a peek inside the fishbowl

18 Jun, 2020

Don’t ask me how many weeks

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I am hearing too many Covid-related retail and food service horror stories. Clueless shoppers, rude shoppers, impatient shoppers. Ugh. DON’T BE THAT PERSON.

As some of you know, I’ve been working from home since mid-March or so.

Every once in awhile I find myself thinking wistfully of a beautiful calendar I received for Christmas that’s hanging over my desk there. It’s one of those big ones, gorgeously printed on thick creamy paper… an import from Italy, I believe. I think of it hanging there, stuck on March. I’ve missed the illustrations from April and May and now I might miss June.

Don’t get me wrong. I am ok working from home. I am well-equipped to work here. After all, I did it for many years. Here at home I have an office and a door and a desk and a computer and good wi-fi and an ok desk chair. I have a corner office with two windows (!), excellent coffee, a friendly colleague. I can take a walk at lunch, and often do. I really have nothing to complain about, but I sure miss being at the “real” office.

I am thinking ahead to what it will be like to work in the office again. It’s a very caring and progressive place but not all offices are like mine. I really and truly hope that as people go back to work, attend backyard BBQs, go shopping, and meet up with friends etc. that everyone (1) heeds the latest directives from Ottawa Public Health and (2) communicates clearly and honestly to the people in their close proximity, no matter where they are.

For example, if I’m chatting with someone I can ask: “It looks like I’m standing a little closer than two metres/six feet, is this ok with you?” And then be prepared to step back if needed.

Related to this: Most of my rage at the grocery store right now is directly proportionate to the number of people I see not respecting my space or the space of others. And guess what? It turns out I AM the kind of person who tells people they’re going the wrong way down a one-way aisle at the grocery store! One person I informed (politely) clearly hadn’t noticed while the other took offence, but honestly, I don’t care what people think. I’m speaking up.

2 Responses to "Don’t ask me how many weeks"

1 | Ginger

June 26th, 2020 at 12:53 am


I’m that person too. I liked my personal space before this, but now…I would prefer even more than 6 feet please!

2 | andrea tomkins

June 26th, 2020 at 1:53 pm


It’s going to be tough. The problem is that everyone seems to have a different tolerance. Some people think it’s no big deal, while others haven’t left their homes at all since March.

I was talking to a cashier at the grocery store the other day. He said he doesn’t wear a mask because he’s young, healthy, and strong. What he doesn’t realize is that although be might not get sick, he could certainly pass it on to someone who could. Wearing a mask is about protecting others too!

comment form:


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Look who I found! - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] He (or she) was just hanging out on a hosta. He’s the only one I’ve seen from our brood. […]
  • andrea tomkins: Me too! I am REALLY looking forward to it. We didn't get to go last year so I'm really counting on it this summer!
  • Ginger: I hope COVID-19 doesn't take away your camping trip!
  • andrea tomkins: It's going to be tough. The problem is that everyone seems to have a different tolerance. Some people think it's no big deal, while others haven't lef
  • Ginger: I'm that person too. I liked my personal space before this, but now...I would prefer even more than 6 feet please!
  • andrea tomkins: We have a natural gas BBQ but we bought this portable one a few years back fo camping and/or picnics. I loooove the smell of burning charcoal! And yes
  • Corvid: You have a charcoal grill *and* a gas bbq? Or just charcoal? I have both. Charcoal flavour is unique/delish. What restaurant is that?

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


E-book alert!

Shopping Embargo e-book promo

My right hand is actually a camera

Connect with me at these places too!

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter