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A case of the Mondays: vent your work spleen here

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Today  was my last day in the office for the foreseeable future as well.  I brought a giant bag of stuff home, and have some other stuff online I can do, but as about 80% of my job is hands-on, and about 10% is ordering supplies, I really don't know how I'm going to fill my days.  My boss is great, though, and not being all micro-managey about our schedules.

Mostly I'm hoping we are able to go back by May, and that we have a summer session.

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My coworkers that WFH email me at the office just to see how I'm doing, which is pretty nice. Makes it a little less lonely. And they appreciate me being there to mail things out and print things out.

I miss walking to the library during my lunch break. Now that it's closed til April I just walk outside, making sure to put a wide distance between myself and whoever else is around, but it's mostly empty, so that's not a huge problem.

Edited by Spartan Girl
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1 hour ago, WhereThereIsLife said:

I see What Fresh Hell is this?!

Considering what's going on, I think that applies very well too!

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On 3/19/2020 at 1:55 AM, roamyn said:

Unfortunately we’re both in our mid 50s and I’m overweight.  Perception is hard to overcome.  Not to mention many employers think people our age come with a high price tag.

I guess it depends.  People who are older in some cases SHOULD be paid more, because the often have the experience that comes with a higher price tag.  Corporations are just too stingy to pay people who earned the money.  My bosses are getting stingy with overtime!  They arrange for a person to be off a day or two so they can work the same number of hours on the day they want you!

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My boss & I worked out an arrangement since it’s possible I’ve been infected, tho I’m not sick enough to be tested
 

I worked 2.5 hours 2day, too some work home, and will go in two days this week from 7-9.  They already discussed staggering people, and a couple can work 1/2 days at home and come in two aft a week to check on stock/fill orders.  The other person who works in the stockroom FT, will come in mornings.  The owner’s wife will work FT.  That’s this week, and we’ll play it by ear aft that.

Hubby’s work has already been reduced to 30 hrs to lessen their exposure, as he works closely w/the public in electronic repair & restoration.

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F**k Corona Part the Third:

I find out this morning that the co-worker I did OT for 2 weeks ago will be out for the duration - claiming he's too scared of Corona.  One would think this would mean more OT for me or another editor.  Nope.  Same set up as before, my edit partner works weekends while taking off Thursdays and Fridays, leaving me with a sub who could be called out to the field at anytime.  

Then the final insult:  I was given a prescription for pilates sessions at a rehab facility to help me with balance issues (long story).  I went through the first session last week to see if it would agree with me.  It did, and we set up an official appointment for tomorrow at 10.  Then I get a call from them telling me they're "not essential" and decided it was better to shut down until the shutdown ends (tentatively scheduled for April 16) .  So even PT is considered non essential these days.  Times have changed.

 

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@magicdog I share your pain. I recently started PT because I would like to be able to walk without crippling pain. My next appt was for tomorrow, but now the office will be closed for 2 weeks or more. PT and chiropractors are on the essential list, I checked this morning knowing the list would be issued last night. I guess too many people are cancelling for them to stay open.

Edited by ABay
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Well, Michigan is on take shelter/lockdown and I am now WTF. Hauled my stupid work computer home and set it up. It works, albeit slowly. It's only temporary, it's only temporary...

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Just applied for a job with the unemployment office. Seems they have more work than they can handle now. My therapist told me about it during our telesession earlier today.

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3 minutes ago, bilgistic said:

Just applied for a job with the unemployment office. Seems they have more work than they can handle now. My therapist told me about it during our telesession earlier today.

Fingers crossed on the job.

How did the tele part go?  If I recall you were nervous about that.  (Not asking about the session, just doing it interactively)

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9 minutes ago, tiftgirl said:

Fingers crossed on the job.

How did the tele part go?  If I recall you were nervous about that.  (Not asking about the session, just doing it interactively)

It was weird, but OK. I realized after three minutes that I had the phone way too close to my face and she was basically staring at my forehead.

I got to meet her kitty! She got to meet my girls, too. 🙂

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For over a decade, my company has been sending work overseas to India.  It started with basic jobs, but over the years they have been sending more and more, to the point where there are far more associates overseas than there are in the US. 

