I spent most of the day mulling over how it could possibly have been Monday again already. I suppose it comes fast when the weekend lasts approximately 37 minutes. I made my usual and customary early run to the local grocery store, stopped at Lowe’s to resupply on bird seed, and then made my way home to pull up the drawbridge. It’s the same basic rhythm that’s ruled life here since the earliest days of 2020.
It was a weekend filled with reading, cooking, and generally puttering around the house with the animals. The last person I had to contend with face to face was the supermarket cashier. Unless something slips from the rails, she’ll have been the last person I see “in person” until the next time I wander in to the office. It’s a real thing of beauty if one of your big objectives is not dealing with the general public unless it’s absolutely necessary.
The consequence, it seems, of being entirely pleased and satisfied with the state of things is that these glorious “off” days is the perceived speed at which they pass. Days feel like they’ve become hours – like there’s barely a pause between Friday and Monday.
My question, then, is there some way to consciously slow it down? Do I have to fill the weekend with activities I loathe to give the impression that I’ve gotten a full 48 hours? What’s it going to take to make weekends feel like more than a speed bump on the route to Monday? There must be a secret… and I need it.
It’s Monday. Again. This morning, I reached deep into the cabinet where I store my fucks, but alas those shelves were bare. It’s a sad state of affairs that my increasing lack of fucks to give is even seeping into telework days now. Historically, it’s mainly been a problem reserved to those days when I’m required, for reasons defying logic and common sense, to schlep over to the office and sit with other people all day.
But here we are. Trying to come up with new and interesting ways to say what I’ve probably said 137 times here already. Gods, I’m not sure I could be less interested even if I put maximum effort into it. That’s probably some moral failing in me as a person. Meh. So what?
It’s probably a gift that I don’t have to be particularly interested in something to do it tolerably well. If it were otherwise, we could be in a real spot of trouble here. As it is, I’ll sit here with a dog sleeping on my feet, a cat trying to occupy the keyboard, and tinker about with some PowerPoint slides (while trying not to dwell too much on the four Monday equivalents left to go before my time is wholly my own again).
You might think that coming off a few days of vacation time, I’d be feeling rested and have an improved outlook.
That’s not really my style, of course. These days off only whet my appetite for the future date when I’m no longer bound to toil for wages. It’s why I relentlessly track that mark on the wall. It’s especially true when my return is met with three days of backlogged email filled with messages about projects that recur year after year and combine to be the bane of professional existence.
It’s Telework Monday and that does marginally improve my outlook. At this way insult isn’t coupled with the injury of eight hours of fluorescent lit cubicle hell.
It might sound like after this short rant, I should be embracing the siren’s song of anti-capitalism. Nothing could be further from reality, though. Universal basic income or whatever something for nothing schemes are in vogue now surely wouldn’t be lucrative enough to support any kind of lifestyle I’d want to live. Exchanging time for money remains the most efficient and effective way to procure good and services I want while building a future in which my time really will be entirely my own.
That’s absolutely a play I’m willing to make, but it doesn’t mean for a moment I have to pretend I’m having a good time while I’m doing it. It’s better to schlep through the asshattery to get where you want to be, even if that means bitching and complaining all the way, I’d think.
It’s Monday. More specifically it’s Monday before the long Independence Day weekend. By itself, that would be all the reason by brain needed to be vaguely uninterested and disengaged for the next four days. I’m sure that’s not the kind of thing you’re supposed to say out loud. I should be filling this space with key words like “commitment,” “dedication,” and “focus,” in case any of the bosses stop by to have a look around.
In my defense, though, it’s not just a response to a three-day weekend. Those are common enough – and while I surely appreciate them, they’re not usually enough to drive me completely to distraction. Tacking on an extra four vacation days to round out the second (and last) nine-day weekend of the summer, though, is a different animal altogether.
The first half of the year – the good half with plague restrictions and social distance and encouragement to stay home – seems to have slipped by effortlessly. I don’t in any way imagine the back half of the year – the part where we’re supposed to get back to an approximation of “normal” from the before times – will be nearly as pleasant. That means whatever days off I scrape together from here on out are going to be carrying an increasingly heavier weight of expectations.
So yeah, I’m just over here plugging away and trying to get through the week with as little fuss and headache as possible… and maybe looking out over the next six months and figuring out where I want to jam in the remaining 123 hours of vacation time to get the most bang for my buck.
One thing I can say for sure is that a year of working from home has not prepared me for a day of standing on a concrete floor. Even my best Docs are no match for a day on my feet.
By the end of it, sore feet wins hands down over the building flooding, last minute briefing changes, and scheduling problems that would have otherwise been contenders for the worst thing about the day.
