Friday 20 March 2020

The First Day of Spring

Although I still consider the 21st of March the "true" first day of spring, I know the 20th - today - is now officially it. Therefore: Happy Spring, everyone! (I know some of my readers live in areas where it is not spring right now, but my good wishes refer to anyone - we can all do with good wishes right now, can't we.)

O.K. sent me this from his lunch break earlier this week. He still goes to work; WFH is not (yet?) possible with his job.
The magnolia trees in my street are almost there! This was today, on my way back from the supermarket.
This week was not much different from any other week, on the surface. I am used to working from home, and I still went for walks (once with my sister and once on my own) and running with my friend (we do not breathe in each other's face when running, and have not greeted each other with a hug or handshake, either).

Walking on the fields after work with my sister.
During the same walk, about 20 minutes later.
I went for my usual pre-weekend groceries shopping at Aldi's. 
More than one person said thank you to the staff at check-out; they deserve our respect and consideration. Unlike me and many others, they can not simply withdraw to work from home; they can not even keep much distance to those customers who are inconsiderate enough to sneeze into their hands and then hand cash over with that same hand. 
There are signs up that politely ask people to pay cash-less, if possible, but of course nobody is sent away if they insist on paying cash. Toilet rolls (what IS it about them?!) and some other items are rationed to one per person. Needless to say, there weren't any left - good job I don't need any, as quite by coincidence, I bought an as yet unopened pack the week before last.

Everybody who can is now encouraged to work from home. The canteen at my clients' office building has closed. They are selling packed lunches for those few who still work there; only a handful of staff, really.

When I normally work from home, it is one or two days a week when my biggest client does not expect anything from me - they know I am at home, and working for other clients. But now it is different, because they know I am WFH all week, and so I am expected to join all conference calls related to my projects there. At the same time, my other clients expect me to take their calls and reply to their emails every day now, too, when before they knew that I would deal only with their most urgent matters while at the office of my biggest client, and mostly Mondays and Fridays were reserved for them.

This all makes for very busy days, bordering on stressful. I guess it will all settle down in another week or so; for now, I sometimes have to be very firm and stop myself from quickly replying to one client's email while actually working on something for another client - they all expect an invoice at the end of the month with listings of what I have done for them, and when, and of course I keep track of the time I spend working for each of them in turn.
For instance, client A talks to me in a conference call from 10:00 to 10:30. After that, I may be working on a document for client B until lunch, from 10:30 to 12:00, while there might be another call with client A in the afternoon, but with different contacts. You get the idea.

O.K. is still set to spend the weekend here with me, which should be OK (!) seeing as we are both well and he travels by car, not exposing himself to unnecessary risks by using public transport which would be the case if I went to his place right now.

My upcoming birthday has been marked almost every day this week by cards and presents arriving in the mail. So lovely to have cards from some of you, my blogging friends! I am of course not opening presents until Sunday, and we all know that presents are not what it is all about, but I appreciate all these signs of friendship, love and kindness.

Stay safe, all of you, and do not forget to thank those who still work for all our benefit, at supermarkets, pharmacies, drug stores, in hospitals and surgeries, driving garbage trucks or trains and buses, and so on. Do not grumble at them - none of what's happening is their fault.


  1. What a thoughtful post! I understand your added work stress when working from home all the time. My son says that since everyone is working from home they spend a large amount of time in online meetings making it more difficult to actually get his work completed.

    I am so happy to hear that O.K. will be coming up to see you this weekend so you will not be spending your birthday alone. I'm sure you can have some wonderful walks in your area for a change. I love the picture of the sunset you took. How nice that your sister lives close to you. Take care and enjoy your weekend!

    1. Thank you, Bonnie. What your son says is happening here, too; good to know it's just not me who finds this more stressful than working normally.

      O.K. is not here yet... he worked late yesterday and we agreed to postpone the decision until today. If he should feel only slightly unwell, I would not want him to drive two hours only so that I can egoistically have him near me. It is still early (8:00 am as I am typing this), so I don't know yet whether I will indeed be spending my birthday alone or not.

  2. Wishing you a Happy, Healthy Birthday tomorrow.

    My daughter is, like many, working from home. Her five year old son is home, too (schools closed), and he isn't known for his patience. After the first hour at her desk he came up and asked, "Are you done yet?" :)

    1. Thank you, Mary!
      Yes, although I do not have children, I can easily imagine that the situation is a lot more challenging for families with little ones.

  3. It seems rather unfair that your clients do not treat things the same as usual just because you're working from home. I wish you a happy birthday tomorrow (and hope O.K. is "OK" and was able to join you!). My card may have got posted too late for it to arrive in time. But it should be on its way! :)

    1. Monica, I understand that th situation is far from normal for my clients, too; my contacts are also mostly WFH and many of them are not used to it like I am.
      I am looking forward to your card! :-)

  4. Happy Birthday dear friend! I sent you some snail mail greetings but they will be late (sorry). I hope you have a wonderful day! ❤🎁🎈🎉🎊💃

    1. Thank you, dear Jennifer! I have also sent you some snail mail greetings the week before last and was hoping they'd be there in time.
      I did have a strangely beautiful day - more about that in a future post :-)