So guess what happens?  Now people in India are on lockdown as well, and many of them do not have the ability to work from home.  Now we are struggling to do their work on top of our own.  We’re all burnt out on top of stressing about this forking virus.  

I understand why companies outsource, but maybe now they won’t go overboard with it now that they realize they’ve laid off many valuable employees.

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1 hour ago, Kiki777 said:

So guess what happens?  Now people in India are on lockdown as well, and many of them do not have the ability to work from home.  Now we are struggling to do their work on top of our own.  We’re all burnt out on top of stressing about this forking virus.  

I’m on a team with people here in the US and some in Manila.  We’ve been working on this project for the past several months and are set to expand the team to ramp up for more work.  We’re all working from home at this point but the new team members are in India and since they’re shut down it’ll be a challenge getting them going.  There’s been no layoff or transition of work to India here, it’s just where management decided to hire at this point in time.  It just happened to coincide with COVID-19.  
 

All I can say at this point I’m happy to work at a company where when it was vital to quarantine ourselves their infrastructure had the capacity to have everyone work from home. I’ve read on other boards where some larger companies are telling their employees either one week in, one week out or no to work from home supposedly because they didn’t invest in the infrastructure to have so many people accessing their network remotely.  

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And my virtual desktop has booted me off again.  Yesterday it was sluggish at best, and repeatedly booted me off, and apparently it's going to be the same today.  I already have precious little I can do from home, but not having access to my desktop will decrease that further.  I guess I'll have to e-mail myself documents and work on them from my actual desktop, then e-mail them back.  

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43 minutes ago, Cobb Salad said:

 

IAll I can say at this point I’m happy to work at a company where when it was vital to quarantine ourselves their infrastructure had the capacity to have everyone work from home. I’ve read on other boards where some larger companies are telling their employees either one week in, one week out or no to work from home supposedly because they didn’t invest in the infrastructure to have so many people accessing their network remotely

 

My company is pretty great about that as well- most of us onshore have the ability to work at home - my job does require being in the office for some tasks, so are are each required to go in once or twice a week.  I don’t mind that, there’s minimal contact with others and it gets me out of the house.

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My old company - who paid me to leave two years ago - is a large financial services company, Fortune 100 firm specializing in retirement and other investments, that you probably never heard of unless you did business with them. They used to be a leader in remote work, with many employees who were hired to work remotely full time. I used to WFH at least one day a week, and it was a normal thing.

About a year ago, they announced that just about everyone was going to be required to return to working in an office - they are headquartered in NYC, have a large campus in Charlotte, significant presence in Denver and Chicago, and smaller offices nationwide. The claimed it would "increase collaboration" but most thought it was a veiled way to quietly continue layoffs. It disrupted lots of lives, and caused ill-will among the staff.

Today I received an e-mail from the CEO - I still have 401K and pension investments there, so I'm still a customer - with an update on the firm's response to COVID-19. Among other things, they have asked the vast majority of employees to work remotely...

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15 minutes ago, Moose135 said:

My old company - who paid me to leave two years ago - is a large financial services company, Fortune 100 firm specializing in retirement and other investments, that you probably never heard of unless you did business with them. They used to be a leader in remote work, with many employees who were hired to work remotely full time. I used to WFH at least one day a week, and it was a normal thing.

About a year ago, they announced that just about everyone was going to be required to return to working in an office - they are headquartered in NYC, have a large campus in Charlotte, significant presence in Denver and Chicago, and smaller offices nationwide. The claimed it would "increase collaboration" but most thought it was a veiled way to quietly continue layoffs. It disrupted lots of lives, and caused ill-will among the staff.

Today I received an e-mail from the CEO - I still have 401K and pension investments there, so I'm still a customer - with an update on the firm's response to COVID-19. Among other things, they have asked the vast majority of employees to work remotely...

It's been very telling how many companies have fallen over backwards to accommodate abled people to work from home during the pandemic. When disabled and differently abled people needed accommodations before this, it "wasn't possible."

My own former company, for example.

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Well, now even our anchors and some reporters are working from home.

In the name of "social distance", our anchors are being set up to co-anchor the news from their living rooms.  They get everything from camera to teleprompters!  Of course today, one of our anchors couldn't pull it off today as the internet connection went down in his area and he had to come in person to do the morning show!  I called a friend in NY who told me at least two different stations he watches have done the same so it must be trending.

