Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson.

Episode 119: Random Thoughts: Working from home and my mask pet peeves

We’re approaching month 7 of living in this pandemic world. During this time, my company along with many other companies has made the decision to allow their employees to work from home until next year. Companies have noticed they are saving a lot of money and seeing an increase in productivity. Honestly, my company has not lost a beat with everyone working from home.

I find it interesting reading articles that have been talking about the issues working from home causes for employees. Working from home is nothing new to me. I’ve been working from home for years. In fact, I was working from home before the Coronavirus hit, so nothing changed in my routine. Out of all the companies that I’ve ever worked, hands down, this place, so far has been one of the BEST. Honestly, working from home has allowed me to live my best life! If you want to learn more why check Episode 116 It’s My Birthday.

In any case, I have to laugh when I come across articles talking about the “issues” working from home causes for employees. Surely, this was not written by a real employee. Most likely these articles are written by executives who want to get away from their family environment. Considering the fact that they are trying to get back to the office and away from their “family” proves that these individuals are living a checklist life. Their family or “loved ones” are just items they can check off their list so that they can appear that they are worth imitating. 

Also, when I come across articles that discuss the issues that working from home poses for employees, I often picture a lonely micromanager who lacks the self-discipline they need to work from home. Instead of dealing with their personal problems (i.e. being lonely, needing to be surrounded by other people to feed their ego, etc.), this lonely micromanager insists on projecting their personal problems onto everyone else (aka their subordinates). Again, I’ve been working from home for years.

Here’s the thing, the majority of the folks that I know, obviously myself included, absolutely love working from home. Where you work should NOT dictate how effective you are at your job. If you have a corporate job and you had to work late on a project, you would most likely do so from your house. Therefore, there is NO difference than when you work from home all day everyday. Those people that want people to come back into the office are dealing with personal issues that they want to project onto others (i.e. their subordinates or  co worker).

I know lonely micromanagers are the same fools that voted for offices to embrace an open layout. OK, sorry just had a bad flashback to the days when I had to sit in that ridiculous layout… Anyway moving forward, working from home is a win-win for everyone involved (the company and employees). Since everyone has been working from home, companies are seeing a thrive in Productivity. Again, working from home is a win -win for everyone; especially the employees. A home environment gives employees the Creativity outlet they need and last but not least, working from home enables employees to keep a Work/Life Balance.

For example, let’s take the increase in productivity. 

Productivity

I cannot stress how much more work I get done at home than when I’m in the office. Working in the office is incredibly distracting. In time past, I was stuck working in an uncomfortable cubicle. In addition to this, it seemed that my cubicle was located in the busiest aisle known to mankind. You know that one aisle everyone takes to get back to their own cubicle, but before they make it back to their desk, they stop in front of my cubicle to have the world’s longest conversation with another co-worker.

Then there’s what I refer to as the drive-bys. When you’re trying to meet a deadline and then someone drops by to talk to you. You don’t want to be rude, so you stop what you’re doing and chat for a bit, and then try to give cues that you’re busy but the other person doesn’t seem to pick up on the cues. Finally, I just have to be the bad guy and end the conversation. The same thing happens when you stop by the water cooler. Again, working in the office is incredibly distracting.

I know this is going to sound cold, but I’m just not big on the chit chat conversations. Especially when it’s with people that I have nothing in common with. It’s nothing personal, but there’s only so many hours in a day. As I get older, I just don’t have the time and energy to engage in fake conversations. Utilizing my time for fake conversations, means that I have to work overtime. I am a person who properly utilizes her time during working hours. Mainly, because I am not into working overtime. Working overtime interferes with my “I work to live, not live to work” mentality!

Working from home allows us to avoid all the aforementioned scenarios. Unlike some people, I prefer to finish my work during working hours.  Plus, after hours, I have a ton of fulfilling projects that I like to work on like teaching English, dance, working on my fitness apparel stores, doing voiceovers, etc. These projects are my passion. They are fun for me and the extra cash I make is icing on the cake.

