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Day fifteen of the quarantine: an experience

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Monday morning. Mornings are a peaceful time in our house of late. The children know they will be fed so they wait, we cook, they eat, we drink coffee and start our day.

Monday was going to be different. I decided that I am going to organize my office and move it into the bedroom so I can hear the birds sing through the morning snow. It snowed last night and it lasted until noon on our terrace. Instead of being stuck in the back room, wedged between beans, toilet paper and 25kg bags of rice, I planned to set up shop in our bedroom, with the nice view of a tree. No longer will I share a wall with the children’s playroom, and having them peak in distracting me. I will be at the other end of the apartment and mom will intercept them before they can break into my shiny new office. I will be looking out the window at the smoking neighbors on the balcony, be privy to a better phone connection, and have space around me to spare!

It all started with moving the garden off my current worktable and onto the floor – it is sunnier down there and the garden and I saw this as a win-win situation. I moved the table through the house and into the bedroom. My wife was not impressed but I promised that when flower shops reopen, I would be the first customer in line. If the flower shops stay closed, I will move to plan “B” from last year. Coming home from the bar in the wee hours of the morning, I mowed down my neighbors rose bush to impress my wife with a bundle of thorny joy.

After quelling the revolt, I moved the files, the computers, the printer, chairs and books. We are going to be locked in for at least a couple of more weeks so I figured the bedroom may as well get some use. I set it all up in record time, everything fit to the millimeter and in a matter of an hour I started up the computers and dialed into my morning call. Now the call went as usual: everyone is still pretending that the world is fine and we are all busy working.

Now technology is not my friend. I can use it, but I have mostly old stuff and I never even request new things from my employer. Why, it works? I am convinced I have the oldest computer in the company and am the only one without an iphone. I currently use two computers because my large display uses one of those cables which don’t fit the newer models. I refuse to pay CZK2000 for a cable. One device has a CD player, one not etc. Basically, with the two computers I can use everything and anything and when I prepare stuff I have three screens.

This particular morning was not the case because as I loaded up old sparky, it just seized up. To my despair, I had not sent the file to my email or cloud and it was go time. I started sweating and hitting buttons pretending the device may just spring back to life. Restart, three times, to no avail. Old sparky was done. Not a good start to the work week.
I had lots to do so I settled into my new class-A office and fired up the newer computer and started working. I noticed that the internet signal was significantly weaker than the storage room. It was a good time to connect that Repeater device I bought two years ago.

I actually found the Repeater device and followed through the instructions. I felt like a super IT man. All the IP addresses, connections, resets, and bang – it didn’t work. I fiddled around with the Repeater but then looked at my phone and noticed that it was 13:00. How did that happen? I went to the kitchen to make some lunch. I then played some hide-and-go-secret with my boys, a bit of shark-attack (tag), brewed a coffee and back to the office. Upon my return I was a little off that it was 15:00, I had not started anything, was down to one computer, no display and the internet signal was still barely breaking through the walls.

I dove into my project and built the spreadsheet of dreams. Everything looked nice and organized, all the information was summarized well and I sent it off to my colleagues for review tomorrow. I looked at my phone and it was 19:30. How did that happen?

I read about people working longer during this lock-down because of the lower productivity or just not having that natural instinct of leaving because others are also packing it up. And there I was, late evening and working away in my apartment, ignoring my family.

For tomorrow I decided no moving, no IT endeavors, and straight to work!

Paul Lysek – The idea of writing a daily update came to me by seeing, hearing and trying to understand all the things that are happening around us at this time. This story is a combination of all those sources, including friends, relatives, and experiences with attempts to bring out the satire, emotion and changing environment of the situation. It is entirely fictional, with the exception of my sarcasm.

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