Office Days

I know that many people are afraid to take public transportation these days. I didn’t take CTA yet, and I can’t judge how safe it is, but I am 100% comfortable taking Metra.

People go to work in the city, maybe, ten percent of those who used to go to the city before the pandemic, but the trains are not ghostly. The schedule is reduced, and when I started to go to the office regularly, I realized that this presents some challenges. One is that I can’t be late for the 7-24 train. It used to be “my” train, and I am glad it survived, but previously I could take 7-51 express if I was late for 7-24, and now there is no such an option (which results in lots of Starbucks breakfasts!). I have to say there is something good in having fewer options, too, because it makes me more organized.

I always thought of myself being very well organized and working from home just fine, but after being forced to work from home for months, it required some effort to get out of the house on time. Through these past months, I felt that I am accomplishing less at home, but only now I realized how much time I am wasting for nothing when I do not have my usual morning checkpoints.
In short – I am happy to be back to commuter train.

That’s how the train car looks like these days. The conductors flip the sears so that it’s always one person per four seats, so I have a luxury to always sit by the window, always having an electric outlet, always facing the direction of travel, and always having room for bags. What am I going to do when it is all over?!

By the way, it is also plenty of parking space at the station these days, so you do not need to rush to be able to park at the convenient spot.

The office is still empty, which, once again, works for me. The no-do-obvious advantage of being in the city and the office is that I walk a lot without making any effort. I am easily making 10,000 steps a day on the office days.

On Monday, I went to Target to stock up. We do not have communal food in the office these days, but for me, the most important part is not that the food is free, but that the food is available. I could bring everything to work from Palatine, but I decided that saving at most ten bucks is not worth carrying an extra heavy bag to the city. Also, I wanted to get some ice-cream.

At Target, I was pleasantly shocked by the level of cleanness they maintain. The store associates were running around with the disinfecting wipes and disinfectant spray bottles non-stop. At the self-checkout line, they won’t let the next customer enter until they wipe the touchscreen. The piles of shopping baskets were labeled “disinfected” and stood separately from returned. Spraying and wiping were going on all the time. I thanked one of the associates for the great job they were doing, keeping the store clean – you want to come again after seeing this happening. Needless to say, everybody is wearing masks.

And the fridge is stocked with the right stuff, the same as my drawer.

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