Given the catastrophic events that took place this past week during and following historic Hurricane Sandy, it seemed fitting to reflect on some of the things I learned while working from home (in my case, my Upper East Side studio apartment). Our offices were in the "dead" zone of Manhattan, and with that said, most of us with power and Internet remained holed up for the week in our homes, doing our absolute bests to keep business going as usual. Inspired by a Gawker post
, I have decided to put together a list of a few things I learned while working from home (known as WFH) this week:
1. Mayor Bloomberg needs to take a Spanish refresher course -- Oh El Bloombito
2. Going to the gym twice (once to run, once to spin) saves you from complete and total isolation. While most of NYC shut down, Equinox remained open throughout the storm (minus downtown locations) with a normal class schedule in effect. And yes, people were there in full force.
3. Living on the Upper East Side during a downtown blackout meant the renaissance of uptown life...84th and 2nd, anyone?
4. When the news got repetitive the new "Pandora" became NetFlix. Saved by the Bell, The Hills, The Wonder Years, Dawson's Creek...never looked so good. This was, of course, once Full House and Boy Meets World morning reruns were over.
5. Once they resumed from being preempted by storm coverage, we quickly saw that no one on our favorite soap opera had aged a day since we watched it 5 years ago. Something's never do change.
6. Peanut butter and fluff is no longer something only kindergarteners can get away with eating. With two-hour wait times on Seamless Web, anything goes.
7. Getting dressed and putting on makeup after six days in pajamas is an incredibly difficult task.
8. Going back to a daily commute and being in an office never sounded so good. But, when you're almost at the subway, and you get an email about no heat or hot water at the office, It's back to pajamas you go, at least for another day.
9. While it's been a relaxing six days, I am seriously hoping WFH/WFA does not become the new normal.
10. We remain very glad our boyfriends have returned to Wall Street even if we were the only ones here on the UES that never lost power, and our friends who live on Wall Street still remain hurricane refugees.
Most importantly (with all kidding aside), I learned that I work for a company that truly appreciates each and every one of its employees and takes our values
to heart – specifically when it comes to helping our fellow peers. While I heard talks of people potentially having to use their vacation days for the week they were unable to work, or having to walk 90 blocks in the cold as they had already waited an hour to squeeze on a bus just to get to their offices, we were told to work from our homes or wherever we could get things done and not be inconvenienced with the hour long commutes others were forced to endure, which continued into the week following power restoration. I don't know too many people who would tell you their CEO sent a company wide email offering impacted employees the ability to book transportation and hotels to areas that were not as burdened by disaster as the tri-state area was. All of this, in addition to our colleagues in Dulles and Baltimore rallying together to get supplies and necessities to the areas hit by this mass destruction, allowed me to emphatically say I have never been so proud to be an AOL employee - we truly are in the business of helping people, period, now more than ever in most of our lifetimes – helping ourselves.
Furthermore, our CEO and many of our executives organized tractors overflowing with donations from fellow AOLers to Long Island and New Jersey. Along with the tractors, large vans filled with AOLer's came along to help hand out the supplies.
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