The entire time I was in the Google Hangout (and trust me, it was way too much time), I couldn’t help comparing the two meetings. At first, it wasn’t clear what the core difference was. But then, as our boss asked us to “go around the room” to give feedback and no one knew who should start, it clicked. Instead of accounting for the fact that our work conditions and the meeting interface were different than our norm, we just did what we usually do. We didn’t adjust, and so we didn’t succeed.
This wasn’t the first time in the past few weeks that a task has fallen apart because I’ve tried to do it the old way. There was that time we took the kids to the park to wear them out, only to arrive and deal with a full-on Booker meltdown because all of the play equipment was roped off (thanks, coronavirus). Almost every trip to the grocery store has presented some kind of American Gladiator style obstacle (though, thankfully, none have been as bad as the first one). After hours of research and writing about how to file taxes for freelancers, the tax filing date changed. I’m learning that trying to engage with life the “regular” way ends in things going off the rails, across the board.
Tip: Modify your meetings (or whatever you’re doing) based on new goals and parameters specifically designed for the new world in which we live.
Honestly, I feel a little silly for getting four weeks in before realizing that, to get through this quarantine, I’ll need to reprogram myself for a new reality. Because this isn’t the first time I’ve done that.
Not to get all academic on you (I’m a Literary Studies MA, so I can’t help it), but I’ve been queering my life since my mid-20s. Realizing that compulsive heterosexuality wasn’t the only option for building a life—for establishing a home, for raising children, for being—has drastically changed my world. And, maybe surprisingly, it’s also had an effect on how I view, value, and engage in labor.