Who's the Daddy: Working at home’s so different

So, how’s your lockdown going? I’m guessing one of two ways, lonely as hell or driven to breaking point by your family.

Saturday, 16th May 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 6:13 pm
Who's the Daddy

Seven weeks in and working from home has turned us into a nation of slobs.

I saw myself in the bathroom mirror first thing one morning last week and the hairy face staring back looked like he’d been shipwrecked on a desert island for six months. The only way the day job gets done properly is to, as they said in High School Musical, get your head in the game.

Now anyone who has ever set foot in a newsroom will tell you, the tension often felt and the language used is similar to extra-time in a cup final when your team are chasing an equaliser and their keeper’s having the game of his life.

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I was 21 and had stood on United Road and the Stretford End for years when I walked into a newspaper office for the first time, but I’d never heard grown men and women bellow such language that wasn’t yelled from the terraces to the tune of a nursery rhyme. And I thought, “I’m home.”

Swearing is used as punctuation. One day a colleague brought her young son into work and everybody minded their Ps and Qs for a whole day. My God, it nearly broke us. The strain of watching what you say all day was like a post-watershed version of the Yes/No Game.

At first the atmosphere in these places is terrifying, but after a while it becomes normal and before you know where you are, you’re addicted to it.

So when, during lockdown, the one-man newsroom is temporarily based in your kitchen, it’s perhaps forgivable to sometimes forget where you are.

Especially when you spot a howler in copy that, if left undetected, would get your newspaper sued back to the Stone Age. Normally you’d gasp, “Oh for ****’* sake, have you seen this?” and show it to everyone on the desk.

Sadly, you’re not at work, you’re at home, and all the windows are open. Your wife, children, neighbours and postman can hear you. This is the real world. And you sound like a lunatic.