Now the clocks have fallen back for winter, I count every moment of daylight. The work day dawns as I head to the train station, but has long since given way to night by the time I arrive home.
On Tuesday 17 March 2020, I was sent home from work. It was time to start lecturing from home. I said farewell to as many of my colleagues and students as I could find. It was an already much quieter City of London as I walked through Smithfield and Charterhouse Square on my way from Farringdon to Liverpool Street.
Four months, and an uninterrupted work schedule later, I am told that I am expected back in the lecture theatre to deliver in person in September exactly 6 months to the day since I was last there. In the meantime, I have been reminded that I am not cut out for 7 hours + per day sitting at a computer, that I miss my colleagues and the City of London dearly and that I enjoy moving around to interact with students while lecturing.
Now, I also enjoy being barefoot and so, in that respect, working from home has suited me fine. I’ve been Zoom-ready from the waist up; smart shirts, full make-up, ear-rings, all accessorised by the professional smile. From the waist down, it’s been yoga leggings and bare feet. So, while my face is work-mask-ready, my feet are most definitely not work-shoe-ready.
Will the shoe fit?
Of the 366 in 2020. A leap year.
Returning to Essex, meant returning to work – two different employers, two different jobs, on three different sites in two different towns.
I was met by new faces, old faces, all: ‘Happy 2020!’
I step (rather than leap) into a new job in the third week of this month.
I’m apprehensive and curious; it’s energising. Step forward, 2020.
As this year draws to a close, I’d like to give special mention to all those I’ve worked with in 2018. To those students, lecturers, invigilators, administrators, fellow volunteers and members of the public I was privileged to meet – whether for the first time, or once again – you’ve been brilliant. You may not realise it, but you have. Really. Some of you unintentionally, but still, you’re gems. 2018 has been hard work, in so many ways, but each one of you built its story. So, here’s to Team 2019 and the next story!
An extra special mention goes out to those who reduced me to tears of laughter, some of you intentionally, including this co-invigilator...