Tuesday, March 17, 2020

This is all just too weird

When I left the office Friday, we were told to take our laptops home, "just in case ..." but to expect to be in the office for a 4 day/week this week. Different teams were going to stay home different days. I was assigned to wfh on Friday.

Then on Sunday night, we got an email from our COO. We're working from home for two weeks. All of us. Every day. Until March 30.

And then my computer crapped out. I had trouble with connectivity and the battery wouldn't charge.

I sent a hasty email to the director of our department, explaining to her that my company laptop wasn't going to last me two weeks. (I wasn't even confident it would last me through composing that email!) I told her if the IT department was working, I was happy to bring it in. But otherwise, I could work off my brand new personal computer. Only I wouldn't have the sanctioned email software -- and we have been slapped silly on numerous occasions for jeopardizing client confidentiality using the wrong email account (shades of Hillary Clinton).

I had a chiropractor appointment in the Loop anyway. I was confident that seeing him would be OK. They disinfect everything before/after each patient as part of their protocol. So I packed up two computers -- the company's and my own --  and headed downtown.

On the el.

If I catch the coronavirus, this is where I will have been exposed. The car was empty by daily commute standards. I counted 18 passengers. Clearly, we weren't 6 feet apart.

Oh yeah, and a guy coughed and spit on the floor. He had a smoker's cough, so I don't think he was contagious. But he was disgusting. I was very upset when I got off the el.

The doctor's appointment went fine, and I walked to the office. The city streets were lightly populated, but then the rain had turned to snow. People would have been moving fast to get in out of the weather anyway.

I got to the office and went straight to IT. Yes, they were working, though with a skeleton crew. They deemed my company laptop in dire condition. It needs to be cracked open and according to the warranty, only Apple can do that. There wasn't anyone available to authorize sending it off, or to give me a loaner. So I asked them to load what they could onto my personal laptop. Thank God I brought it with me!

When we were done, I saw that the director of our department finally answered my email. She emphatically said, twice, that what I chose to do was my decision. Go into the office, or don't. Completely up to me. It's okay to use my own software, my own computer. I don't have to worry about doing timesheets.

I don't have to worry about doing timesheets?

It became obvious to me that she, as an officer of the company, was not going to put in writing that I needed to step foot in the office while it was closed for the virus.

Folks, corporate America is scared shitless right now.  

At that moment, so was I. I wouldn't get back on the el. I took a taxi to the commuter train. It's more expensive, but it's cleaner and right now, cleaner means safer.

1 comment:

  1. The original plan for school was to work Monday & Tuesday on site and then virtually Wednesday through Friday. For two weeks. I suspect, however, it will be far longer than two weeks.