In my room
Dear Fred, Working from home isn’t all it is cracked up to be.
I am not sure what workplaces are like in 2120 future reporter Fred, but this week I made the transition to working at home for the duration of the COVID-19 situation.
With a wife who is teaching from home, a daughter doing her college classes from home and a son doing his middle school classes from home, adding me working from home was something of a challenge.
Equally daunting is that no matter how much you love and want to be around your family it can be a pain when you are around them too much.
Our solution to this challenge was to carve out separate spaces. My son and daughter largely work from their bedrooms and my wife is using a spare bedroom for her work.
This left me with needing to get slightly more creative, since as my wife kindly tells me, I am loud when I work. Specifically when I am writing things like columns and editorials I have a habit of reading them out loud as I write, or having arguments with myself over points. Add to this any phone interviews that I have to make, and it makes them not want to share a cramped workspace with me.
My solution was to set up my work station in the storage room off our basement that I use primarily for my home brewing activities. When we moved into our house, the room was initially used as a play room and at one time housed an impressive collection of Barbie and Polly Pockets paraphernalia. I have taken over the room for my own projects as my children have outgrown the need for the space.
In addition to the boxes of Christmas wrapping paper, and toys awaiting some far distant potential future grandchild to play with, I currently have two carboys burbling happily in the corner with brews started last weekend, three more carboys awaiting planned brewing activities and several cases of various home-brewed beer and wine from past sessions.
Home brewers are similar to hardcore quilters in that our output is often far greater than our immediate needs and we have to at times be creative in justifying starting new projects while still not having homes for the recently completed ones.
My hope (and the justification I give to my wife when she sees me brewing up more beer) is that by the time the beer is ready to drink, the self isolation will be over and we will hold a party for all the friends and neighbors we haven’t been able to see for weeks.
A major advantage of my chosen home-office location is that it puts me in a working zone. It is not like attempting to work at the dining room table or taking over the living room, I would find too many distractions in those locations.
My little corner of my basement is a quiet nook where I can get things done. And I really can’t complain about having a commute that takes less than a minute, not like the seven-block commute I normally have is much to complain about.
Sorry for not giving you much to work with here future reporter Fred. I debated diving into the craziness with the COVID-19 and the election, but with the situation changing hour by hour, it is hard to keep up. What I do know is that I really wish that party leadership, specifi cally in the legislature, would set aside their powergames and focus on doing what is right for the people of the state regardless of whose idea it is.
Brian Wilson is News Editor at The Star News.