By RACHEL SAUER
It’s been a very strange week, a very strange couple of weeks, and it looks like we might be in for at least a few more.
So, this is as good a time as any to step back and heartily congratulate myself that you’re reading these words at all.
It turns out I am very bad at working from home.
This is not to say I’m unaware of how incredibly lucky I am to have the option, or to downplay how grateful I am for those going to their jobs away from home every single day.
It’s just, all my stuff is here and it’s very distracting.
Before all this, I guess I’d never paid much attention to the elements of performance in working around others. I mean, I’ve always made a huge show of TYPING ALL THE WORDS! when my boss walked by and faithfully exercising my peripheral vision to make sure I wasn’t caught unawares.
But I also perform for my co-workers, too. And obviously, I’m in it to win every round of Ugh, I Am the Absolute Busiest and Most Harried and Nobody Knows the Troubles I’ve Seen – just your standard, unspoken game among co-workers that is zero fun and yet everyone’s playing it.
Now, though, there are no 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock shows of Rachel’s Exaggerated Typing and Sighing. It’s just me on my couch in sweatpants, enduring the occasional Zoom meeting, sure, but mostly… yep.
Yep, yep, yep.
Probably I need to see what the cats are doing.
In the week that I’ve worked from home, my typical schedule has been:
7 a.m.: Yes! Work time! Ready to slap this day like the evil twin in a telenovela!
7:04 a.m.: Except I need a Diet Pepsi.
7:06 a.m.: Yes! Work time!
7:07 a.m.: Open email.
7:08 a.m.: Google “list of saints” and scroll through the Wikipedia page.
7:09 a.m.: Oh, Saint Seraphim of Sarov, HOW DO I HAVE THIS MANY EMAILS?? Do we really need a reply-all for your response of “OK!”, Donna??
7:15 a.m.: Google “Who invented email?”
7:16 a.m.: Ooh! Juicy! It turns out Ray Tomlinson and Shiva Ayyadurai both claim to have done so.
7:17 to 7:50 a.m.: Read approximately 11 different articles about The Case of Who Invented Email. Sign up for a free week of The Los Angeles Times to get at a particularly sordid-seeming one.
7:51 a.m.: WORK!!
8:45 a.m.: Begin compiling a playlist of woebegone songs, on account of I never bothered investing in an office chair for home and instead am sitting on a wooden kitchen chair with a $4 Ikea seat cushion. A conscious effort to sit up straight only makes my bum feel worse.
8:50 a.m.: Remember that my aunt once got thrombophlebitis on a long plane ride and has had to wear prescription-strength compression socks ever since; assess whether my ankles feel weird from sitting.
8:52 a.m.: Stand up and do 17 squats.
8:54 a.m.: Decide that since I’m up anyway, I should see what the cats are doing.
8:55 to 9:03 a.m.: Search for the cats. They seem to be avoiding me? And are not all that delighted I’m home during the day? Anyway, find one in a laundry basket and the other in the shower.
9:04 a.m.: Pester the cats.
9:07 a.m.: Sit back down on the Chair of Suffering.
9:33 a.m.: Google “Tips for working from home.”
9:38 a.m.: Huh. This one advises keeping living and working spaces separate, and vigorously advises against working from the couch.
9:39 a.m.: Take laptop down to the couch.
9:40 a.m.: WORK!!
10:52 a.m.: Heed the siren call of cookies.
10:53 to 10:56 a.m.: Remember finishing the cookies last night; audibly mourn.
10:57 a.m.: Pester the cats.
11 to 11:45 a.m.: Zoom meeting followed by eye rolling.
11:46 a.m.: Lunchtime!
1 p.m.: OK, back to work! Whew!
1:27 p.m.: Try to remember three or for words from the song I heard at Qdoba the other night; begin an investigation that involves not just Google, but the library’s online research tools.
1:53 p.m.: Get distracted by Buzzfeed.
1:59 to 2:13 p.m.: Look out the window.
2:14 p.m.: Work. Ish.
2:55 p.m.: Google images of platypus. Ponder whether the plural is platypi?
2:57 p.m.: Draw a platypus in a wading pool.
3:11 p.m.: …workkkzzzzzzzz…
3:38 p.m.: Wait! What? Zing! I’m awake! I’m working! I’m drinking another Diet Pepsi! Probably my ninth of the day!
4:07 p.m.: Google “What happens if I don’t drink enough water?”
4:12 p.m.: Drink some water.
4:58 p.m.: Call it a day, and plan to do it all again tomorrow.
Rachel Sauer is at email@example.com and certainly has the time to respond! It’s not like she’s working that much.