As of this afternoon, there’s one reported case of Coronavirus in Baltimore County. They cancelled the St. Patrick’s Day parade in town. I’m working from home indefinitely. Maryland is shutting schools down for two weeks beginning Monday, which means we will be dealing with a bored, lonely daughter who does not understand the meaning of the word QUARANTINE but knows exactly where all the emo anime cartoons are on Netflix.
I’m also scheduled for a cancer checkup on the 23rd, so I’ve contacted the hospital to find out what my best course of action should be. They moved the oncology center into its own building two years ago, so my chances of coming into contact with infected patients is lower than it would have been, but I’d really like to avoid this.
Working from home has been pretty seamless so far. We’re using a mixture of technologies to videoconference—Skype for Business, Zoom, Slack, and Teams. SfB is a giant steaming pile of shit, but to its credit we had a conference this morning with 80+ people connected and it worked pretty well. It spins up the CPU on my MacBook like a jet engine and sometimes the audio kicks in and out, but it didn’t crash. Zoom works much better but I don’t trust the company after their shitty software opened a backdoor to malware last year. Slack is slick and the sound is 100% better than SfB but it only works amongst the people in your channels. And I used Teams with my CTO last week and it looked and sounded great—something I never would have expected from that company.
Because the work I do is spread out amongst many groups, vendors, and internal clients, I have to manage many different channels of communication on a daily basis. There’s email, where many things go to die in my inbox. I have a WRI Gmail address because I can’t stand Sharepoint, which is Microsoft’s asinine answer to Google Docs. There’s Skype, which has a chat function several people in my company use, but I don’t leave running because it’s a CPU hog. My team and several others use Slack, which just works, and is full of animated Simpsons gifs. We use Asana for project management, which has the ability to send email alerts. There’s Basecamp, another project management system which several vendors use, that also triggers email alerts. The company is going to move to Microsoft Teams and away from Skype for Business, which is good because SfB is, as mentioned above, shit, but bad because Slack works just fine.
As a result I’ve been scrambling to keep up with all of the ongoing projects, requests, and responsibilities all filed haphazardly across ten different software environments. Ten years ago I used to bitch about email, but these days, if that was the only place I needed to go to stay in communication and find the things I needed, I’d piss myself with happiness.
Sink fixtures are in place upstairs, but the hardware I bought to connect the drain to the wall pipe didn’t reach. On the way back from Sylvan Finn and I bought some extra hardware to make that happen over the weekend. Once the drain pipes are sorted out I can hook up the water leads, and we’ll have working sinks up there.