68 thoughts on “April 9, 2020: Perception”

  1. This whole working from home + kids doing distance learning (particularly the one too young to manage it independently) is so hard. I am trying to just take it one day at a time, but today I just wish I could quit everything. At the same time, this seems like such a small thing to be upset about giving all that's happening.

    1. You are not alone, Pepper. I have similar conversations with my staff all the time.

      Not much consolation, I am sure. But you are not alone. Just apart.

    2. We had a conf. call lead by the head of IT (set a company record for phone attendees), and more than once he stated how pleased he was that everyone was making the work from home a success. I'm sure when things return to a semblance of normal, the company's telecommuting stance will be enhanced. From my standpoint, I'm hoping that this experience will underscore to everyone some of the problems those of us who telecommute every day have to put up with.

    3. I have done it for a long time a couple of days a week. I don't have the handicap of having to deal with young children -- my wife doesn't have a job, so she takes care of our daughter, who is now almost 13. So, that's not a problem. I work in the basement, which is unfinished, but I don't care. My boss thinks it's a depressing work space, but I disagree. It's quiet and dark. I don't know if it's day or night. I prefer it that way.

      1. Yeah, it's pretty draining. Rick's day care is actually open, but Jane doesn't want him to attend right now. That's fine, I guess. I get why she wants that, but her WFH schedule is a lot more involved than mine (many more tele-meetings, etc), so I end up trying to get Pete's work and my own work done while having a terror of a baby tearing the house down around our ears. Doesn't seem sustainable... At least there's "no school" this Friday or Monday.

        1. I've been very pessimistic about COVID-19 since the beginning, so in my head there just isn't an "opening" date to school-related activities on the horizon and that is even more overwhelming. I see no way school goes back in session, but what about the summer...our child is signed up for full-day care through the school and what does THAT look like if we're still all home? Or what if some businesses re-open and we have to figure out how to juggle working from the office part-time while a kid is home full-time?

          All of these thoughts cloud my ability to really hunker down and get actual work done for my company. And then I stress out about that, too.

          1. So much this.

            My college has already basically decided that all summer classes will be online, and are working on plans for Fall, too. There is a possibility some classes that must be in person (it's pretty hard to teach a cadaver lab or tractor maintenance remotely!) being allowed on campus in a modified format, but that may still not be possible. The complete uncertainty in everything makes future planning so very, very hard.

          2. Yeah, completely agree about the lack of an endpoint to all this adding to the stress. I've been trying to work after everyone else is asleep (from about 10pm to midnight), and while I could push through that way for the first week or so, it turns out that this isn't exactly sustainable for weeks on end. (Shocking, right?)

    4. I feel a little guilty about how easy I have it. It's a little crowded having a college, high school, and middle school student around but they're all self-sufficient and really good students. I can do 90% of my job from home without a problem.

      I'd say the #1 negative is that our office is actually a formal dining room. I can see the refrigerator from my desk. The snacking has been out of control!

        1. If this were permanent, I'd figure out something in the basement. The problem with the basement is that cell reception is bad so I'd need to add a landline down there.

        2. we have separate office spaces upstairs, so it takes a walk downstairs to the kitchen for snax. Our biggest "problems" are my inconsistent wifi and the fact that her computer is not equipped with camera and microphone to support Zoom meetings (she's doing conferences with parents and occasional group activities with kids/parents). So she keeps trying to Bogart my laptop.

          Definitely First World Problems.

    5. I find my ability to cope with it all dwindles as the week goes on, the weekends are a time to recharge even when they look nothing like weekends previously did.

      A colleague reminded me that it is OK to stop before the "...but" when dealing with your own emotions. I can just think "I don't know how to handle all of this effectively" and not add the "but I know we are relatively lucky" to minimize my own exhaustion/frustration.

      Fortunately my wife's job is less busy than mine right now and she's more patient leading the remote activities with our 5-year old so at least we have that. It can be hard not feeling guilt when I have a bunch of conference calls or follow-ups to do in the middle of the day when all the kid wants is a break to walk the dogs or ride bikes as a family.

