9 things you’ve learned since you started working from home

26 March, 2020 · 5 min read
Milton Miaow

Just a few months ago you were looking forward to 2020. “I’ll get a hobby!” you thought. “Maybe I’ll take up rambling. Or urban fishing!” You probably didn’t imagine you’d be spending quite so much time working from home. And yet here you are, working from home. These are the things you have learned.

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1. Your cat is the worst

You love your cat. Of course you do. But you also know that cats are emotional vampires whose sole goal in life is to stop you from ever being happy. And that’s fine when you only see them in the mornings or evenings, and leave them to pursue their own sinister agenda during the day. But now you are at home all the time, and it’s a nightmare. Your cat follows you from room to room. Your cat sits on your laptop when you’re typing. Your cat sleeps at the top of stairs in the hope you will trip over and take a fall. Your cat hisses at you that your productivity is down and morale is low. Your cat is no good.

A photo of a cat. Not your cat. This cat is nicer than your cat.
A photo of a cat. Not your cat. This cat is nicer than your cat.

2. Your neighbour appears to be learning the oboe

Or maybe it’s a bassoon. Or a haunted cello. Whatever it is, it sounds bad and it doesn’t seem to be stopping. Oh, now he’s doing Come on Eileen. Wonderful.

3. You are addicted to Super Noodles

You began your working-from-home schedule with a vow to stay fit and healthy, cooking your own meals from scratch using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Pasta puttanesca. Halloumi salad. Some kind of beef pho. And now, for the fifth day running, you are wearing jogging bottoms and microwaving a bowl of instant noodles, wondering if you can give them a modern Masterchef twist by crumbling a plastic cheese slice on top of them and covering them with Sriracha. Tomorrow you will try grating lemon zest on them.

Your noodles are worse than these noodles, but your bowl is better than that bowl.
Your noodles are worse than these noodles, but your bowl is better than that bowl.

4. You are obsessed with other people’s houses

Until recently you assumed Zoom was a word to indicate something was going very fast, or perhaps what parents in Crouch End called their children. But it turns out that Zoom is software that allows you to hold virtual meetings. And of course the meetings are as tedious as real life meetings, but with one wondrous difference: it allows you to see where your co-workers actually live. And of course their houses are so much nicer than yours. Look, there’s Damon, with his industrial chic light fittings and bespoke heirloom daughter. And Tom appears to live in some kind of Berlin loft apartment with exposed brickwork and a personal barista. And look at Lulu’s range of cheese plants. None of them are wilting like yours are. It’s not fair.

5. You realise that 20 seconds is a long time

Before the last few weeks, if someone had asked you how long you wash your hands for, you’d have said 20 seconds. You realise now this was not true. It was a comforting lie you told yourself. You actually washed your hands for approximately 1.5 seconds. And now, because you are a good citizen, you are actually washing your hands for 20 seconds and you can’t believe how long that is. It’s almost an hour. Whole civilizations rise and fall while you sadly sing happy birthday to yourself, twice. Sometimes you forget the words.

 What a bathroom! Perhaps this man lives in a hotel.
What a bathroom! Perhaps this man lives in a hotel.

6. You have too many clothes

Do you remember those crazy, decadent days when you thought you needed more than one pair of jeans? Or more than one jumper? They’re long gone. The stress of choosing what to wear every day is a thing of the past. You will wear THE jeans paired with THE jumper. Hats? You don’t even remember what they are. A hat may as well be a pigeon or a clock. Still, it does give you a chance to achieve the almost impossible feat of LAUNDRY BASKET ZERO.

7. You discover Joe Wicks

For years you assumed that Joe Wicks was a minor Eastenders character or the glamorous heir to a kitchen empire, but now you know the truth. He’s a chirpy keep fit guy with INCREDIBLE hair who wants to bully you into doing P.E. every morning. And because you are lonely and just want to connect, you allow Joe to bully you into doing 5 minutes of P.E. in the morning, before realising you are even less fit than you thought.

8. There are no more days

Is it Monday? Or Wednesday? Is it the day the Tesco man finally comes, or is it the day you make a wicker effigy of a crow and burn it in the garden, hoping to appease the angry spirits? Is it rain day or gloom day or wind day? You no longer know. There is only sunrise and sunset. The calendar mocks you.

An actual crow. Not like the wicker crow effigy you have made.
An actual crow. Not like the wicker crow effigy you have made.

9. You have befriended a wizard

It’s strange, isn’t it? The days blur into one, and everything feels different, but you could swear that your house used to only have two bedrooms, and now there is a mysterious third bedroom that has appeared in the illogical space under the stairs, and inside the room lives Wendel the Wizard, who is both ancient and ageless and is happy to conjure phantoms and transform gold into lead for the price of bowl of hot beans. You like Wendel. You cannot remember a time when he wasn’t there.

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