Today, I wish I was a horror writer. I'm back in my physical office for the day to pack up my cubicle in preparation to move to a new desk. It's a literal ghost town here. Most employees of my agency seem to have opted not to return to the office and right now it's on a volunteer basis. I thought that might change in the coming months, but both my agency and subagency have recently issued mandatory mask wearing in buildings again. It had been lifted a while ago, but today they reinstated it because of the Delta variant. I'm vaccinated, but brought a mask anyway, and now I'm glad I did.
I took a stroll through the building to check out my new desk and it's so creepy. They've shut off some of the lights to save power, and there's very few people here. In my section, there's only me. I don't mind the quiet, and that part isn't that far from what it was like before. I often worked in the office on days the rest of my team worked from home. It's the silence in the rest of the building that is unnerving. A new coworker reminded me of a book I read for my MFA last fall. Severance by Ling Ma. When I read the book, I thought it was surreal that we were assigned that book in the middle of an actual pandemic. If anyone isn't familiar with it, it's basically a zombie apocalypse, but the zombies aren't "eat your brain" zombies and the disease is airborne. There were a lot of similarities between the story and COVID.
As creepy as it is, it's actually kind of nice. I prefer working in quiet surroundings and at home have to actively tune out my daughter. The set up here is nice, too. While at home I have a door, the need to close it during meetings makes my office/bedroom a bit stuffy in the summer months. Here, the a/c is set at a comfortable temperature and the constant whirring I hear overhead is a nice white noise. Additionally, while I have two monitors at home as well, I like the set up of my work monitors better. The desk is wider, allowing for more room to push them back and they are at a decent height. Sometimes my monitors at home give me a crick in the neck even though I've tried to adjust them to a lower setting. They sit on a shelf because there isn't enough space on my actual desk to accommodate them.
It'll be interesting to see what our return to work looks like, assuming that the new variants don't further delay plans. My agency was supposed to submit a plan by July 19th, but I haven't heard anything about what that plan looked like. We had a pretty awesome telework policy in the before times, but there's been talk about increasing the accessibility of telework post covid.
In the meantime, I might submit future requests to come into the building just for a change of pace. If nothing else, it's really helped my step count!
Leave a Reply.
Book reviews, random thoughts, and writing samples from an aspiring author.