Monday, May 25, 2020

No Time Off

For most of the past week, things have been pretty normal (if you call being trapped in your house, only interacting with other people via screens, and wearing face masks outside normal.) Routines are wonderful things and we have finally hit upon a basic routine.

Child has regularly scheduled online classes and daily assigned school work to complete along with some other basic expectations like getting some exercise, maintaining personal hygiene, and cleaning up after herself. (Yes, she does fight against the unbearable amount of toil that her unimaginably horrible, "the worst, most rude" parents ask of her.)
H has finally started just excepting that her job is basically just punching a clock to meet requirements since one really cannot do much one on one counseling when students don't show up, parents stay in the room, and there are no "classroom" issues to really address. (Yes, there are still periods of angst about being a total failure because one of her colleagues has much needier students who do show up for sessions and another one is a type A childfree busy body.)
Aside from running interference, doing 24/7 tech and emotional support, and trying to keep child focused o doing school work, my job is still the same clock punching, frustrating slog to provide tools to over privileged worker bees who toil away making it easier for the 1% to suck the 99% dry while using the least amount of the 9% possible. (Yes, the facts of my job and my general sentiment that the world should be more fair do cause some inner turmoil. However, I am at heart a very practical misanthrope who is willing to do what is necessary to stay in the 9%. I also take solace in the fact that my wife's work does actually help make the world a better place and that my child's skill set also tend to lean in that direction even if developmentally she is still in the "world exists for my pleasure" phase.)
Friday, however, I was near to murder. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed to start. Then during one of of our corporate rah, rah sessions, one of the biggies made some comment about how great it is that during this time of crisis we have been busier than ever and that it was great that none of our employees hadn't taken any time off. That lit my short fuse. No time off, really!!! Sure nobody has taken any vacation time; there is no place to vacation!!! We are all in varying states of house arrest!!! Time off though....
If you have a school aged, or younger, child at home you are either not working a full work day or not sleeping much. I don't take at least an hour or two off everyday to help child troubleshoot a Google meeting or some worksheet her teacher scanned into a Google doc and didn't put in text fields to answer or help her to hunker down and get something done or listen to her complain about missing her friends or fighting with her when she insists that a worksheet calling for full sentences is complete when she provided one word answers. And let's not forget all the time I don't take off doing tech support or emotional support for my wife who has to completely relearn her job. Seriously, the only people not taking time off are childless, have live-in full time childcare, have miracle children who don't require help with school, or are just plain neglecting their kids.
Maybe with high school kids, or college kids, or adult live at home kids it is is different story. They are either mostly adults or at least capable of being adults if they choose. You can probably just let them do their thing most of the time. But I'm sure that even they require attention more that we are all trapped in our houses together.
Maybe what I really needed to hear was not rah, rah everything is awesome, but a sincere recognition that we are all doing a good job during a difficult time; that we are somehow managing and that our corporate overlords recognize this.

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