(Note: The point of the post is not to rehash The Plague or how we got here (if we could not, that would be eminently appreciated; lots of other people in other places are more than willing to do so); it is to denote one of those before and after moments that happens a great deal less in life than perhaps we think it would. )
Looking back into the historical files (e.g. blog postings and journals), I note that three years ago this week (technically 23 March 2020), I was sent home from the Office for the duration of "The Temporary Emergency".
Although I often do not remember details about a great many things, I remember the details about this one - I suspect that somewhere in my giant e-mail archive that I have acquired over the last six+ years, the e-mail notification is there somewhere. In my case I gathered everyone in the main conference room - at that time I was still nominally in charge of Quality Assurance and so had a number of people reporting to me - and made the announcement that we were all going home.
I remember the colors of the conference room and the looks of everyone looking at me for words - odd, because I had already announced I was "changing" positions I was still considered in charge of them. I cannot remember the words I said - probably something bland and generic about not to worry, do good work, be safe, we will communicate when we know more, etc. The sorts of things that one is expected to say in such circumstance.
I violated what would have been a number of "gospel" points in the coming days and weeks: multiple people gathered in a space, not masked, etc. etc. In retrospect had anyone known at the time, I likely would have been reprimanded for putting people's health at risk. But that was all lost in the ensuing storm.
Since that time, I have not been formally recalled to on-site work. My office - already forfeit as I been transferred out of my previous position - was gone and no work space ever reassigned to me. I, like many many other people, became work nomads: voices and words and 2-D faces on a screen.
It is odd to me how much of a before and after event this feels like now - even more so that something like 9/11, which created visible differences in how we conduct our lives (I am still reminded of this every time I fly). The sense of time has been completely stretched and thinned and turned - The Ravishing Mrs. TB has noticed this as well: she has often commented how three years ago seems like a lifetime ago and events in the interim seem either very close or very far away - or both, at the same time.
I had reason to go onsite earlier this month. The conference room has now been converted into a lab; the bulk of the people that were there on that day are no longer with the company. And yet looking into the lab, I can still see all of us gathered around that large conference table facing a future which none of us could have predicted the shape of.
How odd that one of those significant moments of my life - one of those "Gone With The Wind" moments occurred - in such an innocuous space.
I remember that time as well, the time 'we were all put in time-out' 8^). My wife had just had a motorcycle accident, breaking her ankle and unable to be set because of the swelling, was confined to a chair in an ankle boot. I brought my computer home, setting it on a desk, working from there and sending my work via email to my bosses - coworkers for inspection and coordination.ReplyDelete
My autistic son's life was put in shambles. Routine and habits are a big part of their life. His adult bowling league was of course cancelled for the duration, and his habit of eating out at restaurants was no longer possible - it was drive-thru or delivered. Very unhappy time for him.
I became the soul outside worker bee. I was the shopper, the person who went to pasture to feed - water our two cows and a donkey. My wife was struggling to learn how to teach her junior high children on-line (a lot of learning crunched in). She was lucky - she could not go to school campus but the campus came to her via a wire connection on the internet.
It was a big "time out", was it not?Delete
I cannot imagine the difficulty for your son - I am marginally on the spectrum (I suspect), and the disruptions to my own schedule were hard enough because I understood what was happening. That would have been so much harder if I could not.
My sister is a teacher and had many of the same issues your wife did with teaching students remotely (it sounds awful).
For the first 6-9 months I think the only places I went were to the rabbit shelter and the gym.
Being retired there was no employer to deal with nor was I able to ask other neighborhood friends since they are retired so a question or two, please. Did you bring home the company's laptop? Did your employer pay for electricity?ReplyDelete
Nylon12 - I brought home my laptop (same one I still using today). No payment for home used electricity, Internet access or (most importantly) coffee - but that seems to be a pretty common thing, from my acquaintances. There are no "reimbursement funds" - on the other hand, I likely save half a tank of gas a week (and the associated car wear and tear) and almost an hour a day in time from not commuting, so I still count myself ahead.Delete
In terms of going back - Between March and June 2020, when I formally transferred out of my position, I went back a handful of times, mostly just to "wave the flag" as the still-incumbent manager. Since then, I have probably been in less than 10 times, either for IT related items or the occasional touch base.
watching the banks collapse feels like a gone with the wind moment.
