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Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: Coronavirus: Business and technology in a pandemic

A sad Google employee laments how COVID-19 coronavirus is ruining his work

Some tech employees may not have the life skills to deal with working from home. Poor things.

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Poor thing.

In these torrid times of coronavirus pandemic, it's good to have sympathy with one's fellow humans.

Many are genuinely suffering. I fear, though, that some have been lured by the comforts of their tech jobs into believing they're insulated from the tiresome demands of everyday life.

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Take one Google employee who is struggling with being asked to work from home.

In a snippet posted to Twitter by The New York Times' Mike Isaac, this Googlie fully expresses his discomfort at suddenly not having his employer provide for his basic needs.

He says: "My productivity has gone down as well. Because (a) I didn't have a coffee machine at home, and ended up either having to take a mile-long walk to Starbucks or fight against my morning drowsiness."

I sense you already feel his pain. The mere idea of having to walk a mile in his shoes to get your almond-milk latte must make you queasy.

But wait. This Googlie had more: "(b) I now need to cook, do the dishes etc, which are previously handled by the office cafeteria."

There are some nights we all don't want to cook. Don't we then use our technology to persuade some fine delivery person to bring a bulbous burrito to our door? There's minimal dishwashing after that.

The Googlie must be in so much pain that he simply didn't think of that.

There was another complaint: "(c) I tried to reduce my screen time by not having external monitors at home and now I code on a small 13-inch laptop display."

Oddly, I write on a large 13-inch laptop display and that works. However, many will surely understand that suddenly having to look at a smaller screen can be jarring.

Yet, as the virus is spreading and people are dying, perhaps these are all relatively small inconveniences, even for a mind-numbed coder who's been lured by Google into rarely leaving the office.

Naturally, Twitterites and other web inhabitants with screens even smaller than 13 inches expressed their feelings joyously.

Sample: "If only he could have taken his work monitors home. That's some serious OOTB thinking."

Second sample: "That's all well and good but it begs the question, who is going to draw a heart in the foam on my latte? Certainly not me, I'm a backend engineer."

Some even offered thoughts and prayers.

Many thoughts come to mind. It could be that this tale is apocryphal. Then again, it does sound quite the sort of attitude one hears so many times in Valley parts.

It could, indeed, be that this tale offers a precise view of tech employees' limited life scope.

I'm a coder, so coddle me.

Personally, I find his complaints painfully reflective of not just the Valley, but our society as a whole. Technology has injected us with precisely the lazy-mindedness that he expresses so sincerely.

We can't be bothered to go to stores to find clothes that fit. Instead, we buy them online and send them back if we don't want them.

We find it oh so tiresome to even do grocery shopping, preferring to overpay for some poor person to deliver our pasta and lentils.

For the most mundane tasks that we used to perform ourselves, we hire a Task Rabbit. I actually know someone in the tech world who employs a Task Rabbit to do his dishwashing. Truly.

So, while I'll happily join in the laughter at the Googlie's whining, I'll still wonder how much lazier and more indulged humanity can get before we all become sad, empty machines whose human side is a little useless.

Perhaps we're there already.