If you think about it, who in their right mind does not want to work from the comfort of their own home? I will take the home office that I have built for myself ANY DAY over an office cubicle. Besides, why wouldn’t you want to work from home? Home is where the heart is right? It’s been interesting reading studies and articles about how men are more willing to go back to the office than women. To me, it seems like many of these men are going back into the office as a means to escape from their home life.

I have to work really hard NOT to roll my eyes when I hear people complain about working from home and being anxious to get back into the office. These fools would rather sit in an office all day wearing a mask (which by the way I will NEVER do) when they could be working from the comfort of their own home.  That makes no sense! I know the essential workers trapped in retail jobs would love to be able to work from home. These essential workers (especially those who work in retail) would love to switch places with these fools who insist on coming into the office.

What I have noticed is – many of the folks complaining about working from home have never truly worked in jobs that are considered essential.  I worked retail in high school. It was one of the main reasons why I knew I needed to get that piece of paper (aka degree). The way my personality is set up, I know I could not deal with the Karens, Beckys, Chads and Tanners of the world and maintain my sanity.

Many of you who know me, know I don’t have a poker face. Therefore, you can immediately see the irritation on my face when I have to listen to someone say, they cannot wait to get back into the office. I automatically think about how selfish or lonely this person is. They are leaving their spouse at home to take care of the kids all by herself (I said herself because most of the time it is women that end up with the kids) and/or they are just lonely people that are forcing their subordinates or co-worker to be their friend,  and/or they need to be surrounded by other people to feed their ego during working hours.

Another thing, the folks that “enjoy” going to the office oftentimes have their own office. They don’t have to sit in cubicles or worst the ridiculous open layout format. They can retreat back to their office while the rest of us are stuck trying to book a conference room so we can make a simple client call because we’re sitting on top of each other…

Again, working from home is a win-win for everyone involved. It highlights the folks that are producing results as well as demonstrates to employers those who are barely doing enough to get a paycheck. Working in the office, folks who “fake” working have always been able to get away with their behavior.  Mainly because they’re good at talking and running around playing the office politics games. At home, communication must be scheduled, concise, and direct. Outside the office environment, that “fake” stuff does not work.

Working from home exposes these people for the fakes they are and employees like me finally get a chance to shine. Working from home does not diminish our productivity. On the contrary, it enhances our productivity by taking away the stress and giving employees back their time. This is valuable time that can be spent developing our creativity.

Creativity

The time and energy we waste getting ready for work, fighting traffic to get to work, and once we get there, we need time to decompress from the hassle it took to get to work. This daily 2 or 3 hours a day can be better spent on developing our God given creativity.

Working from home takes away the stress and mismanagement of time.  The mere fact that I don’t have to deal with all the above put me in a win- win situation. My home office is super calming. Since I’m more relaxed I can think of more ideas on how to create more revenue opportunities to increase my 9 to 5 business as well as my own.

 I hope this doesn’t come across as arrogant, but I’m one of the most creative people you will ever meet. When someone tells me their talent, I can come up with all sorts of ideas on how they can make money with their God-given talent. I am just wired this way as to why my mom strongly suggested that I pursue a career in marketing. Needless to say, she was correct in helping me choose my path in life. I try to do the same so others can experience some of what I have.

From a corporate perspective, it’s unfortunate that many employers may not get to reap the benefits of their employees’ creativity. Many companies fail to realize that a lot of those ideas that employees wish to share are being trapped by those that they report into…their managers. I’ve had managers either never share my idea or flat out attempt to steal my idea. Emphasis on attempt because I would never allow someone to take credit for my idea. I’ve also had coworkers attempt to do the same thing without being reprimanded by their manager. 

If you call me impromptu, please do not be offended if I don’t use my video.
When I say, “I’m not camera ready,” that means I’m looking like the photo on the left. 😉

I’ll never forget the first time this happened to me. I created a brand new report but I needed one piece of data that I needed to include in the report. I was going on vacation somewhere I wouldn’t have Wifi, so I asked my coworker if they could include the data and then send it to my client. My coworker decided to put his name on the report and act like he created the report and took the compliments on my behalf. I found out only because the department head complimented this person. Now I could care less about the accolades. The thing that upset me was this dude had the audacity to steal my idea like  I was someone he could walk all over. 

