Dislaimer: I’m not part of the WFH generation, I still go out into the big, bad world to make money. So I need home to remain an oasis of calm in this 2019-nCoV world.
So how does one go about motivating those that now call your Fallout 4 computer their workstation to return to work?
The answer is by being as annoying as possible, magna molestia as I’m sure no Latinate individual said ever.
For those new to the art, here are a few suggestions that will endear you to absolutely nobody.
Firstly, interrupt the WFH’er on the hour, every hour.
Wanna coffee? Can I get you something? Is my music up too loud? What do you think of these sweat pants? Have you seen my sock? Its your turn to feed the cats. OH MY GOD I need to poo! Hey, do you wanna coffee?
Train your pets to cutely stand on the keyboard, playfully knock pencils off the desk, or whine piteously to be let outside. The joy of work unfettered by a dull commute can easily be offset. We’ll have our calm oases back in no time.
Alternately, you could just walk around in your underwear. This probably works better for dudes than it does dudettes because (IMHO) there’s nothing annoying about a woman walking around in her underwear.
I, on the other hand, have several pairs no longer fit for purpose. Moths turn their probosci up in disgust. I think the fabric is more matted pubes than wool.
Because the unexpected sight of a gonad is always a nasty shock. Works a treat. Offer to make someone a luncheon sandwich after you’ve been chasing an itch around your jocks and see how long they remain polite.
Not long, trust me.
Third, do annoyingly fun stuff while they can’t.
When they’re formulae-deep in some Excel workbook, laugh your tits off in another room to some burbling YouTube stand-up comedy, or sprawl on the lounge reading something witty.
Make it particularly annoying by reading it aloud: ““cur tailed” he says! O’Brien, you are a genius” followed by mirthful chortling.
This is aggravating to thhe WFH’er because nobody actually likes seeing others enjoy themselves. It’s a lie we’re taught by our parents. “Are you having fun, sweetie? Oh that’s good! You keep play soldiers in the sandpit while I finish THE FUCKING IRONING!”
I don’t remember my mother saying that, but then most (ie yours, not mine) children are annoying little shitheads.
Lastly, (because more than a handful of annoying is wasted) the single most annoying thing you can do is try to be helpful.
For example, when doing the groceries send at least one text from every supermarket aisle. So do we want organic WeetBix or regular? Is a kilo of crushed tomatoes the same as a litre coz the can says litre. What aisle is the tofu in coz I can’t find it. Rice milk instead of soy, they’re outta soy. I don’t think ‘lady finger bananas’ is appropriate. That sort of thing.
Unhelpful works in the garden if you can’t distinguish a groundcover from a weed.
It works in the laundry if you the silky unmentionables go in with your prospeting pants.
It works in the kitchen, if tbsp is apparently confusable with tbs.
Apply these hints and you are on-track to living alone very soon. So easy! So effective! It may end in divorce but at least you’ll have the sofa to yourself.
There’s more but why give away all my secrets.
With a little ingenuity I’m sure your tailor-made annoyances will soon restore the pre-CV19 status quo. The holy grail, after all, is a world of our own making. Don’t let some stupid killy virus upset your equanimity.
But don’t upset your loved ones either.
At the end of the day, if she really want to watch Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again (2018) on Netflix then grit your teeth big-boy and endure. You can get your revenge later by making her sit through Spencer Confidential.