The Chronicles of Sonia (Life in Lockdown Lifting)
As pubs and shops re-open, I can’t help but remember the day lockdown started; March 23 rd , 2020. I had so many hopes and dreams! Now I just have Netflix.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen after watching Netflix in its totality I feel like my remote control; old, broken and the START button is stuck.
I used to be a lean, mean comedy machine! Now I’m just a lump in front of a screen. What happened?
‘THE ACHIEVERS’ is what happened! You might know some of them. Determined individuals who used lockdown to better themselves, turning the crisis into an 'opportunity'. Unlike some of us who turned the crisis into an excuse to drink.
'THE ACHIEVERS' learnt to speak eight languages, did MBA’s, PHD’s and memorized the human genome. Me? I learnt to drink straight from a Tequila bottle. (Squeeze ¼ lime in and dab rim with salt).
If that wasn’t enough, I get a letter telling me I’m old. Hey I already know that! Does the NHS have to rub it in?
‘We have sent you this letter as people in your age group are now able to get the coronavirus vaccine.’
‘We have sent you this letter because you’re old and probably don’t even know what an email is. Book your jab THIS INSTANT, so you don’t forget.’
Despite my developing decrepitude, I manage to book the appointment and a couple of weeks later find myself in the vaccine center. The place is amazing! Full of courageous people exposing their upper arms freely, no need for nurses to hold them down forcefully.
Like they did with me. Yes, I was a cry-baby … so what? I didn’t even get a biscuit or a sweetie! What kind of a vaccine roll out I this? It takes the biscuit!
I wasn’t the only one disappointed. Conspiracy theorists getting the jab left with a chip on their shoulder, I mean a chip on their upper arm.
Back home I found out about the vaccine war. Not the one between countries, but the war on ‘Who got it worst’. Plastered all over social media, it was like a moaner’s convention:
‘I got headaches, heavy flu symptoms and a sore arm. It lasted for days!’
‘Oh yeah? Well, I got all that plus shivers, bad stomach and my arm got infected! Not wanting to be left out of the pity party I posted, ‘My arm fell off!’
The truth is I was sooooo ill with side effects! I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy! Actually, I would wish it on my worst enemy: ex-husband, the tax man, HR ladies who fired me … it's a long list.
Nasty nostalgia aside, now that I've had my jab, I can't wait to get back to the office! Don’t get me wrong, I have a lovely office in what used to be a tiny walk-in wardrobe. The state agent described it as ‘cosy and intimate, ideal to get away from it all’. Yes, including my sanity.
Remember TGIF - Thank God it’s Friday? Now it’s more like, ‘Is it Friday? Or Sunday … what’s my name?’.
The office had so many perks! A desk, free pencils … even toilets! We didn’t even have to clean them! We had an office microwave, never mind everything came out smelling of a curry someone heated in 1985.
I miss the office martyr (every office has one), she’s usually called Lizzie. Lizzie has a cold, the flue, pneumonia … she still shows up for work! Lizzie gives birth and 20 minutes later she’s at her desk with the baby, placenta flying.
I even miss the Human Resource ladies. They always made me feel so …terrified. With their PIPS (Performance Improvement Plan), which were there to help you out. Yes, help you out of the door.
Exhilarating times! Like when the HR lady said, ‘Sonia I’m afraid you’re on the redundancy list’. Two days later she came back ‘We made a mistake you’re not on the list! It was a glitch!’
A month later I was still fired. It was ‘The Dress Rehearsal Redundancy! HR had invented a new way of making me feel worthless.
So much for office life … now I'm back in my wardrobe, thinking that virus or no virus, I better move on with my life! Maybe get a new remote control to start with.
As for those HR ladies? When they get their jab? They’re on MY list.
And that ain’t no glitch.
Sonia Aste is an engineer / writer / comedian working on getting her START button unstuck.