Perhaps because I was no longer gainfully employed and due to the nature of my wife's employment, she continued to go to work as normal, our lives weren't changed as much in those opening months. The one memory of that time was going for a walk in the middle of the afternoon, a time when the streets would be busy with people and cars and not seeing any. I could easily picture street scenes out of a zombie apocalyptical movie happening in short order. We live on a dead end street and the main entrance was closed due to them regrading and rebuilding the road. Our only entrance for nearly six months was a winding side street that until then, had only been used by a handful of households. So it really felt like we were cut off from society for awhile. I actually kind of enjoyed that feeling.ReplyDelete
Ed. New Home is much more urban based, but there was a long stretch where no-one was out walking or walking their dogs.Delete
I was field service. No changes for me, except the face diaper and the massive amounts of hand sanitizer that appeared. (I still don't know how much of that to drink so my hands are clean.)ReplyDelete
I kept working on stuff the general public handled, probably handled more after than before the pandemic. Still put on over a 1000 miles a week. Routers to rack, pc's to fix, etc....
But the time warp is real. The last three years are balled up into about ten weeks in my mind. I have a very hard time remembering what happened when. Unless it was yesterday.
I wrote 666 on the mask and wore it religiously at work. There were no neutral observers. "What's that mean?" "Without the mask, you can neither buy nor sell. We are just practicing." Or "holy crap, you wear that in public???" "Oh that's just wrong, man, just plain wrong!"
"The last three years are balled up into about ten weeks in my mind". That is it exactly - that, and for such a small period of time I feel as if the world has changed as much as it did from 40 years ago.Delete
Not sure if on topic but Important I think:ReplyDelete
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will convene the heads of top US financial regulators Friday morning for a previously unscheduled meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
The meeting will be closed to the public, the Treasury Department said in a statement. The Treasury didn’t say what time the meeting would begin, and it wasn’t immediately clear whether the council would issue a statement following the meeting.
The step comes as regulators continue efforts to instill calm in financial markets and among bank depositors following the recent failure of two mid-sized lenders in the US and the near-collapse of banking giant ...
We might be really close to a Bank Holiday.
Even Bank Credit Cards might get frozen for a while. Read the back of your card to see what bank owns it.
Got cash and a deep pantry?
Could be. Apparently not much of substance came out of the meeting today.Delete
A nothingburger is what I heard. However I've gotten wary of platitudes from our "Leaders".Delete
I was known to be nice to critters going to the slaughter. Makes them easier to handle.
I presume our leaders' ability to handle a true emergency is a best limited and at worst, non-extant.Delete
Larry Lambert of VM in the beginning of 2020 mentioned hearing from some friends in Wuhan about a 'flu' and the state had built 2 crematorium outside town that were running 24/7 and the flames could be seen by satellites. This was prior to 12/28/20 when Trump gave the announcement. Paid very close attention to his blog after that. But as Michael said above I have a very deep pantry.ReplyDelete
We were in Japan training when the first cruise ship with The Plague was docked there. It strikes me as odd that 1.5 months later the world had effectively shut down.Delete
It's interesting to read your perspective, but then, your job and travel were more typical of the everyday routines most people used to have. Like Ed, my life was pretty removed from day-to-day contact with folks. Except for a few inconveniences when going to the library or shopping, it didn't make much of an impression, except for feeling badly for folks who were so scared.ReplyDelete
Leigh, that is something I did not even consider - mostly because I was never in a sense of "terror" about it. But a great many people were - and in some ways still are - crippled by it.Delete
Honestly, once I was home from work, the rest of it became a minor nuisance (except for not having in person Iai class - that was a true pain).