      I can't imagine what this is like for kids, their entire social structure just vanished and things they look forward to--organized sports, play dates, birthday parties, etc.--disappeared as well. I keep reminding myself of that whenever the little guy starts acting out.

    6. I kept my vacation this week that was supposed to be our cruise as I needed the mental break from work. And it has helped my wife 100% focus on her work.

      So far it hasn't been too bad. My son is in first grade and his distance learning is pretty mild. One hour per day with the teacher, then homework which he finishes in less than an hour. He's had some meltdowns, but he much prefers being around adults than other kids that being stuck at home isn't a huge deal to him. He's just spent more time reading and writing and practicing his scooter. He doesn't have any friends so he doesn't miss anybody except the teachers. I do get frustrated with the parents of neighborhood kids who are outside playing tag with each other. Meanwhile, my son freaks out if a kid gets within six feet of him.

      Plus we also live with my mother-in-law. Having both kids is too much for her, but when we're both working she can watch the 2 year-old and between my wife and I we juggle our son in between conference calls. And I can catch up on paperwork at night if needed.

      Last night we decided to treat ourselves by getting Benihana. Except the curbside turned into come inside and hang out with five other people to get your food. Nobody answered the phone for an hour. Our food was cold. And they forgot part of the meal. We'll see how management responds to my complaint. We've mostly been ordering from local restaurants who have all treated us wonderfully, so we'll have to try to stick to that.

      We've got the Instacart thing down pretty well so we're not running out of staples and not feeling as stressed about it. We have enough food to live in here for well over a month but my son has major food jags

    7. I'm in the "feel guilty about how good we have it" boat. We have a school room set up in my office, so every day everyone gets out of the house, into a new environment. We have my in-laws who watch the youngest (and we in turn do all their shopping, as much public stuff as we can for them, to combine the households into 1), so we get to see some family and have a third location we can go to (and it's a farm! So much space!). My work is as busy as ever - at least for now.

      The thing that has been hard is that teachers are doing just an absolute ton of extra work. Philosofette is mostly working non-stop, except when she's actively helping our kids get their work done too (and she's not doing that alone, I'm helping too... but she does the majority). For as hard as this is for families with kids to keep up on getting their work done and helping their kids... it's gotta be next to impossible for teachers (especially those who don't have the options we do).

    8. We have been mostly successful at trading off primary parent duty during the work day and navigating around meetings. There have been a couple days when we both had overlapping meetings, but thankfully not many and things went smoothly when they did. Since we switch off being the primary parent in the morning — I work until 10am, Mrs. Hayes works 10am–noon — what is hardest is if one of us has basically the whole morning booked with meetings and one person loses those hours, which makes you feel behind all afternoon. The Poissonnière has been as good as we could expect throughout all this, but we’re both acutely aware we’re not able to provide her with enough age-appropriate social interaction.

      Where I’m struggling most right now is with food. We are fairly well stocked, so we’re not going to go hungry any time soon. But I’ve already entered rationing mode, to the point where I’m throttling my own consumption, particularly of staples or things I like. Uneaten food is not uncommon at the Poissonnière’s age, but its much more stressful & frustrating — particularly when a specifically requested item is not eaten. It's also stressful to be the only one thinking about rationing staples — coffee, eggs & dairy, alcohol — to stretch out the periods between exposure while picking up necessities. I think much of the stress is less due to worry about potential disruption in food supply or ability to get items in limited quality, and more about what I‘ve observed other people doing every time I’ve gone out to get these items.

    9. I too have been struggling greatly to get things done. Trying to manage my kids' distance learning while also trying to run distance learning for my students has been rough. If I were teaching a course that was online from the beginning (which I will be doing in the Summer and Fall) I think this would be easier. But, trying to teach college classes online to students who expected to be learning in person is so much harder. They didn't sign up for this, and neither did the faculty. As department chair, I'm also dealing with so much extra administrative business, plus trying to help other less-technologically-inclined faculty get courses online in a somewhat reasonable fashion, that I'm struggling to find the time to do the work I need to do for my students.

