What I learned this week…

I have many friends who like to claim status as introverts, misanthropes, or hermits. 

Maybe they are those things… but only a little. Six weeks of “quarantine,” shelter-in-place, or stay home orders have them filling up my inbox with a steady stream of messages about boredom, or wanting to go places, or see people, or otherwise get back to their lives as usual. 

Meanwhile I’m over here living my life as usual.

We’re out in the tall grass of introversion, here kiddies. The Great Plague is for deep end hermit-ing. Maybe my friends do need a little time away from people now and then, but me, yeah, I was built for this shit.

What I learned this week…

It turns out some people get bored at home. I’m sure I knew there were people out there who filled every moment going places and doing things, but it never occurred to me that being bored at home was a possibility until I started seeing so many people saying as much. Thanks Facebook. 

Maybe I’ve never even considered the possibility because I’ve spent years structuring life in such a way that boredom at home isn’t something that can happen. Here in its penultimate form at Fortress Jeff, I’ve surrounded myself with books and movies and animals, failsafed the power supply, and laid in sufficient food to mostly sustain us all beyond the occasional need for fresh produce. Even if I weren’t working from home, there would be enough around-the-house projects to keep me going indefinitely… and that’s before even starting in on the yard work. 

The idea that I should somehow be bored under the circumstances simply never crossed my mind. The world has merely adopted social distancing. I was born into it, molded by it.

So I’ve got that going for me. Which is nice.

General alarm…

For the record, when the building is locked down and employees have been told to “shelter in place,” it’s not a good idea to send people out of the designated safe zones to track down people elsewhere in the building. We have these fancy things called telephones on our desks that are like search parties, but not as apt to end up getting you smashed on the head or eviscerated by flying debris. Also, your senior staff and supervisors all are issued cell phones/blackberries. Texting and email works pretty well on those even when you can’t get a call out. Plus, you’re paying like $10k a month for them so why not given them a workout?

I won’t even go into how we heard nothing from your vaunted security and operations staff. MIA. The whole time we were locked down. I have to admit that telling the director of the organization with which we share the building that we didn’t want to talk to them about what went well and what didn’t was a nice touch… Especially since we’re technically their tenant. I mean we certainly wouldn’t want to consider ways we could do things more effectively in the future. Way to make friends and influence people. The two senior people in the building continuing their urination contest during a period of crisis is sure to fill the workforce with a sense of confidence in their leaders. Nice work, Captain Queeg.

Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of previously de-published blogs appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.