COVID, School, Work

A Random Thursday: Work Worries, a new School Schedule and Lemon Bars

The last few days have felt pretty manageable. There hasn’t been a lot of real significance to report, but overall I feel like this week has been going relatively smoothly. No big issues on the school front, no big issues on the home front. The only “issue” would be on the work front, which I mentioned yesterday. 

It seems the hospital I work for is going to begin some pretty big pay cuts and also start flexing down hours and potentially furloughing people in order to offset some of the massive amounts of revenue deficits the hospital is facing right now. I’m still waiting to hear how much this will affect me personally or not. The inpatient nurses aren’t receiving pay cuts, but even the nurses as a whole aren’t safe because many non-essential/ non-COVID areas just have really low volume right now. So, many nurses are going to have their hours flexed down too. I’m a nurse, but not currently caring for patients so my salary wouldn’t fall in that protected area. My data analyst role also is not related to any COVID operations. I’m super nervous that my role is going to be deemed non-essential (because, technically it is…) and that the powers that be will furlough me. 

But. As is usually the case in these situations, they put out this big scary email which rightfully probably freaked everyone out, even though there are actually “no specific details yet” for some of us. Hmph. Why not just wait to send the email until they HAVE some details?? It’s like saying, “5 out of 10 of you will be fired, but we’ll let you know next week which 5 it will be.” Nice! I’ve been in contact with my boss, who is also in the dark about the higher up details, and have just been told that meetings are still ongoing and he will get us more information as soon as possible. 

Anyway, I’m trying not to worry. I work in a small little niche and only half of my salary is actually paid by the hospital; the other half is covered by the surgeons/ medical foundation since my work is research related. So hopefully the 3 data analysts in my department will be just a tiny drop in the bucket and can be left alone!

What else? The boys have been doing a good job with school this week. I revamped our schedule a bit. I had been working for a while earlier in the morning, then taking a  big chunk of time off from like 9-12 to work with the boys. I was finding this not the most effective in some ways though and it was really cutting into my work time, leaving a lot for evenings and weekends. They do have a lot of schoolwork that they can do mostly independently. Especially Ethan- he really rarely needs much help. For example, some of Ethan’s work is just watching a Brain Pop Science video and taking notes on a google doc. Or doing math problems on an online program. Reading a chapter from his Religion book and answering questions. Stuff like that. Asher sometimes has some questions about his math assignments or wants me to review responses he wrote for his Literacy packets. But I don’t need to sit there for 3 hours. Plus, they take breaks. 

I liked this picture. They had just gotten started for the day yesterday. This is usually where they each work. I like it because they are close to each other so I can easily help both, but far enough that they aren’t right at the same table!

I’ve been trying the following:

7 am(ish)- boys up, get dressed, brush teeth, make beds, read or play legos. Ivan and I have been going for a 10 minute walk every morning around 7:30 before Ivan needs to get ready for work. 

8:00-8:45 Boys can watch TV or play video games

8:45-9:00 Boys head outside for some scooter time/ play outside

9 am-9:30: Short walk with boys, breakfast

9:30-10:30: Kids check school email, get started. I’m available to help organize and answer any questions. Encourage them to start with any subjects they might need help with (i.e. Don’t do your “20 min Read Literacy Group book” right now!)

10:30-12:30 Work. Don’t interrupt me unless you really can’t continue without it! Encourage to mark/ circle questions and I will address later. 

12:30-1:30- I’m available to help. Review questions. 

1:30+: Kids finish any work they haven’t completed yet. Also must practice piano, free read, and help with “chore of the day”. (Yesterday they dusted and vacuumed the basement/ rec room). 

3:30: If everything done, can play video games for a while until Dad gets home around 4:45.

5:00 Workout (boys). They usually do either a soccer workout, run on the treadmill, lift some weights downstairs or just kick the soccer ball with Ivan.

This schedule allows me to get some work in before 9 am, then a nice chunk from 10:30-12:30, and then I really get the bulk of my work done after 1:30. They are usually pretty good about not needing me much in the afternoons. Especially once that 3:30 video game time hits, then I never hear a peep! Haha. I usually work until 5:30 at least. Some days (maybe half?) I do log back on later in the evening for another hour or so. If the day doesn’t go so well, I try not to stress and just plan to work some on the weekend. 

Asher’s preferred “Zoom” call location. Here he was on with his swim team. 

 While the boys had lunch yesterday, I threw together these tasty lemon bars. Nothing fancy- they were just from a box. I literally put in 3 eggs and some water. Whatever, they were delicious!!! I love lemon bars. Probably a little bit too much. I could eat the whole pan. 

Speaking of which, I actually made a note to myself on my planner this morning to STOP SNACKING. I have been so bad this week! I don’t know what the deal is. I am the worst at consuming BLTs. (B= Bites, L=licks, T= tastes). Oh, you aren’t going to finish that piece of toast? Here, I’ll take it. Oh, you’re having some Easter jelly beans? I’ll take one white and one pink, please. Oh, you need me to come upstairs to help with a math problem? Sure, let me just grab a handful of Wheat Thins while I’m up here. 

This needs to stop! It’s a terrible habit and one of the downfalls to working from home! One thing that has helped me immensely in the past is actually writing down what I plan to eat ahead of time. Like- this will be breakfast, snack will be X, lunch is X. Then I just don’t eat if it’s not on that list! I am going to try that today. I do not need to become a human garbage disposal! 

Daily Gratitude:
This morning I am grateful for my hands. I use my hands constantly but I know we all take them for granted. I have 5 fingers on each hand that all work! I can type on this keyboard, I can play the piano, I can open doorknobs, I can hold a spoon, I can write with a pen, I can hold a book, I can grip dumbbells, I can push a vacuum cleaner…I am so grateful to my hands and my fingers for everything they allow me to do! 

2 thoughts on “A Random Thursday: Work Worries, a new School Schedule and Lemon Bars”

  1. I think companies really need to work on communication, especially during times of distress. About a week into all of the employees in my company working from home, our CEO hosted a call and said that they estimated we would lose $1b in revenue from COVID-related market declines so we need to cut $700 million in expenses to offset that… I think it was terrible timing to announce that to everyone. They are trying to make it all corporate rah rah by asking people to send in suggestions for how to cut costs. I think they realized how much they freaked people out because they had another call a week later and said how they are trying their best to not cut head count to get to that $700mm goal. But I don't know how they get there without cutting headcount. My boss talked about it with our group and agreed that it was a really knee-jerk reaction and that it was terrible timing to tell everyone at a time when everyone is adjusting to working at home while watching their kids… All that said, I hope that your job remains safe – it's helpful that 1/2 is funded elsewhere!


  2. Yes! Communication is so important.. Of course in your case with the information you were given, how are the employees NOT going to assume it involves a head count and cuts?? I know it is probably difficult for management as well as they likely are trying to be honest, forthcoming and keep people in the loop, but sometimes it makes it worse when the details just haven't been determined yet….


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