In an unexpected turn of events, I went back to work last week.
It was not at all a part of my plans for 2020, at least not this early in the year. It wasn't even something I was thinking about. The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage may have been put on hold, but after a few weeks of feeling a bit directionless, I had quite happily settled into a new groove. I was learning everything I could about cloud computing by completely rebuilding this website. I was even starting to think about building a second website, to document how I redeveloped this website.
Then, a few weeks ago, while having a Skype chat with a former colleague, it became apparent he was overwhelmed. He needed an extra hand, but someone who could hit the ground running right away. In other words, he needed someone who could do my old job without any additional training. I was, of course, a natural candidate.
I was somewhat reluctant at first, but after I thought about it for a couple days, I realized it might be a good opportunity. Not only would I get to help out a colleague and friend, but in the process I'd get to earn a little extra beer money for my pilgrimage. I let him know I'd consider coming back.
After a day's worth of negotiation — the company and I were initially some distance apart on just how much beer money I would require — I accepted the offer, and we set a tentative start date of Monday this week. However, I completed the drug screening the very next morning, and the background check was completed several days sooner than expected. As a result, the start date was moved up to Tuesday last week.
As my current job is essentially my previous job, I knew what to expect on my first day, so I was indeed able to hit the ground running. One of my first projects is to implement some required code changes on several internal web applications, one of which I myself initially wrote years ago. Right away, this is taking some pressure off my colleague.
What's very different now is working from home every day. In the past, I've done remote work when I need to fix something that breaks on a weekend, and I've worked half-days from home now-and-then when the scheduling of, say, a doctor's appointment made it inconvenient to make the long commute to work twice. However, this is the first time I've worked 100% from home, every day. I'm still getting used to it.
It's not entirely clear how long the work-from-home arrangement will last. For certain it'll be through the rest of this month at the very least. I'm hearing whispers that those who are working effectively from home may be asked to stay home for considerably longer, perhaps months longer, to protect those who'll need to return.
I may need to get comfortable with my new assistant.