We have plenty to do in our lives. Industrial revolution promised to improve the quality of life for many people. Instead, we created a system of hierarchical management, crazy working hours, shifts and later 9-5 office requirements. Digital revolution promise was even more appealing. It promised to reduce some intense labour jobs, automate everything and significantly shorten the time that we spend doing monotonous, routine work. In a way, this was what happened, but rather than enjoying the time we gained thanks to automation, we decided to try to do even more. We created projects, tasks and deadlines. But in fact, we have just one real deadline. Let’s face it.
I am privileged to be able to work from home. We stay home, and in fact, we were doing it even before the UK government was doing anything to encourage people to flatten the curve. We have long breakfasts with kids and try to enjoy our time together.
Working from home with two kids and a wife at home is challenging, but we do what we can. I realised, however, that many younger people had never experienced the real sense of danger.
It is definitely not business as usual – people are worried, and this is fine, we need to support each other. We all need to be leaders these days; for ourselves, for others around us, for our families.
Once upon the time we had a beautiful, old rose in the garden.
She was one of those old breeds that British folks are very proud of. She had a fantastic fragrance. Her flowers were large and beautiful, she was proudly showing them off over other flowers in our garden.
We were in the middle of planned network maintenance. It was not going well. The change window was just about to end. We were fighting with some unexpected issues causing service degradation. I needed to make a tough call. Either extend the maintenance window and carry on working on Sunday evening or try to fix as much stuff as we could and regroup with the rest of my team on Monday. I called my boss, but he was abroad. Other folks from management were not picking up phones. I was on my own. I decided to instruct my engineer to roll back, stabilise the network and get some rest. We would pick up things tomorrow. I was trying to cool down after huge stress when my wife informed me, we would need to go to hospital as my newborn son was having severe allergy symptoms. Following 24 hours was a painful lesson of the subtle art of not giving a f**k to nonessential things in life.
It was early afternoon on Sunday. Typical British weather – sunny but quite chilly at the same time. We were just entering stairs leading to the footpath bridge connecting two big shopping centres. We were tired, annoyed and indeed exhausted physically and mentally. In halfway through the bridge, my wife told me that she couldn’t carry on. I thought she meant physical exhaustion, but it was something much bigger.