Thursday, August 13, 2020

7:11 a.m. / My urban corner of NJ

Just because I’m braless doesn’t mean I’m not working.

Working from home means I get kicked out of my work space more often than when I worked in corporate America and “hot desking” was a thing (read: you possess nothing within this organization, not your soul nor your seat) or when I adjuncted throughout the northern NJ/NY metro area (read: this academic institution gives you nothing, you are nothing).

Today, working from home means I don’t get to work by the living room window because Sammy, the heating/cooling guy, will be arriving within a vague three-hour window to check our aging system. The system that is accessed through the ceiling in the living room that at various times—but not today—is also my office space with a window, my yoga and workout studio, performance and instruction space, and the site of the main Zoom couch from which we attend happy hours, memorials, birthdays, weddings, book launch parties, and Sunday mass with my dad.

Because I’ve been hot desked in my home, I sit at my (windowless) office armoire, tucked in a (windowless) corner next to the dining table, wear a bra (!!!! — for Zoom interactions, I just angle my web cam upward), and have my mask at the ready on top of a pile of edited technical reports. Working from home means the morning hours I’ve blocked for editing coincide with Sammy’s three-hour window, so I’m at the ready to transition from translating artificial intelligence research into reader-friendly English to discussing self-contained, single-unit heating/cooling systems. (Replacement and installation takes five eight-hour days! I’ll be hot desked to the bedroom the whole time! Cost is more than $10,000! That’s more than one month of eight-hour days of editing technical reports!)

Working from home means I continue to use my professional voice when Sammy leaves to recommend to my husband can we discuss this in the evening?  I take off the bra, but free boobs don’t mean free time.

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