ARE there biscuit crumbs in your keyboard?
Are there three, half-drained ceramic coffee cups at your work station?
Is your comfortable office chair, well, not even there?! (In its place, is a faux Finnish timber stool from underneath the kitchen bench.)
You too are hot-desking from home with half of your clan, yet again.
The odd collection of labelled highlighters, art sketch books and a FitBit on charge are further proof that your working from home office space has nothing on your working from work office space.
One Direction Reunion is all over your computer screen. Are those boys even old enough for a reunion? Random, right!? (Anyhow, they did have that Best Song Ever, literally, if nothing else!)
During the national lockdown amid the escalating coronavirus crisis in March-April, working from home and distance education were par for the course.
We learnt on the run and adjusted quickly.
It was complete chaos and we dealt with it, there and then.
During the national lockdown amid the escalating coronavirus crisis in March-April, working from home and distance education were par for the course. We learnt on the run and adjusted quickly. It was complete chaos and we dealt with it, there and then.
MORE MATERIAL GIRL:
Everyone was leaning into the discomfort and learning to Zoom - for school, work, rest and play.
My daughter's flute teacher knew to not start the music lesson until our near-17-year-old labradoodle was in position, lying flat out on the bed behind my daughter, snoring. (The dog, not my daughter!)
We all got across the new routine, quick-smart!
This time around with only regional and metropolitan Victoria in stage 3 and 4 restrictions, respectively, Border residents have been impacted differently depending on where we live and breathe in the border bubble. (These scenarios have changed from week to week, without much notice.)
Having worked from the kitchen bench during the national lockdown, I had backache from the unergonomic stool and heartburn from the lack of pantry social distancing.
When the kids went back to school and my husband went back to work, I migrated to the office.
There was a door, it was warmer and there was less food lying around the place.
Last week my husband resumed working from home and the one office chair we own between us became our most valuable set of wheels. It was essentially more prized than either of our cars, which were effectively going nowhere fast.
For five days we time-shared that office chair.
"Okay, the chair's all yours for an hour while I go out," I'd say.
"Get comfortable, but not too comfortable, if you know what I mean."
On the first morning of us both working from home 2.0, my husband had made us three espresso coffees by 11am; flat whites with Tim Tams and/or Mint Slice biscuits to boot.
I was wired by lunch and couldn't sleep for two nights.
"I'm not sure we can work together," I say, despite the fact we have previously worked in the same newsrooms for a quarter of a century without an issue.
"The coffee is manageable but the Tim Tams have got to stop!"
When we sat down to dinner midweek at the kitchen bench - my office in a previous pandemic lockdown - we were one chair short of a full set.
The fourth stool was AWOL in the office.
By week's end, my husband had borrowed an office chair, which was actually more reason to celebrate than finding a chest freezer in a pandemic.
Now we have two chairs and two computers in a shared office overstocked with chocolate biscuits.
With no flute lessons done from home now, the dog has migrated to the office too.
She is still snoring - this time on the sofa - but out of Zoom microphone range.
Now we're all sitting tight pending any more changes to border restrictions.
I'm also flat out Googling standing desks.
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