Policies, policies

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I have found myself stuck between two policies at work. The policies have forced me to take a “sick vacation.”

So, this last weekend I was sick again. The second time in two months. Normally I have a pretty good immune system, but apparently the cold/flu season is going to be coming back this year. So, of course, with the cold comes all the congestion, runny nose, cough, a general miserableness. No fever though, thankfully. I was a couple nights of discomfort over the weekend but not too bad.

Yesterday, I was telecommuting (my normal days are Monday, Thursday, and Friday) and mentioned that I hadn’t felt good most of the weekend but was recovering fine. I was considering flipping my telecommute days so that I could stay home a couple more days in a row just to let the symptoms subside a bit more when I was told that I would need to have a negative Covid test before I could go back to work at the office. WTH? I talked with my manager (she isn’t happy about the policy either because it creates a lot of stress for the whole team) and with the telecommute policy limited to 60% of the month and a holiday coming up, switching days just wouldn’t work. Since that is the case, I am forced to take two sick days while I seek out a test and wait for results.

Seek out. Yes, I have to seek out a test. Weird, isn’t it?

Remember “back in the old days” of this whole thing you could go some place, drive thru and be done in 15-20 minutes? Not so much now.

In a world that is entirely consumed with fear about covid and makes irrational policies about what you can and can’t do, you would think that finding a place and opportunity to get a test done would be ample. Not so much! In my community and surrounding area (within about a 20 minute drive) there are roughly 10 places to get a test. More than half of those places require an appointment. At least three of those places are “urgent care” facilities and require long waits (don’t get me started) and a full charge visit to a doctor. Most of those places don’t even do a test for you unless you are “symptomatic.” For all intents and purposes, anyone looking to get a test done would likely have to take time off work to get one done.

Good grief.

All this fear but no one seems to want to make it easy to find out if you have it or not.

All this just to go back to an office I really don’t want to go back to in the first place because I can do my job anywhere with internet.

Friggin’ world is backwards.

Unhappy returns

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The time has come and I am not liking it whatsoever. Mostly because I feel it is so unnecessary. I can literally do this anywhere in the world and having an office, a cubical, is the most unwanted and unnecessary thing in the world right now.

Tomorrow, I have to start going back to the office.

The telecommute policy has been expanded, but that still means I am going to have to go back to the office on an average of two, sometimes three, days a week, depending on the month and various other activities that need in-person attendance.

Of course, we all now know that nothing really requires an in-person presence since we have been away from the office for 15 months straight and we have been doing our job completely and totally without fail for that time.

As you can probably assume, or tell, I am not stoked about this in any way.

Changing telecommute

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Well, after telecommuting full time for the last 16 months, there is a date to start going back to the office and I am not sure I am all that happy about it. Actually, I am sure that I am not. I lied. I am not happy about it.

Yes, I realize that the expectation to be at the office for work has always been there but this whole situation has fully exposed the fact that we don’t need to be in an office to get our job done. We have proven beyond that shadow of a doubt that our job can be done fully remote and that our clients have been affected to the smallest degree possible. In fact, many have commented over the this time about not really even realizing we were all working from home except that they knew we were working from home. That’s how we roll. There was no break in service, ever.

Anyway, the time has come to get back to the office and there will still be a telecommute policy as before, except that there is a new proposal to expand upon it. Frankly, I don’t think the expansion goes far enough and while I haven’t talked to any of my co-workers yet, I am sure there are quite a few who will express similar feelings.

Prior to the pandemic, we were allowed two days a week (40%, with a few limitations on what days they could be). Now, we are going to be allowed three days a week (60%, not sure of limitations yet). Also what remains to be seen is whether or not this policy has built in flexibility, meaning I don’t have to have a set three days but can pick and choose when I want to telecommute.

Anyway, I don’t think three days is enough.

It could be and should be more.

Perhaps I’ll see what is out there, in regards to full time telecommute and whether or not a change can be had.

Never hurts to have options, right?

40%

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We, as in our office (which is in a separate location from the “head office”), got an update on the policies regarding telecommuting during this health crisis, scare, whatever you wanna call it.

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, telecommuting policy said that we could telecommute up to 40% of a work week (two days) and that could only be done on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. I have talked about before how my job could literally be done from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, so 40% for my office is a ridiculous restriction.

Now, with COVID-19 being a thing and recommendations from every level of government (techinically I am a public employee) stating that employees should stay home and telecommute if feasible (again, it is totally feasible for my office) the “head boss” has issued new permissions for telecommuting.

