Home > Working@home by Bev Angus, Special Collections
Working@home by Bev Angus, Special Collections
4 Aug 2020 - 09:15
Three of my greatest daily bugbears were instantly eliminated when the instruction came to stay at home:
Stress-inducing traffic a.m. and p.m.
Trying to get a grip on toilet paper without bruising my hand (whoever designed those holders never uses them!)
The eczema on my hands is under control because I am working in a dust free environment. Hurrah!
I no longer have to rise with the chickens at 05h30 to be on Klipfontein Road before 07h00 to avoid sitting in traffic for an hour. Google says it is 7.7 km and should take me 9 mins! I am, however, finding that as lockdown drags on interminably, it is becoming more and more difficult to sustain a structured day. Plus, there are innumerable distractions such as pets, husband and neighbours!
The first five weeks were extremely productive (a real silver lining) as I viewed and precised well over a hundred films which had accumulated over a number of years due to difficulties sourcing information on them. I wrote a blog I had been planning to do for some time and I have been trying to assist with material for research requests. But the latter has proved to be rather frustrating as much of Special Collections material is only available in print or on microfilm.
Working on a MAC desktop with no access to my G-drive presented some problems. I do now have my work desktop and with hindsight wished I had asked for it earlier. I was also grateful to be gifted a proper office chair by my son early in lockdown as my spine and hips were complaining about extended periods on the cane dining room chair.
I do love having my garden to hand, and a cup of tea or lunch outside in the sun often results in a bit of weeding and general faffing around. The cats think that every time I venture into the kitchen it just has to be food or attention time (why else would I be at home all day?), and my car required a new battery through non-use!
BUT… I miss all my library colleagues, and especially the camaraderie of my Special Collections colleagues – the chatter and laughter over tea, discussions over reference queries or ideas for new displays. And I miss the connection with our patrons and researchers.
Reference work has always been a substantial and enjoyable part of my job. In Grade 10 my English teacher told me I was a penguin that is, gregarious - which is true, but what SHE really meant was a chatterbox!
Although going to work now just means sitting in front of the computer, my mantra for life still remains: No matter how you feel – get up, dress up ( at present, tracksuit pants and slippers but also earrings and lipstick!), show up, and never give up.
I am so looking forward to interacting on a personal level with my colleagues again, and as I head towards retirement at the end of 2021, I plan to enjoy my last year at UCT Libraries.
Story by Bev Angus, Librarian at UCT Special Collections