meep (meep) wrote,

They never ask me

Stu had been telling me about this-that-or-the-other which was totally in opposition to my perspective (no, this is not political) and I said, "They never ask me."

It made me think of all the talk from the WORK FROM HOME FOREVER folks, as if all of us have a good place at home to work from.

I don't want to get into the details about why this is my current set-up, but my work set-up is in the front parlor. I have a two-monitor setup: the laptop monitor, plus a separate one from my company (maybe 28 inches? Just approximately.... )  I have the big monitor up on a gateleg table that used to be a kitchen table to eat breakfast on. I have my laptop set on a sidetable, plus 4 of my favorite hardcover books lifting it up: museum catalog from a Candace Wheeler exhibit at the Met; North Carolina museum of history book on Thomas Day (a black furniture maker from NC/VA from he colonial period, and I love his work), The Illustrated Wee Free Men (Terry Pratchett and Stephen Player), and The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte.

I'm sitting on an IKEA futon couch/pull-out bed, and I have a wall that has been completely tagged by D. Sometimes I get on Zoom/Teams meetings with camera on and blurred background, but most of the time I have my camera off, or I just don't bother with blurring. The lighting is poor in here in any case.

I liked driving 70 miles one way from home to Hartford, giving me time and space to thing about things, listen to long audiobooks, etc. I liked being in Hartford during the day, walking around the Connecticut River at lunchtime or going to noon Mass at the downtown Franciscan church. I never plan on living in CT (though if I did, it would be on the coast - great sailing opportunities). I like taking that trek, but especially I like having a big separation between where I live and where I work.

There have been loads of plusses for me with all the WFH: I have been able to go to conferences that I would never be able to go to in person. I can't do a lot of travel now, even if there were no pandemic. So I had been excluded from loads of events... but now I can participate! Long-distance attendees are normal, and so I can present or get involved in things I normally wouldn't.

However, I am surrounded by my family. Stuart is the easiest to deal with - I can tell him I have meetings, etc.  But Diarmuid is the most difficult. He knows there are things I can do for him that he has trouble with, and others in the family can't really do it.  This mainly has to do with really intricate marble-run/chain-reaction-type set up kits. The girls don't have the patience, and Stu doesn't have the fine motor abilities right now due to peripheral neuropathy coming from his cancer treatments. The issue in general is that Mama is always available now, and frankly, I need to not be available.

That's not the only problem. My working world has shrunk only to those I have scheduled meetings with -- I used to walk around and chat w/ people from other departments, and that's an important way to spread/share information.

In any case, various people seem very happy to make certain changes, but I was never asked if I was happy about it. Everybody assumed I was.

Well, I'm not.

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