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Dilbert During The Quarantine

July 20, 2020

I had a moment yesterday where for the briefest moment I was lost. Not lost on the map. I was lost on the calendar.

Like many of you, I’ve been working from home for weeks. . .months. And like many of you, my home life has blended into my work life. I’m on salary, so I don’t have to keep track of my hours. I’m on salary so I don’t get to keep track of my hours.

And let’s face it. None of us walk into the office at 8:00am, close the door and emerge at 5:00pm. That’s not how “work at home” works. We end up dealing with kids. And the plumber. And getting the mail. And WHAT IS THAT NOISE? And a million other distractions. The good news is that statistics show that even with the interruptions we are giving our employers more hours than they are paying us for.

Well, that’s kind of a good thing. It means we aren’t slacking off. But, it also means we are working, and stressing more than we were when we went to the office.

One my stress relievers is a Dilbert desk calendar. You know, the kind that has one strip per day? Every year I ask for one for Christmas and every year I end up buying myself one in January.

I used to have a friend that had one and I would look at his and randomly leaf through the days reading comics at random. My friend never did. Once I got my own copy I understood why. That daily comic is like a little scoop of ice cream. And it’s the newness of it that makes it tasty.

I left my Dilbert calendar in my office when I started working from home. I retrieved it today. That was a lot of ice cream to eat. The last day I was in the office was Monday March 16. That was 126 days ago. There are only 164 days left in the year.

The amount of pages I removed was nearly as many as I left.

It’s strange to think about returning to my office. In fact, I walked in and my monitors were face down on my desk. The drawers were open and a picture had been knocked off the wall.

Despite the fact that the door was locked it looked like someone had gone through my office. Hard to believe considering the amount of security our building has.

I was more than a little annoyed until I started thinking about the last 126 days. On March 18, 2020, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit Southwest Salt Lake City. It was centered in Magna, Utah, just South of the airport.

My office building is in Southwest Salt Lake City, just South of the airport and just East of Magna. It wasn’t a buglar that had trashed my office. It was an earthquake that rattled our building pretty good. . .two days after I started working from home.

So, Dilbert is no safely installed on my home office desk. And I’m seriously wondering if I will ever return to the office.

Oh, and yesterday I took a Sunday afternoon nap. I woke up in a panic because I was sleeping in the middle of a workday. I really needed Dilbert to tell me it was still the weekend.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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