In two days, I return to working in the downtown office a few days a week.
The last time I was in the office* was July, when I spent a week working from a vacant cube while my son was attending a science day camp downtown. Before that was March, when my coworker and my boss and I spent two days cleaning out our cubicles in preparation for a full renovation of multiple floors of our building.
Somehow, I failed to document the move-out either on my blog or on Facebook, so I had to dig into the Exist archives to find the last time I didn’t tag “work from home.”
18 March 2021: Mammogram this morning, then downtown to clean out cubes with N. Spent literally all day on my feet, cleaning and packing. Brought home a load of stuff today; going to get the rest Monday. Tweaked my back pulling the wagon with all my crap in it, so skipped Krav this evening.
23 March 2021: Final office clean-out day with N and CW (and O joined us for lunch). Diverted more stuff from the landfill to Goodwill.
Over the course of those two days, I packed up and hauled multiple wagonloads of stuff to my car. At least one wagonload was destined for Goodwill, since I just couldn’t let so much perfectly usable stuff go to the landfill.
Now, some seven months later, my ADHD brain has finally decided that now is the time to go through the half-dozen tote bags and boxes that have been sitting in full view at the bottom of the basement stairs this whole time.
Since Connor is attending a science camp downtown this week, I decided to request a temporary cube and work from the actual office instead of driving to and from downtown twice every day. Most of my team is now permanently remote, and the few of us who will be going back in-person a few days a week need to wait until our floor is fully renovated in September.
Facilities sent me a layout diagram and marked the cubes I could choose from, so I picked the cube closest to my boss’s boss. That totally paid off, as I got a tour of one of the renovated floors that’s identical to what ours will look like when it’s done. It actually looks… workable. But we’ll see.
Over my lunch break, I enjoyed an iced coffee outside (and finally used some of the birthday coffee funds from N)!
After work, I walked across the street to pick up Connor from camp, then we slogged through the heat and humidity to get back to the parking garage. On the way, we saw this great view of the High-Level Bridge, framed by the Junction building, and Connor convinced me to take a picture.
So… the last time I actually worked a full day downtown was October 2020. It surprises me to say, but it was satisfying to be back in a more formal work environment after working from home for so long.
I was more irritated than concerned when the school nurse called earlier this year. Every time Connor coughs too loudly within earshot of particular people, especially in this era of COVID, he gets sent home sick… and has to have a doctor’s note to return.
My third-grader with allergies got sent home from school because of a cough and runny nose.
I understand the need for precautions, but it doesn’t make the experience any less annoying. This time, I decided to be extra thorough. Not only did I take him to Urgent Care to get evaluated, but I also requested the molecular (PCR) COVID test required by the Health Department for him to return to school. Even though they diagnosed him with an ear infection, so he had an alternative diagnosis. Even though he tested negative with the rapid test. Just to cover all bases.
Our path down the COVID flowchart took an unexpected turn when the PCR test came back positive.
We’ve all spent the past year living through a global pandemic that’s destined to be at least a footnote in the history books. It’s upended everyone’s sense of normalcy, changed social interactions, wreaked havoc on some sectors of the economy, and cost many their jobs or their lives.
My family has been lucky: our jobs are stable, we’re all healthy, and COVID-19 mainly just means an upheaval to our routines. I’ve been working from home, Connor finished out second grade from home and started third grade with a hybrid of remote and in-person learning, and Aaron spent most of the year working longer hours and adjusting to having us at home during the week.
Even though 2020 was a Very Different Year Indeed, I still kept track of most of the things I usually do, and I certainly couldn’t leave this bizarre year undocumented.
Thanks to what’s known as a Closed Point Of Dispensing, I was able to receive the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this morning, via my employer.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to be vaccinated… but there are so many others much more at risk than myself who should, by all rights, be getting this protection before me. My husband, an “essential worker” in the shipping industry, has been working as usual throughout the pandemic, and he’s unlikely to get vaccinated for weeks or months yet.
I’m scheduled to receive my second dose in four weeks, at which point I should only have a 6% chance of contracting and exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
(My birth control pill only had a 3% chance of failure back in 2011, though. Just sayin’.)