I haven’t read the news yet today. Has Massachusetts upgraded from Social Distance to Shelter in Place? That was the rumor going around yesterday. I don’t think it makes any real difference as far as how we’ve been riding things out goes. The only thing they could do to mess us up is restrict traffic over the state line. That would be a major problem for us. We live in Massachusetts. The kids’ dad lives in New Hampshire. We have to be able to travel back and forth. I’m not going to worry about that today.
So how did the first week at home go as far as work is concerned? It went okay. Our upper management suggested we have regular check ins with our staff, and to have the group as a whole meet as often as possible. We already do that. Daily check in meetings for the entire group and weekly one on one check ins have been in place for a couple of years now. I feel like I am way ahead of that particular curve. My manager did not have regular check ins with his directs so he set up quick, full group check ins for every other day.
It’s all about trying to make us feel connected. As it is, there are only two days a week when my entire group is in the same building at the same time. We all telecommute, some of the guys telecommute twice a week. We have a guy who works in a different building a couple of days a week. On Tuesdays I’m the only one in the building. On Thursdays none of us are in the building. Despite that, I never got the sense that we were disconnected. This week? I felt it a little. I can’t say exactly why, but maybe it was just something in tone of everyone’s voice during the daily meetings. Maybe it was just me and I was projecting it onto everyone else.
Productivity didn’t go down as far as I could see. For me personally, I spent more time with my hands on the code than I have in a while. I did have one miscommunication with another group’s supervisor, but it was a timing thing and it had nothing to do with everyone being at home. One quick email resolved it and all was well. No worries at all. I did have to shoot down a request from another group. I brought my manager into the discussion, and he told me later that he fully intended to back me up, but a manager from another group stepped in and beat him to it. I had all sorts of people agreeing with my downer of a decision. I felt nice and validated.
That doesn’t mean the whole thing wasn’t super weird though. Thursday is my usual telecommuting day. This week literally every day felt like Thursday. Even as I was signing out for the day on Friday I still couldn’t quite wrap my head around the fact that I wouldn’t be driving to the office the next day. Today is Saturday and I still woke up at the same time I do on a work day. That isn’t uncommon, but today when I woke up I had to wrack my brain for a while (0.68 seconds) to figure out what day it was and what I needed to do.
I am worried about my family’s health. Not just physical but mental too. I can’t control if any of us catch the bug, and statistically speaking it’s a safe bet that at least three of us will, but I can try and help with how everyone handles this mess. I need to stay positive in the hopes that I can help to keep everyone else positive. I can’t lose my temper… ever. The stress level world wide right now is insanely high and am nervous that my temper’s fuse is now really short. I cannot cannot cannot lose it. I have to pay close attention not only to what I say to people, but how I say it. I can’t snap. I can’t sound pissy. I can’t be anything other than cool and supportive. Everyone is having a hard time with this and I need to be the rock, if I can. Not The Rock because I don’t like wrestling and I really don’t like his acting, but just a rock. Dig?
Okay, I am getting silly now. It’s time to click publish.
- Stay safe
- Stay healthy
- Wash Your Damn Hands
- Keep your cool
- Keep your focus at work
- Don’t let it bring you down, it’s only castles burning. Just find someone who’s turning, and you will come around. (N. Young, 1971… I think?)