Shabnam

Full transcription coming soon. The entire audio interview is available above.

Shabnam is a mother to an elementary school boy and a middle school girl. She has been working from home since the start of quarantine.

“So, that’s the challenge I have from the work, on top of it, the kids are home…this is the nightmare part…the first two weeks I cry a couple of times, because it was really bad because I was sitting in the kitchen table and Eli was at our island… and I’m trying to concentrate on my work and it’s really annoying…he comes and talks, and for me, again, my English is not very good, so sometimes I have to read the email a couple of times to really make sure I understand it— what they’re asking me— and I’m in the middle of the email and he comes and says something…I have to read the email 4-5 times.”


Interview highlights:

“Since the COVID-19 crisis, it’s kind of a nightmare to be very honest with you…it has been very challenging, couple of things, number one is my day usually start from 8-5…but working from home is not like that…if I count how many days I had a meeting at 5:30 [AM], 6 o’clock and 7, it’d be ridiculous, and it eventually gets to you. I used to have a meeting at 6 o’clock or 7 o’clock but maybe once or twice a month, when we want to have a group with Asia and Germany and we want to be a good time for everyone, we have it that early, but not as often as I have right now… my working schedule is way longer than what it used to be at the office…and sometimes, people call you at 12 o’clock, 12:30, during your lunch time, because in the office 12 o’clock everybody go for lunch…here, there are no boundaries! Like my sales called me at 12 o’clock, she says ‘oh, your calendar was so booked that was the only time I can find you, so I have this question, dadada…’ and and and you cannot just say, ‘well I’m having lunch I’m shoving, you know, food in my mouth.’” 

“So, that’s the challenge I have from the work, on top of it, the kids are home…this is the nightmare part. So, Diana is perfect…I have no idea what she does…all I do is I check her grade, as long as her grade is good, I don’t care…Eli is a nightmare…one day I counted, by 10 o’clock, he said ‘mommy’ 529 times…and I have to look at him, otherwise he keeps saying ‘mommy’ I’m like, ‘yes Eli?’ ‘NO!! MOMMY! ‘Yes?’ ‘Why are you angry?’ I’m like, ‘yes Eli, tell me, I’m in the middle of something.’ ‘First, can you smile?’ I wanna smack him…the first two weeks I cry a couple of times, because it was really bad because I was sitting in the kitchen table and Eli was at our island… and I’m trying to concentrate on my work and it’s really annoying, sometimes I have meetings, he comes and talks, and for me, again, my English is not very good, so sometimes I have to read the email a couple of times to really make sure I understand it— what they’re asking me— and I’m in the middle of the email and he comes and says something…I have to read the email 4-5 times.”  

“One big positive of this that I like, I work all my life…I never ever ever have the chance of being that much time with the kids…this is the first time in my life and I love it. I’m spending time with the kids.  You know? As much as the negative part of it, that I get frustrated, it’s still, the hugs he comes and gives me, or at night we play monopoly…my life was always rush rush rush rush…very routine…this is something I never personally experienced in my life and I love it.” 

Shabnam's son, Eli
Shabnam’s son, Eli, attending his virtual, online class.

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