I totally agree with Rayle Rubenstein in “Home is Where the Office Is.” I worked from home during the pandemic, but now that I’m back to the office I feel that my productivity has declined. While working from home, I had the place to myself while the kids were in school. I was able to focus on getting my tasks done without the distractions of socializing with co-workers, a half-hour commute to the office, and having to get all dressed up each morning. Although I admit I did run errands during the day, it was always during my lunch break, and to compensate I would very often work well past 5:30. Now that I am back at my cubicle, my day ends promptly at 5 P.M. and the work piles up until the next business day. I find that I am getting less work accomplished and at a slower speed. I desperately miss working from home.
Getting dressed for work is so important even if you are working from home. I really see the impact it has on my demeanor and overall productivity. The days that I am working in my sweats or even pajamas (don’t judge!) are days that I look sluggish and perform sluggishly. Now I make sure to put on makeup, a sheitel, shoes, and professional attire, and I see an improvement in my work. I take pride in my appearance, and it spills over to taking pride in what I produce.
In response to Victor Shine’s column, of course singles don’t know how to interact with the opposite gender. We have created this problem ourselves with our extreme separation of the genders. I remember in my day boys and girls used to play outside together, hang out with their siblings’ friends in the living room, socialize after shul, and sit at simchos together. It is through these casual interactions that they learned how to behave appropriately. Now, in the name of tznius, we have created an environment where boys and girls are discouraged from mingling from preschool age and yet we expect them to date and get married in their early 20s.
Growing up, and even when my kids were younger, winter vacation meant trips to the local pizzeria or neighborhood bowling alley, and a good time was had by all. This year, my wife and I decided for the first time to surprise our children with a trip to Florida. The surprise ended up being ours – and not in a good way – when our children let us know that Florida was old hat and that their friends were headed to Panama! I concur with last month’s Ask the Therapist column: winter vacation is out of control!
Wagging fingers and lecturing our children is not the answer, as Yitty Bercovic wrote in last month’s Musings column, but I cannot accept today’s behavior as normal. It should not be normal to enter someone’s house and forage through their kitchen cabinets. It should not be normal to sit down beside an adult and ask them where they purchased their clothes, nor should it be normal to eat their food without permission. On one hand, I do like the openness that my children and their friends have as it can lead to open communication, but I am also conflicted by how much is too much and where do the lines blur to then become disrespect. It indeed is a new generation.
Open Letter to the Yeshivah
My son needed to find a new school
Not because he misbehaves or is cruel
Enrollment was down and the school shut its doors
And so began our open houses and tours
Soon, a classmate then two got their “yes”
We waited for our turn to test
But I was shocked when we got a call of rejection:
“Your son lists too many services on his application”
You noticed he gets 30 minutes of OT
Twice a week, he gets PT
P3 services are also mandated
And so his acceptance was ill-fated
But what you didn’t see, dear Menahel
Are all the beautiful ways he does excel
He may require services galore
But you negated all the reasons he is adored
To shul he arrives 30 minutes early to pray
He makes sure to talk nicely to those whose hair is grey
He learns extra Torah at home, just because
When it comes to doing chessed there is never a pause
He stays after school to help the janitor clean
He cries because he cannot fulfill certain mitzvos until he’s 13
In case grades are important to you
He has mostly alephs, if you only had a clue
A child with delays is all you saw
To you he was nothing more than a flaw
You must be logged in to post a comment.