Meanwhile, the essential editors are required to clean our bays 2x daily.  I've been doing my part but I don't think the nightside editor is doing hers.  When I leave, the bay smells of the sanitary wipes we use to wipe the desk, keyboards and mice (I even clean the armrests of my chair).  The bay doesn't smell like that when I enter it at the beginning of my shift (about an hour after nightside leaves).  I also notice little fingerprints everywhere.  At least no one can claim I'm not following orders.

Meanwhile the weather reporter uses a paper towel to open the edit bays (which are sliding doors).  FTR, I do wipe those down as well, but she's really paranoid.

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3 hours ago, magicdog said:

In the name of "social distance", our anchors are being set up to co-anchor the news from their living rooms.  They get everything from camera to teleprompters!  Of course today, one of our anchors couldn't pull it off today as the internet connection went down in his area and he had to come in person to do the morning show!  I called a friend in NY who told me at least two different stations he watches have done the same so it must be trending.

I'm in the ATL area and they are working remotely too. It's been fun seeing little glimpses of their homes.

 

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Most of our stations have the anchors and weather people working remote, too. One of the weather guys posted a picture of the "reality" on Twitter today--he had on a shirt, tie, and suit jacket, and shorts and no shoes. He works at his desk so you can only see the top half. 

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3 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

How is everyone doing with their work situations (either from home or in the office)

I'm doing OK still going to the office (at least I get out of my house once in a while), but more people, including my edit partner have been taking advantage of working from home.  Funny though, since there are times the producers HAVE to come in occasionally (one admitted t me, she prefers to be in the thick of the action).  They're really trying to push me out the door as well.  Normally, it sounds great but I like my work and personal life separated and I worry if stuff goes wrong - like my internet not being strong enough - without having Engineering down the hall.  So many things go wrong as it is because our set up is often done with spit and glue under normal circumstances. 

I also think eventually, this will get old and management will put things back as they were.  Our quarantine has been extended at least to the end of April.

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4 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

How is everyone doing with their work situations (either from home or in the office)

I’ve learned something: I HATE working from home. I don’t have my ample desk space or my dual monitors. I miss the sounds of my firm, seeing my colleagues, and my office,

I’m wondering if I can get one of my monitors sent to me since the one I bought doesn’t have a webcam. Since I’m probably going to be working from home until May.

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8 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

How is everyone doing with their work situations (either from home or in the office)

I was already working from home full-time, so there's not much change for me. Several of my colleagues already worked from home as well, but there are a few adjusting to working from home and in some cases, working from home while home-schooling their children. Fortunately, my area has been pretty sensible about this, and we've been told flatly that if we need to adjust our working hours to deal with kids, errands, or whatever, not to worry about it. There's still the expectation that you will dial into most of your required meetings, but if you need to take off a few hours during the normal work hours to deal with your kids or whatever, you can just put the hours in at night or early morning, or on the weekend. That ability to alter work schedules also ties in with the direction that if you don't absolutely need to be online using the VPN, then disconnect. I work for a very large financial services company, and the last I heard, we had ~150,000 employees using our VPN during peak hours, compared to ~60,000 pre-pandemic. Since I'm more of a night owl anyway, I'm routinely logging off in the afternoon and then logging back in around 6pm and working until 10 or so. The other change I've seen is that during almost every call, there's a point at which someone's dogs start barking, so we've all had the experience of having to apologize for the dogs or putting ourselves on mute, or both. The longer this goes on, though, the more I'm hearing people just giving a general disclaimer at the beginning of a call, that their dog(s) may decide to start barking. I am slightly paranoid that I'm going to forget to put myself on mute before exclaiming, "Just leave the fucking cat alone," to one of my dogs. 

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14 hours ago, theredhead77 said:

How is everyone doing with their work situations (either from home or in the office)

My experience has been pretty good so far.  The team I’m on is in multiple locations so I’d be dealing with them over the phone anyway regardless of working from home or being in the office.  We have daily status calls so we’re always in touch.    I had a prior job where I was working from home 4 out of 5 days so this is routine for me.  I’m expecting this to go on into May as well. 

