Suzi (k00kaburra) wrote,

The daily routine

So here's what an average day looks like in my new home during these strange times:

Roll out of bed around 8:00. I used to sleep in a bit later, but our bedroom has a large glass door and once the sun rises I can't sleep anymore. We may eventually add curtains or some sort of screen to block the light.

I drink coffee and eat breakfast, usually a bowl of cereal. On the weekend, or if we feel fancy and have a few extra minutes, we have waffles. Seanie's mother keeps making batches of batter and dropping them off for us. It's her way of showing she misses us.

By 10:00 I'm showered and out of the door. I go to the bookstore to work. My focus has been on online ordering, which is becoming an increasingly critical part of the business now that customers can't come in and browse. I hunker down at one the store PCs and churn out lists of books to go to Ingram, our main book distributor, based on what customers request through our website. Once I've finished with the current batch of orders, or the clock strikes noon, I shift gears and spend the second half of my shift recieving books from the day's shipment, matching titles to orders, and collecting payment. I sort the books into piles to be shipped and piles to be picked up by customers at the curb. We can't let them into the store, per shelter in place guidelines, but if restaurants can allow carry out we think that the book equivalent is people taking bags from the doorway with their books inside. We close at 2:00 and usually wrap up by 3:30-4:00.

The store's looked better. Every day the shelves are a little barer, the displays a little more destroyed. I keep waiting for the day when it slows down enough that we can do some dusting and deep cleaning before making the store look pretty and appealing again, but so far there have been too many immediate challenges to tackle. The owners are over 60, so they're ordered to stay home and can't come in. (One tried and stayed a whole day, but had to put up with constant scolding from the other booksellers present.) There is a disconnect between what they'd like to see done and what we are physically capable of doing with a reduced staff of three or four people.

When I get home from the bookstore, I still have my regular job. Luckily we're in a quieter portion of the season right now, so I answer e-mails and try to get a head start on next season's books. No one is ordering - how can they when all my bookstores are closed to the public? - so there hasn't been much to do. But I worry about this season and the next. Should I be making appointments now? There are a handful of stores I never managed to see this season so will I try to re-sell spring when we meet for fall? If we meet. Who knows how many bookstores will not reopen at the other end of this pandemic.

Seanie works from home now, so when he wraps up we make dinner and eat. We eat lots of rice and pasta dishes because it's easy to prepare. Meat's expensive, and by the time we get to the supermarkets in the early evening there isn't much left to choose from, so we're experimenting. Sometimes when we're tired, it's easiest to throw something frozen in the oven, so that's when we get to enjoy a pizza. We haven't eaten restaurant food since this all started.

In the evenings, we might watch an episode or two of TV. Right now we're working through Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Ever since Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released on March 20th, we play. What greater escape from daily life than the quiet normalcy of building a home, making friends with the neighbors, and going on quiet little shopping adventures? Nintendo couldn't plan a better environment to drop their new game.

It's a busy day. I somewhat envy the folks I see on Facebook or Instagram who use this time to practice their drawing skills or learn a new music technique, or the book friends I see knocking through great piles of books each week. But I don't suffer from cabin fever or boredom. There's always more than enough to do. On weekends, Seanie and I have boxes to unpack as we continue moving into the new house.

One small benefit: the pressure is off to have a housewarming party quickly since group gatherings are off the table for the immediate future. I appreciate that.
Tags: covid-19, work

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