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You are listening to ‘300 Seconds with Eduardo Soliz,’ and this is episode number 111: “My Coronavirus Story Part 5: Back to Irk,” so let the 300 Seconds begin!
After being laid off from my job back in April, or a few episodes ago, as the case may be, I started looking for a new job online, and, as many of you Dear Listeners are aware, the pickings in 2020 are pretty slim. As in-person job fairs are out of the question right now, I attended online virtual job fairs which were just as virtually terrible as the real-life ones, so score one for consistency.
From May to September, I had a total of three interviews including one of those awful virtual ones where you awkwardly record answers to questions into your webcam. Fortunately, the third time was the charm, and thus, I started a new contract-to-maybe-there’s-possibly-a-chance-you-might-just-could-be-hired gig a few weeks ago. It would be an understatement to say that I’ve had to make just a few life adjustments in going back to living a nine-to-five life.
The biggest and most immediate adjustment I had to make was to my sleeping habits. In my effort to lose weight, I had been waking up early in order to go for a walk in the mornings. But as the Texas summer got hotter and hotter, I shifted to walking in the evenings which of course, meant sleeping in. According to Google Maps, my new office was about thirty miles away. That meant that I had to wake up pretty early to make it to work on time. Funny thing about me: I don’t have trouble waking up early. Once I hear my alarm, I’m up. No problem there. But as a night owl, going to bed early is something of a challenge. So while I might be up at five-thirty in the morning, I won’t exactly be “up and at ‘em.”
Thus, a morning commute became a thing again, and of course, with a commute comes traffic. I had to drive from one side of San Antonio to the other, so my commute was going to be thirty miles of suck regardless of which route I took. I eventually settled into taking the route that presented the most opportunities to stop for breakfast along the way. Being stuck in a traffic jam is much easier to deal with when you have a Breakfast on a Bun from Whataburger along for the ride.
My new job has me working in an office, so that means I have to ‘mask up’ every day. Since my pandemic travels up to this point were limited to the grocery store and the occasional drive-thru window, I had been making do with a few cloth masks, or the occasional shop towel mask whenever those were in the wash. I now needed enough masks so that I could wear a different one each day. I also had to get masks with solid colors or patterns that would be office-appropriate. Of course, in the process of doing so, I ended up buying one or two that fit too tight because I have a big head. Another fun big head thing that I have to deal with was that some masks would begin to irritate my ears after several hours of wearing. Fortunately, I improvised an ‘ear saver’ using a rubber band and a pair of paper clips.
If there is one thing that I definitely need at work, it’s coffee. I rarely drink it outside of the office, but when it’s provided by the company, then I am more than happy to partake. When working from home, I would enjoy an occasional cup of Nescafe to keep the neurons firing. I don’t know if this is how the new office works or if this is a virus thing, but there isn’t any coffee available at the office. There aren’t any vending machines where I can grab a soda, either, and at the risk of being ‘that guy:’ I CAN’T WORK UNDER THESE CONDITIONS.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way, but Will’s not here so I have to solve my own problems. I happen to have a mini-fridge that holds six cans of soda. I’d purchased it during my days as a field technician, but that’s a story for another time. In any case, problem solved! Almost. In the interest of watching my budget, I bought generic diet cola. I quickly began to notice that I wasn’t feeling the caffeine boost that I was accustomed to getting from a soda in the afternoon; my metaphorical tail was still dragging after chugging one down. I randomly checked the ingredients on the can one day and discovered, to my horror, that generic soda contained less than half the caffeine of the name brand stuff. I guess that’s why it costs a buck and a quarter for a six-pack!
This has been 300 Seconds, the next episode will be posted after I set my alarm. For more witty words written by me, visit Eduardo Soliz dot com, and I thank you for listening. Be good, take care and God Bless.