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I was having problems the first week before I got the vpn info. I was using Office 365 and had problems shutting off at the end of the work day. They told us not to use vpn unless we really needed it, so those who really needed it could use it, but then IT sent me the info, so I went ahead and used it. I find it's easier to shut that off at the end of the work day and not turn it back on so I don't keep checking email all evening and weekend.

We're supposed to take annual leave if we have to do other things during the day. The interruptions for home schooling explanations, etc., though are no more disruptive than the people who come and stand in the office and talk about non-work-related things for 30 minutes or more during a regular day. In fact, they are less disruptive. We have to hand in records of what we are doing.

I'm still feeling more relaxed working at home, even though I sometimes feel like they are looking over our shoulders and even though I now share my office with my son and husband (who is also working from home).

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I’ve been working at home since 3/9 and am getting tired of it! I used to work at home on Fridays, so I was already set up for it, but it’s very different doing it for weeks on end. This last week was not very productive, I had trouble concentrating and general malaise. Today I am going to make a list of everything I need to complete this week in hopes that will keep me on track. I also need to set a sleep routine and stick to it. Too many late nights but not sleeping in. My team and I touch base either by Skype or chat everyday, but it’s no substitute for being in person. I finally have a team I really like, so it’s hard to go back to feeling like I’m working alone again. I won’t be back in the office until at least early May but my company will be doing staggered returns and I’m so far down the list of people who need to be there in person that I think it’s more likely to be June before Im back in the office.

Edited by MargeGunderson
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I've tried to keep as regular a schedule as I can, though I am getting up later because I no longer have a 45-minute commute.  It is hard to distinguish which day is which, though (including weekends!).  I am finding it amusing that I seem to require the TV be on while I'm home.  At work, I don't like any extraneous sounds -- no music or anything except normal talking, which was sparse at work.  I worked basically in silence at work!  But I can't seem to do that at home.  No idea.

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Working from home is not working for me. I don't have a desk or space for a desk and the work area I've pushed together is inadequate. Just moving the mouse is an exercise in geometry. I'm also having trouble staying motivated. I log in and out on time but in between is a lot of waffling about what to do.

I'm also eating too much and buying too much online and really missing physical therapy.

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I don't really have a space, either -- I'm on my sofa with my laptop in my lap (probably at least partly why I turn on the TV -- sofa=TV time, and the TV is right there in front of me).  I tried sitting on the floor with the laptop on the coffee table, but that was worse.  For Zoom meetings, I transfer to the dining room table, mostly because I'm back-lit when I'm on the sofa.  The dining room table is less good than the sofa -- less bad than the coffee table, though.

 

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I took my docking station and one of my monitors home with me when quarantine started, but I forgot my wireless keyboard and mouse like an idiot. So there have been challenges but nothing too serious. The biggest problem I have is separating work from home. I feel like I'm always online. This week I'm going to try and get better about signing off at the end of the day so I have better distinction between the two. 

I'm also working out like a crazy person, which is unlike me. If I could just eat more vegetables, I'd be in the best shape of my life. 

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I’m lucky in that one of the reasons I bought my current house is that it has a dedicated office, so when I am through work I just leave the room and push work out of my mind. Previously I used a corner of my bedroom as my “office,” but still made a point of logging off at the end of the work day. It takes an effort initially to resist the temptation to check your work email outside of work hours, but it pays off to set boundaries. For me, the trick was asking myself if I would be willing to drive to the regular worksite to check email, and 99% of the time, the answer was hell, no. 

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I'm lucky in that I've been working from home for years, and I don't particularly care for being around people (in fact, being an introvert, it doesn't take long for it to become draining), so not much has changed for me and I'm not at all bothered by being home.  If I had a partner or roommate or, heaven forbid, kids home with me, yes, I'd be climbing the walls, but since it's just me and the cat, I'm perfectly content.

Being a lawyer for a non-profit organization, with courts handling only essential functions like restraining orders, search warrants, parole or bail hearings, etc. (none of which, other than the occasional restraining order, are things we handle), it's an uncertain time.  Good thing we're used to working on a shoestring budget, but that also means there isn't really any room for temporarily cutting back in order to ride out this time where there's even less than normal coming in -- we can't do a whole lot to reduce what's going out.

