I’m lonely! I’m actually a natural introvert so had no problems when we all switched to working from home when the pandemic hit two and a half years ago. I also have anxieties and was very concerned about catching COVID for a long time. I felt safe and secure in my own home and managed to get my work done.
Many of my colleagues have left our office because they got rid of our physical space. Now everyone must work from home. So, now I’m alone in person but also alone online as most of my friends have left.
I like my job but not enough to stay if I’m no longer happy. I don’t know what to do.
Lost and lonely
You are so not alone in this. When the pandemic hit, we were all sent to our own homes and told to stay there. Then came a period of some people wanting to poke their heads out the door while not sure if it was safe. The return to the workplace was too early for some, unthinkable for others, a saving grace for still others.
It’s been a whirlwind. According to the internet, pre-COVID, 75 per cent of friendships among young people started in the office. That stat dropped when everyone was home.
In your situation, you have a few choices: you could follow your friends and try to get a job where they are now working; you could meet the new hires, maybe make new friends, and get out of the house to socialize with your old friends; or you could brave the outside world, with full precaution, and test the water.
You may be surprised at your reaction.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman afraid of the new puppy her husband brought home (Oct. 17):
Reader – “I can’t help but wonder, if perhaps, like me, she was afraid of dogs without understanding the reason behind her fear.
“For many years, I was terrified of dogs, even though we had a puppy when I was five. Unfortunately, we had to give her away.
“I remember walking through a local park where a man was playing Frisbee with his Doberman on the far side. I had to cross the park to get to work. They were nowhere near where I was walking. By the time I got across, I had blacked out from fear.
“Years later, after understanding how to work on your fears from a psych class at Brock university, I was seeing a guy who had two small white dogs. I wasn’t bad with them. So, after we stopped seeing each other, I decided to work on my fear.
“I thought I would get a puppy, something I call mid-size. If I couldn’t handle it, I would take it to the Humane Society. But at least I had tried.
“Needless to say, it took five months before I started to realize she was a living, breathing thing. From there, I continued to fall in love with her. Now, I’m on my fourth yellow Labrador.
“Her objection may be due to the fact that she doesn’t understand dogs. I realize mine was.”
Lisi – According to ABC Australian news, cynophobia, the fear of dogs, is the eighth most common fear, so neither you, nor the wife in the original letter should feel alone.
I wouldn’t suggest getting a puppy with the Humane Society as your fall back. There are already too many homeless and unwanted dogs. In this woman’s case, her family brought the puppy home, and though cute, she just wasn’t getting on board. But hopefully, after a few more months, she’ll feel better. Going to a professional may also help her get over her fear.
I read your daily column and thoroughly enjoy reading them.
How can I tell whether the response is coming from Ellie or Lisi? When Lisi first started that seemed to be "announced," for example, today's column is brought to you by...
But now there doesn't seem to be a reference to Lisi at all unless there is a “follow up” response from the readers.
I like reading them both, but like to know who is giving the advice.
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The transition from Ellie writing all six columns weekly to Lisi writing two, then three, and now four columns a week has been quick and a little disjointed.
We move Ellie’s columns around, so she’s not always on any one day. Sometimes that gets lost in translation. Hopefully soon everyone will be on the same page, and it will be more obvious.
Also, don’t forget to check the byline at the top of the column. That clearly identifies who wrote that day.