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Working from Captivity

Published Monday Mar 30, 2020

Author Matthew J. Mowry

Working from Captivity

It has been a week and a half since I began working from home and there have been so many firsts. One incident was the first time that a Sunday evening rolled around and I was bummed out I wasn’t going to work the next day. Frankly, I could use a break from home.

I am in captivity…I mean home…with my 11 and 8-year-old sons. Like so many across the state and country, I am finding myself taking on a second job as a teacher and realizing there is a reason I did not pursue this vocation. God bless the teachers out there for their patience for it has not taken long for mine to run dry.

I have always thought of myself as a capable, fairly level-headed person. That was until I became the IT director of the Mowry School of Home Schooling. Navigating the various web sites to find my children's assignments with each requiring a different user name and password has led me to regret not pursuing an advanced degree in computer science. Who knew I would need one to prepare me for elementary school level homeschooling?

I love the new memes going around where parents describe their children’s antics by calling them co-workers. The other day one of my younger coworkers had a complete melt down when his tech was not allowing him to connect to his morning conference call. He had a few choice words for the IT department, which I did not appreciate. I explained that it did not make it easier to solve his problems when he is pitching a fit. These younger workers are just all about me me, me, me.

This second job is breaking me.

My Facebook feed has become exhibit A in what may be used to have me committed at some point.

March 14:

Day one of captivity with my kids. Forget toilet paper, I'm going out to hoard vodka. Keep safe and strong people.

March 18:

We've established a new routine. Each morning, our family starts the day with a family walk. By evening, there is a temptation to take them out into the same woods and leave them there.

March 22:

I am extremely jealous of everyone able to practice social distancing as my children have been practically glued to me.

Regardless of this intense togetherness, I must squeeze in work. A very small section of the dining room is reserved for my "office" and a memo circulated that when daddy is at his computer, no one is to bother him unless someone is bleeding profusely. That edict was effective for all of five minutes.

My only consolation is hearing from other parents on Facebook who are dealing with the same issues. And, at the end of the day, that is what keeps me sane during this crazy time. We are all in this together. We need each other to stay inside and social distance so we can eventually move forward.

Please do not think I am being flippant. I am taking this seriously and I am anxious. Humor is my coping mechanism. And in a constant cycle of news and information that is increasingly stressful, I hope our readers are also finding time to laugh and decompress. 

Now I have to go. Apparently my "coworkers" are having a heated disagreement over their "shared workspace." Sigh…..


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