      The kicker is our ongoing construction. We're currently limited to using the bedrooms upstairs and the living/dining room downstairs. We still don't have heat or full exterior walls, and no kitchen. We knew living in a construction zone would be hard, but we didn't expect to be locked in the house all day every day while it goes on. I feel like we could deal with construction OR quarantine fairly well, but doing both has been a struggle.

      And I know, this is the height of first-world problems. My wife and I still have secure jobs, and all the construction is being done to upgrade our already existing house, but it's still making life so much harder.

    10. There's something oddly comforting in just hearing how everyone is doing. I really appreciate being part of this community with y'all.

      (Well, except for bS whose comment very nearly made me cry because it was too nice. How dare he?!)

  2. Twins get one from Cleveland yesterday in 11.

    AL Central WON LOST PCT GB MAGIC#
    2020 Cleveland CLA 10 3 .769 ---- 150
    2020 Kansas City KCA 8 3 .727 1.0
    2020 Minnesota MNA 5 8 .385 5.0
    2020 Detroit DEA 3 9 .250 6.5
    2020 Chicago (AL) CHA 3 9 .250 6.5

    I forget how to make that line up.

  3. I'm effectively "stuck" in Fargo until things in Minneapolis open up. I've been home for 2 hrs since February 29th, after getting sick in Arizona in early March. (Did get to see one spring training game...)

    I'm an introvert by nature, and I still might be losing my mind.

    Random, Zooms, Zoom Poker, and ongoing Risk games help, but I support the family construction business and have been in the office much more than usual which, um, isn't ideal. Touching 20ish people's computers almost daily has made my hands dry af with all the sanitizer I have to use.

    I honestly can't imagine being some of my healthcare friends, let alone delivery and grocery/hardware/whatev store employees.

    I don't have kids, but socially distancing from my brother's kids when they know I'm around is crazy hard.

    /public_vent

  4. Run to venture out this evening for a couple things, and I will be wearing a mask. I have no concern over perceived social stigma when pollen counts are as high as they are -- I'd have been wearing it pandemic or not.

    1. Our county now requires face covering for anyone in public, with fines for non-compliance, so I'm expecting the social stigma here to drop to just about none.

        1. Most of Southern California. Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside at least. I have definitely seen some push back from men of color, especially in areas where wearing the wrong color bandana can be a very bad idea.

    2. We're behind on making masks, the kid had a lot of fun picking out a couple different fabrics for himself (and me) though. Excited to wear my Donkey Kong mask when it is ready!

    3. I haven’t ventured out in highly-trafficked public places since the mask guidance was announced, but I will be later today or tomorrow. I’ve had a beard since late 2006, and I can’t imagine shaving it for anything short of needing to wear individually-issued respirators. That means I’ll be wearing a doubled-over merino buff over a cloth mask to cover the beard & tamp down any potential openings on the bottom & sides.

  5. It has come to this. Our girl cat tried to assassinate me this morning. I wrenched my (good) shoulder in the process of avoiding stepping on her and am now icing.

    Show trial to follow.

    Should I file workman's comp?

    1. You might want to check with an attorney versed in the workman’s comp laws in your state. In some states, any workman’s comp award must be repaid to the state if you are awarded civil damages paid by the defendant. If you attempt to settle before trial, an attorney hired by the workman’s comp insurance board might scotch any settlement deal you can work out with the defendant. Ask me how I know.

      1. I mentioned that ball to a coworker yesterday afternoon and have already set a timer for the final day to check in and perhaps put a bid on that specific ball. I also am a little tempted by his 1989 contract.

  6. Went to Whole Foods around 9:45 this morning. Thot that the morning elderly gang would be over, and it was pouring rain, so a good time to go. I ended up in a line 12 deep, 6 ft apart, in the rain (with an umbrella) waiting for others to leave the store.
    Once in, I found most of what I wanted (except for TP, flour, broccoli, sunflower seeds), but again, there was a long line for the checkout, 6 ft. apart.

  7. Okay, for me, the morning phase of the day, the 8am-12pm, actually kind of drags by a little slowly. A little. However, the 12-9pm slide seems to go by in an instant. Each hour in that stack goes faster and faster.

    As I'm posting at near 2am, you can see I'm skewed.

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