Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks


Yes, it can be done.  Or sort of can be done. This old dog has learned a few new tricks...kinda.

Let's face it we ALL had to learn new tricks over two years ago when Covid hit us.  I had never regularly worked from home.  I couldn't imagine it.  My life and the way I worked change.  I like it.  And I don't want to go back to the way things were, but...

As you know if you've been reading this blog, I've been "requested" to return to the office (which is a different office than I worked in pre-pandemic).  I'm not happy about it.  I'm not loving it.  However, I am adjusting. Or at least trying.

One adjustment is how I carry my "stuff."  (You know I wanted to use another s word right?)  I have never been a backpack person, but that has changed.  Before the pandemic and before my smallish company was sold to a large company (which in turn is owned by a BIG corporation), the team was given branded backpacks.  I got one, but I never used it.  I never needed to.  It recently dawned on me that I still had it tucked away in the plastic bag that it came in.  I was easily able to fit my "commute to office essentials" into it and it actually seems to be lighter to carry.  (I'm guessing it's just the way the weight is distributed as I carry it.)  

Second (and I can't believe I'm admitting this), I'm actually liking my walk from Penn Station to the office in the morning and definitely not minding it at night.  The interior corridors are definitely a big part of this.  I have only once had to go outside to get from the office to Penn Station (that was back in April when we did our "test run") and walking a couple of blocks on "inside bridges" is interesting as I watch the progress and promise of new businesses that will open.  Supposedly there will be a Dunkin' opening before I get to my building, as opposed to after (so I pass it and then go back) which will be good.  Now that I have a backpack, I have the hands to carry a hot coffee before starting my work day.  (And I didn't even spill yesterday.)

Third, I have played around with my workstation, which is adjustable.  Yes, I can stand and work or I can sit and work.  I don’t' think I would like standing all day, but it does mix things up a bit and sitting all day is definitely not the thing to do.  When I am at home I am always moving around (because there are always little things that need to be done), at the office I try to walk around as well.  It may seem silly, but I take a different path to the ladies' room each time I go.  Different corridors and a few more steps are a good thing.

When I am in the office, I need to use a conference room for phone calls.  I don't bring my headsets and even if I did, anything I said would be heard by the whole side of the floor.  (Who wants that?  As it is I could hear my co-worker "talk to text" a lot yesterday afternoon.)  I'm not settling for one conference room.  There are a half dozen (or more) on my floor.  I'm going to give them all a try.  Especially the ones that are more remote (away from the rows of workstation) where you get more privacy.  If they are all taken (that it NEVER going to happen) there are two "phone booths"  They are not your old school phone booths, but small enclosed spaces with a phone, chair and a shelf like "desk" for a lap top (as well as electrical outlet.)  An interesting concept that I think I'm going to have to try.

Lastly, I "learned" a new trick that I didn't want to learn.  As I was getting ready to head home, I noticed on the transit app that my bus was not showing up a 4:30.  Okay, so I would hang out at the office and go for the 5:00.  But that didn't show up either.  The last express is at 5:20 and I didn't want to risk it, so I reluctantly purchased a light rail ticket (which adds just under two dollars on to my trek) and made my way there.  Though the light rail was quite full, it was better than I expected.  It was still slightly light out when I got to my stop where I unfortunately (or so I thought at the time) missed the first bus that would have gone through my town.  (There are 2.)  Luckily the next bus that came was also one that would work for me, so I was able to hop on that.  Traffic at this hour was heavy (no surprise), there was a detour due to roadwork (ugh) and I found out (too late) that something from the cracked light fixture I was sitting by/below) was leaking onto me (yuck), but I still got home earlier than I would have if I had waited for the 5:20.  

One final note, as I walked home, I noticed a big accident right at the corner where I would have crossed the street if I had caught the bus at I missed at the light rail station.  Was this a sign?  Perhaps there is one more lesson this old dog needs to learn; when things don't go like you want/expect maybe there's a reason and/or maybe it's for the best.  I don't know if this is one that will take, but I'll try.


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