Back to Work.

June 1, 2020


Things don’t feel back to normal in the least bit. Out of the 40-ish people at the office, I was the only one to come back to work on the first day we were allowed to. I do have the whole office to myself which is nice, but I still feel lonely without my friends and peers around me.

My first day back felt very similar to the first day of school after the summer break. I laid out my “coolest” new clothes last night, and could hardly sleep from a mix of anxiety and excitement. I got up early to pack my lunch and make sure my bag was all packed with supplies. Only this time it was charging cords and desk toys instead of folders, books, and mechanical pencils like in grade school.

The drive into work was smooth due to less traffic, even with some ongoing construction that would have otherwise clogged up the road. My route to and from work takes me through couple blocks of a not-so-great neighborhood in Milwaukee so I was hesitant to come in due to the riots. But I’ll adjust to take the freeway instead. Usually, the freeway is a no-go for me because of all the rush-hour traffic but since that’s non-existent anymore this alternate route should be a safe and quick ride home.

In the office not much has changed besides a few new trash cans and less people overall. The scene back in the office is strange though – coffee cups and granola bars are still left sitting around while cords are hanging off desks, unconnected to their external monitors which for most now reside at home. It feels almost post-apocalyptic.

Work goes on as usual though, and I do really enjoy having my desk setup back, as I was working off of my girlfriend’s makeup desk for the past few months. (Thank you for your desk and patience Olivia)

Home office setup before going back to work during the coronavirus crisis.

After work, I was able to use the building workout facilities which was a big reason I wanted to get back to the office. That little bit of exercise every day makes all the difference! It was so refreshing to see my friends on the cleaning staff that I hadn’t seen for months and catch up with them about how things were going.

Of all the things I missed pre-COVID, the biggest was probably my drive back home to unwind and listen to podcasts. Getting that back is fantastic, and just another reminder of something not to take for granted in the future.

Life goes on though, and this year seems like just one thing after the next. I’ve learned to limit my social media intake, and unfollow those that don’t bring me joy or happiness. 2020 has been an absolute test so far though, and I firmly believe that I’ll come out of it stronger and more prepared for whatever the future brings.

I’ll finish with a quote I stumbled across amidst all the Conoravirus panic: “Just remember that everything will be alright in the end. And if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.⁠”

@joekotlan on Twitter