Day Two: Tele-working in a time of COVID-19 (pass the ketchup?) and Gratitude

Well, my internal alarm clock must’ve readjusted because I slept until 6:30 am. I decided to forgo the fleece and Mukluks and actually shower, put on jeans, a Dolores Huerta Foundation t-shirt, black cardigan and black Chuck Taylor All Stars.

After an early morning thunderstorm, the sun began to peek through the clouds and you could glimpse a bluebird sky. Truly a welcome sight after a week of dreariness and intermittent rain. At one point, I noticed this incredible emerald green moss on the large tree in our front yard. It was mesmerizing. I wish I’d take a photo. It was stunning.

I now have a daily 8:30 a.m. check-in Zoom meeting with my program team each morning. I think they just want to provide an opportunity for us to see one another’s faces, chat and hopefully laugh while we sit before our laptops, coffee or water bottle in hand, some with our four-legged assistants in the background and others listening intently for the urgent knock of a child at their office/bedroom door.

Another means of keeping in contact with our entire staff is through Microsoft Teams. You can easily send a private chat message or team message complete with emoji (they are everywhere) GIF (again, everywhere) or a video of yourself (no thanks). They are helpful to get a quick message through without adding to an already inundated inbox, but not everyone is utilizing the app so not sure how long it will last.

I do get it. All these means to keep us connected. Many of us are sociable and need human contact, while some of us have to psyche ourselves up to people. I’m one of the latter. I prefer small, familiar groups – usually family and longtime friends. The irony is that most of my life I’ve had jobs where I’ve engaged with people. Don’t get me wrong, I love to meet others and learn their stories, but after a while I just can’t people. I even have a pair of socks with “Don’t bother me. I’m introverting.” Sometimes, you just got to say no to people. I’m thinking this tele-working might be the best thing ever. Not having to people as often is definitely on the pro side of things.

One new con about tele-working I learned is that I didn’t prepare for lunch. You see, I’m spoiled. Where I work, we have a cook. Yes, a cook. We’re a health foundation that walks the walk. Each day, we have the opportunity to purchase lunch, so we toss a yellow ticket into a glass bowl and enjoy pork tenderloin, spinach salads, roasted brussel sprouts and such. I was dumbfounded when I went to my own kitchen today and realized I had no lunch foods. None. Yesterday, I ate some leftovers but today, nada. Sure, there was peanut butter and blackberry jelly but, c’mon. I quickly drove to the store and stocked up on organic tomato bisque soup (nothing will compare to Marge’s tomato bisque), sliced honey smoked turkey, carrots to steam and a few Healthy Choice protein bowls. I’m spoiled, remember?

While there, I thought I’d pick up eggs and potatoes for my mom and a few other items. I’d found everything on my list until I hit the condiment aisle. Imagine my shock when I stood before shelves filled with mustard and barbecue sauce, but no…ketchup. Ketchup! All the ketchup was gone. Depleted. What in the hell? Why is ketchup on the list of “things to hoard in case of apocalypse?” Is there going to be a giant cookout somewhere before the earth explodes? Are people truly thinking they better stockpile with Memorial Day and July 4th just around the corner? Ketchup. Geez, people. As I stood there, I exhaled, “assholes,” to which the man scanning the barbecue sauces just smiled. Toilet paper, okay. Paper towels, whatever. But, ketchup?

My second day also proved to be too much for Beatrice, Executive Assistant (this is how she wants to be addressed). At first, I blamed it on boredom, but then realized she too needed to soak in some vitamin D. I didn’t have the heart to write her up. After all, no farting today.

Later, I joined her on the deck, checking emails while basking in the spring equinox sun. Which reminds me, while we’re sheltering in place and non-peopleing, don’t forget to be grateful. I’m grateful for emerald colored moss, sunshine and laughter over the techwaves. I leave you with this by a man I so admired:

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