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Escaping chores spoiled by COVID-19

Burt's Eye View

I’ve never gotten around to installing the baseboards in the living room. I meant to do that shortly after moving in — 20 years ago or so.

You tend to notice subtle details like that working from home.

“More like glaring,” my wife, Terry, said. “When are you going to put those baseboards in the living room and bedroom?”

The bedroom, too? I hadn’t noticed. I’m sure I would have in another week or two of social distancing that’s got bunches of us cooped up in our own little coops.

That’s the great thing about going to work — you’re never home long enough to notice that ceiling corner that needs patched, the crevice in the kitchen that never got painted and that the picture your spouse asked you to hang is still leaning against the wall.

Escaping chores on the home front — another good thing spoiled by COVID-19.

True, there are many wonderful advantages to working from home.

I don’t have to get out of bed until 30 seconds before clocking in. The morning commute down the hallway to my laptop is free of congestion.

“Leave the comforter on the bed,” Terry ordered. “Wrap yourself up in your robe.”

When working from home, showers are optional.

“They are not,” Terry said.

I never have to get out of my pajamas.

She pinched her nose. “At least change them once in a while.”

At home, there’s a cook on staff.

“Stop snapping your fingers.” She jabbed a finger toward the kitchen. “The refrigerator is a dozen steps away.”

And unlike my squeaky chair at work, my easy chair here at home reclines and the foot rest pops out.

Terry shook her head. “Do you take this many naps at the office?”

“How odd,” I mused. “At work, my boss asked if I take this many naps at home. It’s like I’m still there.”

Despite all these enhancements to the work day, there are certain distractions at home. We have a cat.

She just graduated from kittenhood and was scheduled to visit the vet for a certain adjustment. The coronavirus outbreak put the kibosh on all unnecessary surgeries — spaying and neutering included.

Working from home, my ears aren’t assaulted by the constant clanging of dozens of office telephones. But I am stuck with the yowling of a love-crazed kitty.

I wish she’d get her attention off the toms outside and back on the mice who want to move inside our country home. And the squirrels who’d like to work from my attic. It’s hard to concentrate over the pitter-patter of little feet.

I do have a home office. It will be real nice. Once we tear out the old carpet. Paint the walls. Put in the new flooring. Move out of storage the desk I bought six years ago. Once that’s all done, it will be a fine place to work from home.

“I kept telling you that we needed to get that project done,” Terry said. “Now you’re just stuck in your thickly padded easy chair with a warm afghan across your lap and the TV remote at your side.”

Working from home — it’s a tough sacrifice.

I know! When this ban is lifted, I’ll stay here and send the cat to the office.

“You’re the one going back to the office, buster,” Terry said. “It’s too much work having you home.”

— Work from home with Cole at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.

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