Yesterday’s email said, in effect, “we are allowing telecommuting on Mondays and Fridays now, but we are still limiting overall permission to 40% of the work week, per board policy.” In other words, we are still required to go into our office three days a week! So, if I may paraphrase…policy over people. I gotta say, that right right there is some crappy ass leadership.

I have said it before and I will maintain that I am not an alarmist by any means. I am going about my daily life normally. I went out to eat last night and supported a local business near my home.

This issue I have here is that a public institution is going against the recommendations of the government, the one that funds it, and demanding adherence to a policy which they clearly have been given the green light to alter in this extraordinary time. There is no expectation by me or my colleagues that the alteration would adjust regular practice in the future (though we would like to see that). We just want acknowledgement that our government agency is recognizing the recommendations of the government and that isn’t happening.

I am in the office today. Nearly all of us are. But none of us are happy about it.

 

We all heard it

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So, my sick note means nothing, apparently.

As it turns out, I have to use another sick day today despite what the superintendent (“head boss”) said in our meeting on Friday.

On Friday, he had a meeting with out entire organization (our division really, because we are completely separate from the main entity) and we all heard that we shouldn’t go to work if we suspect we are sick but that if we could get a doc’s note approving telecommuting then we could amend the regular telecommute schedule as needed. My coworkers heard it, my manager heard it, my director heard it…or at least that is the way we all understood it.

Today, I am told my doc’s note doesn’t apply and only the regular telecommute schedule applies. WTF? According to the head office, there are no policies in place to accommodate this adjustment and until there is we have to stick with it – no matter that the head boss said something completely different.

Yeah, that’s BS – requiring your employees to burn their sick days when there is a major health concern going on when you know full well they can do their jobs from anyplace in the world without impacting the client (and have done so repeatedly). That makes complete sense.

So, I think I’ll binge on TV, and video games….and slowly burn in contempt of the head office.

Sick note

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I’m in WA state and there’s this thing going on. You’ve probably heard about it. So far, I’ve just heard about it too.

But, last night I developed a cough that came from nowhere. And a wheeze at the bottom of my lungs.

I checked in with the doc. At the moment they think it is related to the bronchitis I had two weeks ago. But, with the ongoing situation in WA, work doesn’t want me physically present. So…I have been “quarantined” to telecommute from home.

Can’t complain about that! No morning or afternoon traffic. No early mornings. No late dinners.

Win-win.

Except for the cough…and wheezing…

 

Back at the office

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Weather in the PNW has had me telecommuting for work. Four days this week, the commute was from the coffee maker to the desk because snow and ice was on the ground.

I am back in the office today and I can honestly say this job can literally be done anywhere. I would love the opportunity to demonstrate this to my boss. My manager is already on board, but the higher-ups still think office space is a good idea.

If someone would like to sponsor a trip for me to a warm, tropical island with a well connect resort (with internet connection), I am open to offers.

Please hit up my inbox. PLEASE.

No, like really, PLEASE!

Clogged

adult dark depressed face

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Stuffed to the max.

It appears today I will be a mouth breather…

Woke up with a stuffed nose and a tight throat. I think we all know where this is going. I am about to enter the land of flu/cold season.

Thankfully I am telecommuting (today and tomorrow) and not going to expose someone at the office. But, if it isn’t gone in a day or so, then I’ll be burning some sick days.

How are you feeling today?

Disconnect

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Well, it’s been a trying 24 hours.

Roof leak – still dealing with that issue.

Yesterday, after working fine the day before, the internet decided it didn’t want send any data to our devices. It just plain pooped out, even though it was showing there was a WiFi signal. After more than an hour on the phone with a tech, I was going to have to go and exchange the modem and router for a new one.

Hard to work from home (telecommute) when the internet isn’t working.

Exchange is done and now I am back up and running.

Irritated. To say the least. But, at least it is getting better.

Two Thursdays

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My regular telecommute days are Wednesday and Thursday. However, that last two Thursdays have had meetings in the office that I have had to attend, so I telecommuted on Tuesday instead.

As such, this is the second Thursday in a row that I have made the hour (+/-) trek to the office. And this is the second Thursday in a row that the traffic has been less that tolerable. More than an hour to work, again.

Seriously, what is with Thursdays?? Why can’t people drive on this day of the week?

I am seriously starting to contemplate calling in sick on Thursdays if I have to go to the office and can’t telecommute. Think they would notice?