeks being isolated from work is taking a mental toll, is emotionally draining and beginning to affect my mental health. So after quickly Googling to find out the cost of all this Dell equipment I discovered the new laptop cost £1000 alone! And wow after switching on and downloading the required software I soon realised this laptop is a powerful amazing piece of tech………… shame it’ll have to be returned one day.
Now I have to draw on my reserves of self-discipline, get myself into a routine frame of mind and work, there’ll be no more sitting in my garden enjoying the warm sunshine on my face. But seeing my boss after such a long time was a reminder of how much I’m missing social interaction with my work colleagues, a reminder that when the sun’s out and the temperatures rise so do dress and skirt hemlines! Sigh, there’ll be no Female secretaries wearing transparent summer blouses or girly age 18+ students with exposed long legs, no cute young Researchers with shapely boobs clothed in loose fitting tee shirts, you know the ones where she leans forward and the viewer gets a flash of pink boobs, however not this year, 2020 will be a disappointment in so many different ways.
So back to work it is along with hundreds of other employees working from home, solitary independent individuals who’s only connection is by means of the internet, hmm I’m wondering post pandemic might this be the workplace of the future?
A. Shepherdson 2020