She mentioned how this was a common problem in many other offices in the region, but it made me feel good when she described the office I manage as "the happiest". She asked that she was thinking about asking for a transfer to our office and whether I would support it. I told her that of course I would. Some of the people I work with wouldn't be happy about this, because while Wendy is a sweet person, her work ethic has declined in recent years, and that tends to make more work for her co-workers. She also has a reputation for being high-maintenance for her support staff. But for me, the kindness she has always shown to me trumps all of that. It's not my decision whether or not this happens, it's up to our head office, but if she goes ahead with this, I will do what I can to help her.
The point of all of this is that I wonder how the pandemic has affected people's stress levels, and what ripples it will have on people's lives. Do they carry the stress home with them? Will the stress decrease when the world goes back to normal, or will this all leave some kind of permanent emotional scarring on a lot of people?
I keep thinking that the pandemic has created some kind of figurative time bomb, and that some dire consequence is just waiting to happen. Perhaps it is an economic one - maybe rampant inflation or rising interests will be the result of politicians trying to spend their way out of the problem. Maybe it will be an emotional one - maybe depression and anxiety will be the next pandemic. Maybe children will mimic and inherit the stresses they see in their parents. Or maybe the opposite will happen and people will just become kinder and more resilient. That would be nice.
I remember how, after I had graduated from law school, there seemed to be a mindset that people needed to be toughened up. Senior lawyers seemed to be mean bastards who saw criticism and angry outbursts as the best means to teach things. Sports coaches seemed to think that this was also the way to get the most out of their athletes, with fear motivation. Then, over time, people seemed to get smarter and realize that this was a shitty way to motivate people. Maybe people realized that it didn't motivate them, and when they got the chance, they would be nicer to those who they were mentoring. Now I fear that the pendulum may be shifting back in the other direction. I hope I'm wrong about that.
In other news, on the way home I picked up some Taco Bell for Seth which he loves (we don't have Taco Bell in our city). My tree guy had come and gone and two dead trees in the back yard were removed. It was one more thing off of my "to do" list before moving and his bill was only 75% of what he had quoted me. Getting all this stuff done around the house kind of makes me wish that I was staying here.
The weather had finally warmed up and it was a beautiful night to go for a walk in the neighbourhood. I took my camera along just for the hell of it, not really expecting to see much exciting. I didn't see anything too unusual, but behind the cut are some pictures. I love this time of year when the days are long and the sun is still up at 8:00 p.m. Here's some of what I saw:
1. As I left the house, I noticed that some kind of purple flower had broken through the weed barrier and was signalling the real start of spring.
2. The sold sign at the front of our house.
3. The house on the corner had this tree and I wondered what kind it is. I'm pretty sure it's a weeping willow, but it could be some other kind of "weeping" tree. It looked pretty.
4-6. Here's the story about these pictures. At the west end of the street is a down hill. This black cat was sitting in the middle of the road, just relaxing. The car that you see turning in the first picture was heading straight for the cat and the driver looked inattentive, so I frantically pointed at the cat and the driver then noticed and abruptly slowed down. The black cat got up and lazily started walking toward me, wanting to be petted. Luckily he didn't need to use up one of his 9 lives. The grey cat in the last picture was resting under the RV shown in the first picture, just taking this all in.
7. There were some amazing views of Mount Baker, just across the border in northern Washington state, tonight. My camera doesn't do them justice. Sarah Palin never really said "I can see Russia from my house" (Tina Fey did), but I have often said "I can see the USA from my house."
8. More flowers (are these wild flowers or planted?) reminding me that spring has sprung.
9. There is this townhouse complex at the corner of two busy streets, called "The Falls". The trickle in the picture below is "the falls" that they development is named for.
10. Another view of Baker.
11. This dog always scares the crap out of me when I walk by this fence because I forget he's there and he has a loud bark. Tonight though he didn't bark at me, that is until I pointed my camera at him.
Tomorrow and Friday I am working from home, or more accurately, attending a virtual conference from home. It will be a nice break leading into the weekend. I hope you had a good day today and I hope your week is going well.