The Diary of Dr. Sharon McDonnell

Aged 53 and 3/4

14th July, 2020

Dear Diary

Working from home comes with many challenges, especially if you have children.  This BBC interview is a classic example.  The poor dad must have been mortified.  Whilst I felt sorry for him, I must admit I did find it very funny.

Fast forward to Covid-19 era and everything has changed almost over night,  including the way we dress for work (e.g. pyjamas  – go on admit it!) and communicate with each other, especially when conducting meetings.  It is not just BBC interviews that we can get caught out.  The use of Zoom or similar, come with risks and a list of potentially embarrasing moments.    Sigh of relief  – my children are grown up, so I won’t be caught out like the poor dad, that  I have just referred to.

However, whilst such innovative progress is being made to help us keep in touch during the pandemic, the  etiquette associated with using these new forms of communication is seriously lacking. It seems almost overnight the old fashioned phone call is out and everyone wants to ‘Zoom’ (see each other). As a direct result, that is how I got caught out! 

This particular day I was working in my pyjamas and my hair was all over the place.  I have to admit I was frightening!  Anyway, it didn’t matter as nobody would see me, or so I thought.  Two hours can easily pass when I immerse myself in my work.  If I’m honest, I should have been dressed or at the very least brushed my hair!  During the morning I emailed a colleague, asking to speak to them later in the day and provided them with my landline.  I continued to work, and as expected, my colleague phoned at the arranged time.  It went downhill from this point!  They didn’t ring my landline, they face-timed me on my mobile.  Good God!  It was ringing, I stared at it mortified, I froze and then not thinking clearly, I accepted the call and answered it.  I don’t know who was most shocked, me at being exposed as an understudy for a horror movie or my colleague catching me out!  Admittedly, I did find it funny once I got over the shock and  it was not as embarrasing as the poor dad on TV.  However,  one thing is for sure, I won’t be caught out again!

Dr. Sharon McDonnell is the Managing Director of Suicide Bereavement UK
© Suicide Bereavement UK,  2020