So I called a meeting with my manager and this thief and expressed my frustration.  Since this thief was on the other side of the situation (receiving compliments for my work), he didn’t understand why I was so upset. Of course, my worthless manager just wanted me to get past this without “reprimanding the thief”. Mainly because the thief performed one of the best White tears performances I had ever seen (guys this was before the Amy Cooper and the Black bird watcher video). So anyway, when we left the conference room the thief was visibly upset. Everyone was looking at me like I was the bad person despite the fact that this person had flat out stolen my idea and lied.. 

Honestly, it was moments like this and others that followed that caused me to seriously question how much of my energy I wanted to spend climbing that corporate ladder only to find out later that my ladder was leaning against the wrong wall.  My hope during this pandemic is that companies that aren’t thriving in the innovation area need to take inventory of their company’s leadership staff. Due to bottlenecks, companies could be missing out on great ideas that can generate more revenue.

As I stated before working from home is a win-win for everyone. The company and I both get to save money. The company saves money because they no longer have to pay for travel and expenses. They can save even more money because they don’t have to pay for company infrastructure. If it is a reputable company, then hopefully those savings will be redistributed to the employees. Even if the aforementioned never happens, an employee can still save money because he/she no longer has to pay for transportation costs and/or work clothes.

In addition to all these benefits, working from home gives employees a great work/like balance.

Work/Life Balance

Just sitting back thinking about my work/life balance, can be attributed to me working from home. The two hours I used to spend getting dressed and commuting to work can now be spent on exercising. I love exercising in the morning. The only way I can exercise during this time is because I don’t have to waste my time and energy going into the office.

There’s no way in the world I could exercise in the morning if I had to go into the office. The time it would take for me to get dressed, do my makeup and hair, I’ve got natural hair so that will take forever to style (scroll down to see the video I created to learn more about natural hair) I would never get out the door. Of course, I’ve got to leave time to commute. I’m exhausted just thinking about that schedule…

There are so many positive aspects to employees working from home. As I have stated before, this pandemic has not been all bad.  Working from home is definitely an approach that more companies will continue to embrace. 

My Mask Wearing Pet Peeves

On the other hand, I will never embrace how people treat wearing masks like Linus wore his blanket. Some people’s approach to wearing a mask demonstrates that common sense is not all that common for everyone.

I’m not going to get into all of my thoughts regarding the Coronavirus and the mask. In case you’re interested checkout Episode 108.  Anyway, I feel this whole mask-wearing thing is getting out of hand. It’s driving me insane to see these advertisements that state that wearing masks is saving lives. It’s not true! You can still get sick if you’re wearing a cloth mask.Unless you’re wearing the N95 mask you’re not saving anything.

I have seen so many instances of cross contamination.  I’ve seen people wearing masks on their chin, underneath their nose, on their ears or wrist then they touch different surfaces only to put back on their Linus blanket (aka their mask). The thing that I’ve seen that’s puzzled me the most is when I see kids at the playground with a mask on, playing on equipment that is not disinfected but then touching all over their face to keep their mask on. It doesn’t make sense. You might as well take the mask off… You will have a better chance of not getting contaminated.

Here’s the thing, if you want me to wear a mask in the store; that’s cool! But I will never wear one outside when social distancing is clearly possible. There is no reason in the world that you shouldn’t be able to social distance outside. I value my health and safety so trust me, I was a social distancing champ before the pandemic.

The bottom line, it is NOT good to wear a mask all day and especially if you’re exercising. You’re literally breathing in your own carbon dioxide and trapping bacteria in your mask. You’re increasing your chances of getting dizzy and fainting. Wearing a mask while exercising is one of the main reasons why I and many other fitness instructors opted not to return back to the studio to teach our classes. We KNOW how dangerous it is to teach a fitness class with a mask on.

Now don’t get me wrong, I know there are those who are teaching under duress under this condition, because they really need the money. I am not talking about them. I am simply pointing out that mask wearing in the great outdoors is an overkill.  I feel like people are just blindly following rules without questioning their validity. 

