So we’re settling into working from home now. Bizarre as it all felt on our first WFH blog, just 3 weeks ago, we’re now settling into a new sort of (ab) normal. Seriously was that three weeks ago? It feels simultaneously like only yesterday and at least a decade ago.
We’ve installed several new work stations, carefully stepped so that our older work colleagues can comfortably access them. And close to the desk to save travel time for cuddles.
This is still all quite surreal. We’re very very fortunate to still have a job and be able to work from home. We’re enjoying the positives of that, being home with the cats, missing the rush hour traffic and struggle to find a parking space. There are day to day improvements in the IT set up, and a growing experience and confidence with working remotely. At the same time we’re painfully aware of the hardships others are going through, desperately grateful to the key workers who keep the whole show on the road, and guiltily trying to avoid the full awfulness of watching the news.
Our lighthearted comments about some of the joys of lockdown can only be be viewed through the lens of this being a traumatic nightmare to many. Nevertheless … we hope to share a little fun and the lighter side of lockdown.
Having worked pretty much alone in the ‘office’ for the first couple of weeks … other than Jango popping in to chew the electric cables … I’m now regularly joined by fur people who I think of as my new team mates. I like to think of this as being a new routine and sense of solidarity & support around the hosue … but suspect that the sun coming out and my office being the sunniest room in the house has rather more to do with it.
Jango has emerged as my most faithful, hard working colleague. He’s usually first in the office in a morning and last to leave at night. He even turned up over bank holiday weekend as he got mixed up with days …. as we all do in times like this. He’s taken on the role of senior solar tracking consultant … and gradually shuffles his way between litter tray and my desk as the sun moves.
There are times he’s not able to focus and just needs a cuddle. That’s not a problem … regular hugs have been written up as part of his professional development plan. The plan has also taken account of a necessary adjustment to using wireless headphones … this has been quickly actioned to prevent “chewed through” hang ups on work calls. His current learning objectives are mainly focused around understanding the importance of my being able to use my right hand for typing and the mouse and the impact of him trying to use it as a pillow. We’ve set this as fairly low priority though and are balancing it against his skills in stress reduction.
He’s calmly sat through a 3 hour training course on Zoom this afternoon … resassuring me and amusing the other participants …. and earning himself a bonus can of tasty Applaws for his supper.
Flipper has set herself up as security and wildlife monitor. She takes her job seriously on the odd occasions when she’s awake and not thinking about something else. From her windowsill viewpoint she comments on any activity in the surrounding gardens, and prevents anything coming in through the window. She was devastated yesterday to find that she’d missed the heron that flew over and landed on next door’s fence. Mr Heron sat there for quite some time and I was desperate to take a photo and/or go to fetch her to see it … but I was on a work call … and was concerned how my human colleagues might evaluate my mental health if I were to say “sorry, I’ve just got to fetch my cat to see this”
Apparently she’s also taken on a research project involving wardrobes. This has clearly been set up through another department as I don’t have one single clue what the method or objectives are.
Rowan, our office junior, reports to Jango. His duties are best described as “miscellaneous”. He’s certainly enthusiastic … I can’t fault him on that.
I suspect his job description was written whilst the residents were a bit high on the nip. They seem to consist of digging loudly and vigorously in the litter tray whilst I’m on phone calls, but also leaping from the top of the filing cabinet and crashing onto the desk during video calls. I understand he’s also being given an out of hours payment for rearranging the room in the middle of the night. I personally haven’t sanctioned this … and will raise it as an issue at the next team meeting.
One of the other joys of WFH is that we can sit out in the garden for lunch breaks. I was impressed to find that the rest of the team were appropriately socially distancing.
Though it didn’t last long. Kevin is far too needy of other feline contact to hold out for long. He was soon snuggled up to his best friend Dasher.
Honey remains in overall charge. She’s the go to purrson if any issues arise, and is on top of remembering what day it is and whether its tea time. I’ve been a little disappointed in her actual engagement with work. She did briefly pop into a microsoft teams meeting but found her attention quickly wandering …. and went to sit in the garden instead.
To be fair, I miss my human colleagues lots. I’m loving my new fur team though.