Our New CoWorkers

May 1, 2020
cat at table

IN THE GOOD ‘OL DAYS mornings were bedlam. Feed the pets, put out the trash, get something resembling clothing on the kids, cram some toast or coffee down our throats and run out the door like zombies had finally found a way in. Now, we get out of bed and walk a few steps to our makeshift offices ─ room corner, kitchen counter, laundry room, ironing board ─ and sit as far away from our computers so our co-workers can’t see our imperfections on Zoom.

Pets and kids were the joys we came home to but now that they are at ‘work’ with us, some days we wonder if maybe the zombies did get in. Couples have tag teamed to allow for valuable work focus. Others have tried signs and notes pleading for understanding but the challenges arise. “Every time I get up my cat Ziva jumps on my vacant chair” said Lauren Weiner of Conference & Hospitality Services (cats love warmth). “She’ll randomly come running across the room and jump on my desk for no reason!” Rachel Reynolds of the UCSB Campus Store has it a little easier because her cat sleeps but "she snores on the job.”

But don’t think only the humans are suffering. Pets and kids have had to adjust as well. “I live in a small apartment with my husband and two dogs, Zelda (in front), and Lodi. They had to give up 'their corner' to make room for me to have a desk” said Michelle Keys of Residential Operations. Sara Engebrits' (The Club & Guest House) kids have come to enjoy her morning HomeStretch time and are getting pretty good at the new yoga poses. Just as long as they don't find her paint supplies.

Carol Dreste from the Campus Store recently got some new chicks and put her dog Dozer to work keeping an eye on them while she snuck away to finish some ordering. He finds the work a little boring.

All in all, for the most part things have worked out and all parties have come to enjoy the time together. It’s a stressful time though and we all need to be patient and keep watching out for one another...

By Eric Zobel


photos: in article: the Engebrits kids; Michelle Key's fur babies Zelda & Lodi; below...top left: Rachel Reynolds Tortoiseshell cat Tigerlily; bottom left: Lauren Weiner's feline companion Ziva; center: Whitney Morris & Beau; right: Chicken Tender Carol Dreste's feathered friends and her American Bulldog, Dozer, providing security.