Working together separately…

Photo by Ann Nekr on

Recently I got a job working from home. I was very excited to think that I could sleep in a little longer, make myself some coffee, and be my at my desk in about 5 minutes. And the best part… NO BRA! My husband is also working from home and has been for most of the pandemic. He has taken up working in our dinning room which is fine since we never use it. I think I have friends that have never even been in that room after the 20 years we have lived in our house. I had visions of the two of us in matching pj’s and drinking from his and her coffee mugs sitting next to each other solving all our companies problems and multi-tasking using our cell phones and computers with a trendy office that is sparkling clean and organized.

Well, that was my thought anyway. The first day I was working from home I got up early, grabbed my laptop and started to create some space in the dinning room. I had noticed that my husband doesn’t have any lights on in the dinning room when he works, but I needed to see so I could write some things down. It was my first day of work after all! I decided that I would simply open the blinds on the window and the sliding glass door as a compromise, that way I could see and he would still be in the dark. Humm, a man in the dark about things?… Insert joke here. Shortly after opening the blinds and sitting down at my computer my husband came down stairs and into the dinning room. He paused briefly, looked at me and stated “oh, the blinds are open.” I asked him if he needed to blinds closed for a reason. He said with the lights on and blinds open there is too much glare on his computer. Ok, I said, I just need to write some stuff down and make sure my computer is doing what it needs to be able to do, then I promised I would close the blinds. By the way, he hates the blinds open in the house, not just when he is working, but all the time, and this drives me crazy. He looked at me, let out a large sigh and simply said OK.

So we didn’t get off to a great start. It’s ok, we have been married 33 years I’m sure it is just a minor set back. Next he got a phone call. Now here is where I should tell you that my husband is an engineer. Mostly he is doing stuff on the computer and has conference calls all day. I don’t know what he really does, but when he does it he is very serious and talks slowly, I’m assuming so others can understand. I am in sales, I’m loud and make jokes and often get sidetracked into conversations that are not work related. So he got a phone call, and then I also got a phone call. While I probably should have gotten up and walked out of the room to take my call I just didn’t think about it until I got “the look” from him. You know the one, the one mom’s give kids when they are in public and the kids start to get noisy? We all know that look, Ok, days not getting much better.

When my husband got off the phone he looked at me and stated that he needed to go to work and that he needed to go immediately. I teased him that he got pissed at me pretty fast for a Monday, and he just smiled and said no. Then he left. To tell you the truth I didn’t care at all. I turned the lights on, I pushed some of his papers out of the way, and really go into my job for the first time all day. It was great, I got my computer up and connected to the VPN so I could get into the company computer system, set up my email and my voice mail. I even had my first Zoom call so I could meet the rest of the team. Over all it was not only nice to be at home, but I enjoyed it all. A few hours later I got a text from my husband, wondering if I wanted to meet him at the bar for a drink. I asked him if he was mad at me and he said no, he was mad that he had to go to work on such short notice.

We met at the bar, and our friends thought it was really funny that even though we worked together now we still took different cars to the bar. “So you guys work together, but cant be in the same car together?” the bartender said kidding. My husband stated. “We don’t work together, we work next to each other.” We all laughed, but it was clear that our first day working next to each other wasn’t exactly what either of us thought it would be. Day two was not much better, our internet was acting up so neither of us got much done. The dog wanted to go in and out of the house all day long disrupting us and we argued over what temperature the house should be.

Now we are in our second week of “working next to each other”. We really dont talk to each other much when we are working. He is busy doing his thing and I mine. Since they are very different occupations we don’t really need to talk to each other. Sometimes one of us will get up and ask the other if we need anything, but other than that we have fallen into a routine that seems to be working… finally. Working from home is not as easy as people make it seem, and working together, but separately, as not been easy either . I have called him several bad names under my breath and he has done the same I am sure. Still, we both have lightened up when it comes to working with each other and that is probably good. He is going to move his office up stairs, eventually, into one of the spare bedrooms, I’m letting him pick which one. I may move into the other one or stay downstairs, I haven’t decided yet, but I will have the fucking blinds open!

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