Maintaining a social distancing environment is all we need. I love to run and bike by myself. Therefore, maintaining a social distance is not a problem for people like me. I have been doing this way before the pandemic came into existence and I have been in very good health before and during this pandemic.

My whole pet peeve is those people who are buying into this whole “I’m saving lives when they wear a mask.” You’re really not saving lives! Seeing people wearing a mask when they are literally sitting on their own porch away from people is silly. This is equally disturbing when I see people wearing masks to mow the grass without a single soul near them. If the media believes in fair play, they should report on the folks that are getting sick from wearing their mask.

The mask-wearing that thoroughly confuses me is when I see people wearing a mask alone in their car or the majority of the family members are wearing a mask and one of the members is not. This is silly! You all are going home together. If the one without the mask gets sick, he/she is going to spread it to everyone in the family. So, you might as well stand in solidarity as a family by everyone wearing the mask or everyone not wearing the mask. Another rule that drives me insane is with the restaurant situation. You walk into a restaurant with the mask on only to take it off when you get to your table. It doesn’t make any sense! 🤷‍♀️

There’s just way too much fear going around. For example, when I’m running or biking on the trail I make a point to leaving plenty of room when I go past people. Yet, I see fearful people freaking out trying to hurry up and put a mask after I have already approached them. I’m literally long gone before they accomplish putting on their mask.

My point is, if you’re going to wear a mask outside, make it make sense people. I can’t wait to share an interview with one of English students who works in the science field in Germany. The way they are doing things over there makes WAY more sense to me than the mess we have going on over here in America.

I truly do believe that the Coronavirus is going to end up being like the flu. As a result, the thing that makes the most sense is to teach people how to focus on building up their immune system. Pharmaceutical companies focus on treating symptoms because it’s more lucrative than creating a cure. Instead of giving people information about building up their immune system, the media has been trying to brainwash people into getting a vaccination. Vaccination isn’t going to be effective because this virus strain mutates way too fast. By the way, for those folks who think that they need to get a flu shot vaccination, the CDC doesn’t heavily advertise the fact that the effectiveness rate is only 40% so there’s no point in getting one of these either.

The bottom line is everyone needs to do their research and make sure that they don’t forget common sense in their quest to stay healthy. There’s just way too much fear going around. I understand people are getting sick, but we still have to find a balance of maintaining some semblance of sanity and being sociable.

Articles/videos referenced in this Natural Hair video:

Black Women with Natural Hairstyles Are Perceived as Less Professional: Black people can’t catch a break…LOL This is not news to any of us, but this is yet another type of discrimination faced on a daily basis.

Hair Relaxer Use and Risk of Uterine Leiomyomata in African-American Women: In an attempt to reduce our curl pattern, many of us (myself included) used to use relaxers. Of course, no one told us about the dangerous chemicals that these relaxers contained nor the fact that they cause an increase in fibroids or cause cancer. Hence, why many Black women STOPPED getting relaxers. No one wants to die over their hair.

The Crown Act: A law that is supposed to address the issue of hair discrimination in the workplace. By the way, super insane this is even needed because if you have an issue with our hair… that’s a personal problem. Take it up with God…🤷‍♀️

Sharmen J Beauty: I LOVE her headwraps. They are super stylish and comfortable. I would buy the entire store if I could. They make fantastic gifts!

Grace Eleyae (Slap): There’s no way I would ever go to bed and/or outside during the wintertime without wearing these satin-lined slaps (aka beanies) that she makes. They have a satin lining on the inside that help keep your hair moisturized. Another fantastic gift for your favorite curlfriend.

YouGoNatural: Beautiful African satin lined headwraps.

Unan Import (site coming soon): If you’re in Chicago, stop by this store. He sells headscarves along with beautiful African art, skincare products (African Black soap, Mango butter, Shea butter), earrings, etc.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. Don’t forget to take the How Well Rounded Are  You in Life quiz and check out  StarenguCrew, our new fitness apparel shop.

If you enjoy Hustle in Faith’s content, please consider becoming a supporter by donating, purchasing a  Hustle in Faith journal  or an  item from StarenguCrew in order to help offset the cost of producing this show.Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire you in the next episode!