The Life of an Editor in Isolation
Like many out there, I got a crash course in telecommuting over the past week and a half thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. The experience has had its ups and downs.
I’ve written articles from home many times over the years, but to suddenly have to manage everything from home has been a challenge. For one thing, the Mac in my Philadelphia office has a wealth of background information, contacts, photos and much more in its memory banks — information I rely on all the time. I can access it remotely, but it’s a slow process.
To make it tougher, last week I had to do all my work while squinting at a tiny 14˝ laptop screen. (I had to use a magnifying glass at times. That’s not a joke.) On Monday, thanks to the efforts of IPI Publisher Chris Curran and Editorial Director Denise Gustavson, I was able to connect a massive 27˝ monitor to the laptop, and life got so much better.
I’ve set up shop in the “sun room” of my house, with windows all around me to let in the sun and give me a view of the trees outside. When the weather’s pleasant, like last Friday, I can even sit outside in the fresh air and work.
It’s from this makeshift office that I’ve been checking in with in-plants and writing updates on the virus’ impact. I did a video interview of Laura Locket, manager of Sacramento State University Print and Mail, on Monday to learn what she and her employees are facing on the West Coast, and have more videos planned. At the same time, I’m proofreading articles for the April issue on screen instead of paper, interacting with our designer via email and Microsoft Teams, and doing a lot of conference calls.
Though I’m so busy I haven’t had much time to think about it, I do miss going into Philadelphia, and walking or biking to my office from the train station, chatting with coworkers — all those “normal” activities I took for granted. This new reality, with my kids and wife all in the house with me as I work, is novel right now, but if it goes on another month … well, it helps to think about the end of this pandemic and life returning to something like normal.
I wish all of you the best in your new work environments as well.
Bob has served as editor of In-plant Impressions since October of 1994. Prior to that he served for three years as managing editor of Printing Impressions, a commercial printing publication. Mr. Neubauer is very active in the U.S. in-plant industry. He attends all the major in-plant conferences and has visited nearly 170 in-plant operations around the world. He has given presentations to numerous in-plant groups in the U.S., Canada and Australia, including the Association of College and University Printers and the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association. He also coordinates the annual In-Print contest, cosponsored by IPMA and In-plant Impressions.