It’s only Monday. I have no doubt the week will slide further and further from the rails as it trundles on towards Friday afternoon. There’s nothing to be done for it now, but to grimace behind my mask and get through it. Maybe the only good thing about mandatory mask wearing, aside from not passing on the plague, is that it least keeps some of the worst looks safely trapped behind cloth. They can still see my eyes though… and there’s no hiding what’s happening there, I’m afraid.
After a weekend I’ve almost always got something to say. There’s almost always something ridiculous that’s happened that needs to be addressed. Almost, though, isn’t always.
This weekend there were books, and dogs, and takeout, and cooking, and weather that didn’t leave the back yard looking like a mud pit. It was just the kind of weekend that leaves me just about as content as I ever expect to find myself. It’s also the kind of weekend that just doesn’t make for good blogging.
It’s Monday now, but I’m still basking in a little of that reflected weekend glow. I won’t say I don’t have a care in the world, but for the time being there’s nothing too triggering trying to ruin the mood… aside from knowing that won’t last very long now that the working week is underway. I mean in the world of the professional bureaucrat, nothing is more detrimental to a good mood than the steady ping of emails or spreadsheets with no end. Well, maybe meetings, but those aren’t a problem until at least tomorrow.
Sigh, now that I think about it, maybe that sunny weekend disposition really has faded more quickly than I thought. If anyone needs me, I’ll be over here dwelling on meetings and how much I’d rather be hit in the face with a shovel.
Turns out that Monday is a mood killer after all.
It took well under fifteen minutes of being back at work for the restorative effects of nine days of rest and relaxation to be completely worn away.
Even in a plague year, even doing nothing of any significance, not having to dick around with “work stuff” was absolutely lovely. I’ve often heard people say they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they didn’t work. I literally have no idea what they’re talking about. Get a damned hobby or something. I’ve been accused often enough of not knowing how to “properly” have fun, but sitting quietly in an empty room, staring at a blank wall is better than the endless trickle of emails and questions that could have been resolved if someone had bothered to read the God forsaken memo.
I didn’t so much as give a though to needing to be off-site support for fluorescent lit cubicle hell until about 3:00 Sunday afternoon. Within 40 minutes of being at it, though, the only thing on my mind is how many days are between me and the next long weekend. In case you’re wondering, the answer is 11… and that’s awfully close to 11 too many.
I’ll always be glad of having a job that allows be to take care of the animals in the manner to which they’ve become accustomed… but there’s no power in heaven or on earth that can make the think it’s a good time.
Some days everything you touch turns to gold. Other days it all turns to shit. Today wasn’t either one of those type of days. It was more like everything I attempted to touch was wreathed in fog – no sooner was I just about to put my finger on it than it melted off into thin air. Days like this are far more obnoxious than the other type. At least when things are turning into gold or shit you know exactly what to expect.
Days like to day mostly leave me wondering what circuit is tripping in my head keeping me from focusing in on anything at all. I hope a post work drink or two and a good night’s sleep will reset things one way or the other – because spending two days in a row lost in this kind of fog sounds like an utterly awful idea.
I’ve made a lot of hay on this blog by posting about other people’s fuck ups. It only seems fair that I call myself out with the same level of snark.
You see, today I was trying to do something that should have been very simple. All I needed to do was spit a few reports out of a database, pretty them up a bit in Excel, and then pass them on. Well, the database in question was throwing errors, the info I needed just wouldn’t download. Fine, I say to myself, if I can’t automatically run a report I’ll just go in and copy/paste the information manually.
That, friends, is where the morning came off the rails. As it turns out, what I did wasn’t so much copying and pasting information into a report as it was overwriting about fifty line items in the database itself with duplicate information. Whoops.
The IT shop says they can (probably) revert all of the fields I jacked up back to their previous versions. I’ve been going about the day just pretending that they’re right… because if they’re not, I have no idea how the hell to go back and manually re-create everything that was there before I took a scythe to the data.
In conclusion, I’m an idiot and Mondays are stupid.
Most work days during the Great Plague have had a tempo. An ebb and flow. A period of hurry up and then one of wait. There are days that don’t conform to that simple pattern, though. It’s been easy to forget about those outliers these last few weeks – because almost uniformly the pace since mid-March scratched along somewhere between slow and steady.
The last couple of days were a reminder that the other kind of days are still lurking out there – the days when it feels like you barely look up from spending hours trying to swat down email as fast as it arrives and wondering what ridiculous shit is going to land on your desk next.
It’s a reminder, if nothing else, that working from home still finds its base in that most ugly of all the 4-letter words. There’s more to the story. There always is, but this little bit of it is what I’m going to focus on while a bigger, far more ridiculous effort rises in the distance. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll start to chronicle that little gem right here very soon, because it’s the zombie conference from hell that just won’t die and it’s a story worth telling.