The Perils of Working from Home

C20EE642-1804-47FD-9790-6A30F674150CHow do I report a workplace accident?

That’s the remains of the 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup.

Given my klutziness, I’m surprised it lasted so long. It was one of my few new purchases when I moved into my second apartment (prior to that, M’e the Fashionista supplied a plethora of utensils and cookware). It survived tumbles into steel sinks and linoleum floors, but a stone countertop takes no prisoners.

Cleaning up the mess: wow! I swept, vacuumed, and ran wet paper napkins over various surfaces to pick up the fine, sharp particles. Somehow, none of the flying shards hit me, although they traveled even as far as the livingroom.

A less tangible hazard of Working from Home (WFH) has been Parkinson’s Law, the business adage that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. At the beginning of the shutdown, I ended every day – often in the wee hours of the morning – exhausted.

It wasn’t surprising in March, considering the sheer volume of mandates, updates, and queries that arrived in those early weeks.

But April came and the workweek remained 50+ hours. What was going on? I figured I was working longer hours because I could. To determine true on-task hours, I  searched the clunker PC for documents from pre-Factory days: Project Time Sheet and Time Tracker.

Immediately there was evidence of an addendum to Parkinson’s Law:

The sooner one gives feedback, the more likely clients are to submit changes and thus increase one’s workload.

Students resubmitted their work – multiple times, in some cases –  before the deadline.  Each time, it reset everything and I had to correct them from scratch!  Worse, it created a repeating feedback loop as students figured out that if they slapped together answers, my response would lead to the correct ones.

Once I waited until the day after the deadline, the feedback loop shut down and the work hours dropped to normal!


*Keep in mind: No schoolwork “counts” during the shutdown. Owing to laws about equal access to education, if even a single student cannot get work by Internet or home-delivery, then it’s deemed unfair that any student have an advantage.