COVID-19: Notes from the Stay-At-Home Gang
I’m an introvert. So you’d think I’d love coming into the office when most of the folks are working at home.
Here’s the funny thing. When the whole gang’s here, I barely venture out of my office which is at the back of the building. I scurry in the back door, and slip into my office to hunker down and spend the day writing. Sure I talk to the marketing guys because we work together, but mostly that’s it.
So it would make total sense if this new setup made me happy. But it doesn’t. I miss everyone. I miss their voices. I miss their laughter. I miss the weird clapping thing they do sometimes. I miss the energy and the smell of popcorn (because someone is always making a big batch of salty popcorn) and the casual “hellos” and waves from people who walk by my opened door.
I miss the people, introvert or not!
So I sent out an email late last week to my colleagues and asked for book recommendations, movie recommendations, funny stories, and general updates on what their lives look like now, and I thought I’d share the responses with our blog readers.
And also–it’s kind of cool to see how people are responding. Here in Illinois we will be under a revised stay-at-home order until the end of May (and perhaps longer). Outsourced logistics is what we do, but the people who make up our team–they are who we are, hardworking, resilient, and adaptable.
“What we do isn’t much different than before, but we have a lot more time to do it these days!” That’s Laura Matthews, the customer relations expert you know and love. She’s the mother of 2nd grader, Kylah, and kindergartner, Caleb. So Laura’s got a little company as she works at home.
“I save several hours a day by working from home and not having to get kids ready, and drive to and from town. In the evenings we still spend the majority of our time outside playing in the yard, riding the go cart, going for four-wheeler rides, and fishing.”
Laura’s known around the office for her exceptional baking skills (think peanut butter pie), and she says she is now making things she didn’t make before like crab rangoon (yum!). And while laundry is a little lighter now (they are hanging around in jammies), “dishes and vacuuming seem to have quadrupled.”
As for movies and games. Well, the Matthews gang has watched the old Shaggy Dog movies, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (too many times to count), as well as Frozen 2, Onward, and Trolls World Tour.
“It’s nice staying home and having extra family time to do more of the fun things. It’s nice not to be on the go all the time as well. I don’t feel rushed all the time to get ready and out the door in the morning, and then in the evenings, I definitely don’t feel rushed to get homework done, supper ready, baths, and to bed on time,” Laura wrote. “It’s been nice.”
Chad Martin, a carrier rep at AMT, has been working-from-home out of his basement. And when he’s not busy with logistics, he is outside doing yard work, or visiting with friends. “A few of my friends and I have been using Zoom to communicate and hang out while having beverages,” Chad wrote back.
What else is he doing to pass the time? Golf when the weather is nice enough. “I have actually started walking while playing instead of riding in the golf cart, and surprisingly enough I’m enjoying it way more than I expected to.”
Because stay-at-home orders vary from state to state, it’s kind of hard to plan any sort of travel right now, but when we get back to normal (whatever that looks like) Chad plans to do more traveling and more visiting friends.
Michael McKinney, on the other hand, is enjoying aspects of the slow down. “One of the best parts has been the family dinners. All of us together, around the table, breaking bread and talking. We were lucky to do this one time per week prior to the pandemic, and now we’re eating together 5-6 nights a week. I’m hopeful we can keep up a more regular schedule with dinner after this is over.”
And although dinner has been his favorite part of the lockdown, the McKinney group has been watching movies from the 80s and 90s. So far, The Breakfast Club has been the favorite.
Games are good too! “We’ve busted out the old Wii and have been playing Mario Kart, Wii Sports, and Super Mario Brothers.”
Heath and Rob
Heath and Rob also hit me up with some funny lockdown stories.
Heath and his wife Whitley have a 2 year old daughter Ellie, and a baby on the way. And they have a pretty good sense of humor too.
“Watching church Easter Sunday was interesting,” Heath wrote. “Ellie took a nosedive off the couch onto the chair where we had the Ipad set up. After making sure she was okay, Whitley and I cried laughing for the next 20 minutes.”
Thank goodness, I’m not the only person whose kids provide an almost endless amount of comedic relief.
And Rob wrote, “My kids have encouraged (forced) me to watch every episode of the reality television series, The Incredible Dr. Pol on National Geographic Wild (via Disney+). I’ve watched every episode of all 16 seasons . . . multiple times. Seriously, I’m confident that I could effectively treat a bloated cow with a trocar if called upon to do so.”
If you don’t know what a trocar is, don’t look it up. Unfortunately, I did.
It was nice to hear from everyone working from home. I look forward to seeing them sometime soon. Hopefully when we come out on the other side of this, we can get together in our beer garden, grill out, and trade stories.
Until then, we’ll just have to stay in touch remotely. If you have any funny stories or recommendations to share, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to hear from you too!