Put on Some Clothes

So there’s this guy on Twitter who shops cats into photos of military equipment: Giant Military Cats. His stuff is often clever, and while I could wish he used dachshunds instead, I asked him to do one for me, featuring F-15 Eagles.

The MiG you don’t see is the one that’ll get you.

That was a couple of months ago. Yesterday he came through, and now I have a new cover photo for my Eagle Bot Twitter account, where I post daily photos of F-15s.

Giant Cat guy accepts donations on Ko-Fi, where he says “If you enjoy my pics, you can buy me a coffee.” A cup of coffee is three bucks, and I bought him three. This was a first for me, supporting an online creator whose work I like. It felt good.

Which got me thinking. I’m an online creator, right? So guess what? I now have my own Ko-Fi account. There’s a button on the sidebar, right below my profile picture. Paul’s Thing is fueled by coffee, because I do my best work in the morning. How about a cup?

Sheltering in place.

CFCBE467-A075-4FBB-8893-A92D57B2CEFDI had a haircut appointment yesterday. It crossed my mind to cancel, but my barber thoughtfully texted the evening before, telling me he was well, that all his customers have been well, that he hoped I’d be able to keep my appointment but would understand if I decided to bail. He has a one-man shop and all his business is by appointment … there’s never been another customer waiting all the times I’ve been in. I thought about it, kept my appointment, and made another for five weeks from now.

My standing pedicure appointment, though, that’s another thing. I have one in two weeks and need to make a decision soon. Donna and I patronize a salon not far from where we live, and it’s not a one-person operation: other workers and customers are always present. I really should cancel. A smart person would. On the other hand, isn’t this the type of small business most threatened by a protracted quarantine? My particular concern is for the young woman who does my pedicures, no doubt a contract employee with no benefits or paid leave.

The socially-responsible solution, according to most of my friends, is to send the salon a check but cancel the appointment. Easy enough, but I have reason to suspect the salon owner will keep the money and not share with my pedicurist, and I’m trying to figure out a way to keep that from happening.

Per the news, bars and restaurants in Phoenix and Tucson are now closed, but you can order takeout meals (I don’t know about drinks) from some of them. The air museum is closed; I’m guessing other museums as well. Libraries too. Donna’s outside sewing and quilting activities are suspended; so is Saturday’s book club (the physical part, that is: we’re going to meet remotely on Google Hangouts … I’ll try to remember to let you know how that goes).

So what, you may ask, with any of this? I hear you — we’re retired, we have an income, we don’t have to worry about work — sheltering in place is made for people like us. You could even say I’ve got a lot of nerve blogging about it when almost everyone else has far more pressing concerns. But what else am I going to blog about? Trump? Puh-lease. Besides, it’s kind of fun to compare notes, isn’t it?

Related: our daughter Polly works at an Amazon warehouse in Tucson. Her job, like most jobs, cannot be done remotely or from home. I read this morning that an Amazon warehouse in Queens, New York, closed after an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19. Naturally I worry about Polly. It doesn’t take much to lose a job these days — a lot of people, especially those in service industries, already have.

Should I start to worry about my son, who’s in food sales to the restaurant/resort/casino industry? Absolutely. We’re just beginning to realize the impact this pandemic is going to have on all aspects of our economy.

If you’re one of the lucky white-collar few now working from home, take a bit of advice from me. Put on some clothes. It doesn’t have to be brief-the-CEO attire; just something you’d wear to the office on a normal day. I’ve had a home office for 20+ years, and have spent more than 12 of them working from home. For two years that work was professional, developing cockpit resource management courseware for a defense contractor headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. Since retirement, my “work” has been blogging and writing for purely personal reasons, using the home office the Memphis company helped me set up years ago. But back to the point: I always work better from home when I treat it like a real job, which includes dressing like a normal person. The discipline keeps me focused … even when sheltering in place.

© 2020, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.


2 thoughts on “Put on Some Clothes

  • Funny, before I pick up my pen in the morning I am always properly groomed and dressed. Not the disheveled ogre who comes downstairs to make the coffee and not a suit and tie either, but make a point of being “presentable”
    I find my writing to be a very personal thing and I feel a certain connection with my recipient when I pick up my pen. And they likely wouldn’t like “sitting next to me” when I look like the guy who hits START on the coffee pot.

    Speaking of coffee, I’ll buy you a cup ‘o joe!

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