Caitlyn M. Dlouhy, v-p and editorial director of Caitlyn Dlouhy Books at S&S/Atheneum, confronts an unexpected set of challenges while trying to do her job from home. (See our previous roundup of WFH stories here.)
No longer able to take my long twice-daily walk from Penn Station to Rockefeller Center as I was no longer commuting into the city, I’d initially worried (along with dozens of other worries) that quarantine would turn me into a chair-potato. I needn’t have fretted.
That very first day home, an unexpected form of exercise immediately presented itself. I call it “letting out the animals.” It goes like this: Immerse yourself deep into a line edit of a manuscript. Hundred-pound dog will hit Let Me Outside bell. Let out the dog. Pick said manuscript back up. Count to four; let out one cat. Dog back in. 10 seconds later, another cat goes out. A minute later, a cat I hadn’t even realized was outside wants in. The dog wants out again. One of the I-let-out cats is back up on the porch, but just stares with its I’m Good, Just Hanging Here On the Porch With the Birds look and won’t come in. Until I sit down with the manuscript, and then its face is plastered against the door. I let that cat in. Cat previously let in 20 seconds earlier is now asleep on my manuscript. PURRING. That goes on, oh, nearly all day. I’m not even going to touch the 300 snacks my quaranTEENs apparently neeeeeeeeeeed during the course of a single day of Distance Learning. Or the chinchilla’s sudden obsession with banana chips. So maybe I don’t have a chair-potato problem after all?