Well, the world has turned sideways and we are experiencing a new normal at this point. Gallows humor abounds and we are all running a bit scared. Many of us are now working from home and the reality of that has crushed endless dreams of what that would be like. The following was my schedule on Tuesday:
• 4:52 a.m.: The bedroom light flips on and office coworker wants to know if I want to play with his rubber snakes. His disappointment when I demur is obvious. He asks again. And again. And again.
• 5:01 a.m.: Am fishing plastic snakes out of toilet bowl that coworker placed in there while insisting “they wanted a drink.”
5:07 a.m.: Coworker conned me into a game of “find the soiled diaper” — said coworker is mooning me and playing patty cake on his bare backside while engaged in a game of keep-away so decency standards could be addressed.
5:28 a.m.: Coworker refuses to return to own workspace — insisting on proclaiming that “the sun is coming up!” Loudly and repeatedly. Head of H.R. is still in bed and snickering about unruly underling.
5:48 a.m.: Underling is delivered to head of H.R. with advisement of a possible write-up.
6 a.m.: Coffee station is finally open for business. Service is lousy and there is what appears to be a soiled diaper under the dining table.
7 a.m.: Morning tasks completed, settle into new workspace, note housekeeping leaves much to be desired. Make note to address issue in near future.
8:23 a.m.: Office minion who is sharing office space with me coughs up a hairball. Head of H.R. informs me that the individual who discovers mess gets to clean it up. Office minion acts as if they are not responsible.
9:15 a.m.: Finally figure out new electronic devise to assist with Internet connections to link to office computer.
9:17 a.m.: Coworker arrives in office space announcing he doesn’t need clothes on. Call to H.R. was placed.
9:19 a.m.: Internet connection goes down.
9:20 a.m.: Try to place call to tech support, can only get a cell phone signal outside and away from computer.
9:21 a.m.: Cell phone drops call
9:22 a.m.: Cell phone drops call
9:23 a.m.: Cell phone drops call
9:30 a.m.: Computer work offline. Research training materials, rethinks career choice.
11:45 a.m.: H.R. delivers lunch. Coworker demands to inspect workspace materials. Struggle ensues, coworker expelled from workspace.
1 p.m.: Finally get computer online to respond to emails. Answer approximately 117 emails asking if I am in the office despite multiple notices, we will be working remotely from home this week. Respond to 114 answering emails asking how working from home is going. Pull up files needed to complete task and Internet connection goes down.
2:45 p.m.: Coworker is pounding on door and asking if I want to play dinosaurs. Small hands and fingers squeeze under door. Sounds of heavy metal music with lyrics regarding dinosaurs invades entire office building. Repeated playing of “Walk the Dinosaur” is noted. Head of H.R. has noise cancelling headphones on. Complaint is filed.
3:15 p.m.: Coworker catches me on break, hands me artwork created with Playdough. When asked what the sausage shaped item was supposed be — was informed it was a dinosaur penis. Head of H.R. is questioned regarding educational modules for coworker.
4:03 p.m.: Log off computer due to Internet connection being choppy and slow. Read resource materials while hiding in bathroom. Regret lack of highlighter pens, but not enough to enter common space.
5 p.m.: Call it a day, upon entering common area, Am asked if I want to play with coworker’s rubber snakes.
I fully expect the work environment to improve despite the need to learn new software programs. I have a 90-degree learning curve with technology and do not have access to a nine-year-old to walk me through the programs. However, I will adapt and am prayerful others will too.
I hope everyone is staying home, staying safe, keeping their humor and rediscovering the joys of writing letters and making phone calls to loved ones. We will get through this together.
Written and submitted by Sarah Roush for The Circleville Herald. The views of this column may not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.