Staying positive is proving quite hard- both at home and in the office. At home, it is proving quite the challenge to keep the children occupied and safe- they seem to always pick fights with each other or with the neighbours’ children. Just the other day, I was busy on an office call with the head office team to discuss what they were calling likely scenarios.
They have asked me to map out what the numbers will look like if the situation continues for say two months, three months or six months. In my view, I think it is hard to map them out since we do not have “complete information or “ precedence” to borrow from. Despite my reservations, I had worked with my boss to look at possible simulations.
Speaking of my boss, he has been somewhat weird but supportive during these times. He set up a weekly check in call where he is supposed to find out how we are tracking and how we are feeling. I usually like to get these minutes over and done with fast because of the children because they keep budging into my room.
I therefore send a pre-read before the meeting so that boss has as few questions and issues to ask. However, the last few check- in calls have gone for longer than an hour mainly because of the boss.
He spends a lot of the time talking about himself and how his life has gone “upside down” because of Covid-19. I am finding it hard to sympathise with him for the things he moans about are really non-issues.
He moans about not being able to play golf, about not visiting his favourite European cities. I have also noticed that he shows up on the calls with a glass of wine- and by the end of the call he is quite inebriated.
On our last call, he got quite tipsy and kept on telling me how I need to “ keep looking for alternatives because when this thing is over, they will be massive retrenchments.”
He let out a wine filled laugh and said, “ I don’t care if they let me go, I have enough money – but you my friend are still young and so you need to take care.”
This then paved way for another long chat about how he joined the company and how he has worked so hard to get where he is. It all ended well, albeit half an hour past the appointed completion time.
That call set the stage for the head office call. I was not going to take any chances with this one, so I decided to take it in the spare room which sometimes serves as a study. I also made sure that I changed the backdrop and put some books so that I can look “smart and well read.” I also told the househelp to take the children outside so that they could play- this way no one could interrupt me.
The call was going well though I felt that we had two camps- the optimists and the pessimists. The optimists were painting a picture of a rebound soon and the pessimists said that it will be doom and gloom for the next year.
I followed my boss’s advice and became a “tempered optimist” but also giving well.
All was going well until I heard a loud banging on the door. I tried to ignore it for we had only 10 minutes to go. To ensure that no one could see the anxiety on my face, I turned off the camera, muted my phone and opened the door. Imagine my shock when I opened the door and saw my son’s bloody face.
I had to think and act fast. So I quickly went back on the call, sent a private message to my boss and to the meeting convener saying: Family emergency, son bleeding profusely. I have to take him to hospital.