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I've also been working from home forever, so this seems completely business as usual to me in that respect.  My husband works from home, too, and the cat claims to as well, but she's never produced a paycheck, so I'm dubious.  Our house is big enough so that we can have lots of space between us and not get on each other's nerves.  I work in the publishing industry, so most of our projects are in a pretty long pipeline--manuscripts that the authors have been creating for years very often, and when I get a manuscript it's usually six months to a year from hitting the bookshelves.  So I'm fully employed for the foreseeable future.  As for the unforeseeable future, who knows?  Most of the authors whose books I work on have been on the bestseller lists pretty consistently, so I don't think they're going to just disappear.  At least I hope not.  📚

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If anyone is looking for a "decent for the price" desk, I can recommend this one from IKEA along with this chair. They weren't too difficult to assemble, either. IKEA stores are closed but they are still delivering in some areas.

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Mondrianyone, are you an editor? I'm in corporate communications for a financial institution so I'm writing 24/7 right now and I wish I had a really good copy editor a lot of days, lol.

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21 minutes ago, emma675 said:

Mondrianyone, are you an editor? I'm in corporate communications for a financial institution so I'm writing 24/7 right now and I wish I had a really good copy editor a lot of days, lol.

If you're serious I have friends that are editors and are probably looking for some work. PM me.

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22 minutes ago, emma675 said:

Mondrianyone, are you an editor? I'm in corporate communications for a financial institution so I'm writing 24/7 right now and I wish I had a really good copy editor a lot of days, lol.

Yeah, but my specialty is fiction, so that's what I do mostly.  Although, strangely enough, I've worked on two books about pandemics in my checkered history.  One about the Spanish flu and one about SARS.  Those helped me decide to stick to fiction.

I do know someone who edits a lot of financial stuff, but she's up to her ears in work right now.  Good luck, emma!  Don't forget to breathe!

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I wish we could hire a copy editor at my job right now, but like a lot of companies, we're under a hiring freeze. My team is basically just proofing each other's work, if we have the time (all of us missed a small typo in one of my client letters this week and it's haunting me). We're just working too hard, too fast on too much. I'm going to need a vacation when all of this is over. 

Edited by emma675
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Girl Cat is sleeping between my feet right now so I can't get to my phone or else I'd send a picture. She threw up all over he brand new box and paper nest earlier, poor thing.

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12 hours ago, Moose135 said:

My office assistant these days:

JM_2020_03_20_Jake_the_Aussie_001-L.jpg

😉 Your assistant appears to be asking for a raise (i.e. cookie)

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On 4/4/2020 at 4:59 PM, theredhead77 said:

How is everyone doing with their work situations (either from home or in the office)

HATED IT week 1.  Eventually I established routine, got permission to go into the office to get my wireless keyboard and mouse and docking station, and cleaned up the messy unused office space in my home.

And now? I kind of like it! I wouldn't like it should everybody else be there and me home, because I'd be out of the information sharing loop. But with everybody in the same boat, I am functioning professionally as well as I possibly could be. I find that I like talking with my boss's boss on the phone MUCH more than I like it when he pops in my office and throws rapid fire questions at me.

And for sure, once I figured out that I could turn off my 5:45 AM alarm clock and roll out of bed around 7:00 to still be plenty early for work at 8:00, well that's the kind of thing a man could get used to, eh?

Prior to setting up my office space in the other room, I was experiencing similar productivity issues as @Moose135...

 

4D27411A-823E-41DF-9A6C-C0EF1BD366C2.jpeg

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Good Butterscotch! But what is that awful thing around his neck! 😛 

I don't know what my furry co-workers are going to do when I go back to the office. If I as much as go downstairs for some water or a snack the kittencat starts yelling at the top of his lungs (and he's LOUD and sounds like a crying baby). He'll be standing at the top of the stairs with a kick toy in his mouth. And if I don't appear at the stairs in an appropriate amount of time he'll come to me, yelling the entire time, to drop the toy at my feet.

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1 hour ago, theredhead77 said:

Good Butterscotch! But what is that awful thing around his neck!

I know! A Rangers collar? I may have to report that to the ASPCA! 😝

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1 hour ago, theredhead77 said:

Good Butterscotch! But what is that awful thing around his neck! 😛 

A fine example of how if you're really good looking, you can get away with wearing anything.

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