PERSONAL RETRIEVAL

Well, my last post was quite timely. Today, I received an e-mail indicating that I and my fellow co-workers at the Burnaby studio were now able to book appointments to pick up our personal effects and any desired office equipment. The window for this is July 13 to August 7, so the first batch of people to get stuff will be starting next Monday.

I signed up for a spot near the end of this window, in the first week of August. I don’t need my stuff that badly. We also received instructions on how our visit to the studio will go. There will be just one entrance available to enter the studio. All cars also must enter through the same entrance in the parkade. We must check in before proceeding to our desks. We must wear a mask at all times and we must adhere to all signage locate through out the studio. Apparently, some areas have now been designated one way only. We are also to pack up as much of our personal items as possible. I believe this is because management wants as much flexibility in possibly re-arranging desks and workspaces. If all our personal crap is gone, it makes it easier for them to move stuff around. Once we’re done packing up (with company supplied boxes), we also then need to check out. It’s during this check out process that they will scan asset tags to catalogue what is being taken home and with who. We have approximately one hour to pack and get out of the studio with our stuff. It goes without saying but we are not allowed to bring anyone else with us to help pack.

At this point, I’m uncertain if I will bring my Herman Miller chair home with me. It’s undoubtedly more comfortable than my own desk chair at home but my current chair isn’t awful either. If I do bring it home, then I need to figure out where to put my own chair. My place is already a mess from being at the start of a small home reno when the pandemic started. I have no room in my storage locker. I know these are first-world problems, so perhaps I shouldn’t dwell on it too much.

Out of all the things I want to see from my desk at work, it’s the Tupperware container of cookies I’m most curious about. I bet they’re pretty gross now.

RETRIEVAL

My employer has three locations in the greater Vancouver area. Our main studio in Burnaby, a smaller location in Burnaby as well, and a relatively tiny studio located in downtown Vancouver.

Management has now begun the process of allowing some employees in our smaller Burnaby location to visit the office and collect their personal items, plus any office equipment they might need. The process is organized and employees must follow certain rules before and during the visit. You can’t just show up on any day and at any time. Employees must sign up for an allotted time and day. They must also complete a health check on the day of their visit. A mask should be worn while on-site.

For that location, it will probably take several weeks to go through the entire list of people that want to get their stuff. There is still no word on when this process will be started for our main studio, which has four to five times the amount of employees. I am sure they are using this as a bit of a rehearsal for the main studio.

We are quite lucky that we live in a place that is safe enough now for us to be allowing employees to come get their stuff in a controlled manner. I know in our other locations, especially in the United States, they continue to be in a holding pattern. Who knows how long it’ll be before they can implement the same plans.

I’m looking forward to picking up some instant coffee that I left on my desk in mid-March!

A CAREER FOR THE AGES

Last month, a former teacher of mine retired after 47 years of teaching. Carlo Muro was a math and P.E. teacher to me at Maillard Junior Secondary for various parts of grade eight, nine, and ten. It will always seem weird to refer to him by his first name because he will never stop being Mr. Muro to me.

Nothing I can write will sum up how good of an educator and person he is. The article I linked does it infinitely better than I could. He taught with boundless enthusiasm, had a passion for his work, was tireless in his coaching duties, and you could tell he honestly cared about his students. In his long career, he probably taught or coached thousands of students. Each one of them was a young person who he had the responsibility of guiding and providing a positive influence on. He did it with class and respect.

I am glad I was able to be one of his students. He helped make Maillard a special place for me. I hope Mr. Muro enjoys his well-deserved retirement. He has earned it several times over.

WEIRD PLUMBING

A few days ago, there was a bit of a boo-boo at the construction site down the street from where I live. They’re building a new apartment complex there and someone broke the water main by accident. In the process of repairing the break, water had to be shut down for the whole block, which included my building.

We, as residents, were told that once water was restored, our faucets and such would need to be run to flush out any dirty sediment that might have been left over. Once the repairs were done, I did indeed have dirty, brown water for my kitchen sink and toilet but it seemed my shower/tub and bathroom sink were fine.

Upon further inspection, my bathroom sink was not fine. The pressure for this faucet was still very low, about less than half as before. The water also seemed very cloudy when it exited the faucet, to the point where it almost looks like milk. If you leave the water for a minute or so though, it become clear. It seems like the cloudiness comes from lots of bubbles in the water. I’m not sure what’s causing that. Does the low pressure and cloudiness/bubbles stem from the same root problem? I’m not sure. I may need to contact the resident manager and ask him if he has any idea.

WRITER ANDY BLITZ TAKES A TAXI TO CANADA

The premise of the above video, from 2004, is that writer Andy Blitz, who at the time worked on Conan’s show, is too afraid to fly to Toronto, so he takes a cab instead. I believe that might actually be a lie, because later that year, Blitz appears in a hilarious skit where he flies to India for tech support. I don’t think that someone who would genuinely be afraid to fly would get in a long-haul flight from North America to India.

CANADA DAY

Today is Canada Day, a great and wonderful day for Canadians around the world. We celebrate the birth of our nation. This a Canada Day unlike those in recent memory. I have always felt but feel more so this year, how incredibly fortunate we are to live in Canada. Let us not take for granted the peace, order, and good government that our nation gives us. Other nations have shown us, this is not a product of just chance, but our collective will to make our country as such.

I will spend the day mostly inside but that’s ok. I will sleep in and play some video games as well. I could be worse off and many people would gladly trade spots with me.

Happy Canada Day!

WHAT DAY IS IT?

The days are beginning to blur together. The calendar gives me a vague reminder that time is indeed marching on. It’s nearly July now. I used to think that waking up, commuting to work, spending all day at the studio, coming home, eating dinner, and relaxing in the evening was a bit monotonous but it now seems like I’ve been working from home for over a year now.

Work gives me very little satisfaction. I know today was Monday but it could have been any day of the week. Last week I realized that even though we’re in the summer months, the weather is nice and sunny, I might have to wait until I see snow again before it’s appropriate to think about physically returning to work. There is continued talk about not returning to work until January of 2021 and even then, it might be an optional return.

I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking many of my days are the same. I know, however, many more people have it worse than I, so I don’t have much to complain about. I wonder what life will look like in January.

PAID

I decided to message the person on eBay who bid and won the latest item I put on auction. I wrote a very polite message in which I said that if he was still interested in the item, he could pay at his earliest convenience. By the time I woke up on Sunday morning, he had wrote an apologetic message and more importantly, he had paid me.

I wrote him back, thanked for the payment, and told him I’d ship his item on Monday. I then packed the item, wrapped it, paid for shipping online, printed the shipping label, and affixed it to the package. While shipping my first sold item was a bit of a nightmare, this time it went very smoothly. This time, the integration with Canada Post worked correctly. Buying shipping and printing the label was pretty much seamless. I’ll drop off the package at the post office tomorrow.

I have more item I’d like to try selling on eBay, which is a DSL modem that I no longer need because I have Internet over fibre now. I have no idea how popular DSL modems are. I tried searching on eBay for the model I’m trying to sell. I didn’t find any listings. That’s probably either really good or really bad. Well, it won’t cost me anything to put up a listing, so I might as well try.

LONG WEEKEND

I decided to take Friday off and make it a long weekend. I currently have 27 days of vacation accrued, which is over five weeks. I have no trips planned this summer, so I have days off to spare. My employer, as a whole, is encouraging all employees to take time off this summer, even if we can’t go anywhere, just so we can get a break from work. That’s great advice and I’ll take it.