Work in the Time of Corona: Justin Dalton, Applications Administrator

By Justin Dalton - Applications Administrator (Library)


Our library staff members are chronicling their experiences living through a pandemic. If you keep a daily journal of your experience, consider donating it to Swem’s Special Collections when the crisis has passed.

Name: Justin Dalton

Title: Applications Administrator

Department: Digital Services

How has your work changed during the pandemic?

Honestly, my work hasn’t changed all that much. Almost everything I do involves me typing on a keyboard. Mostly, I have just changed locations.

What are your challenges?

It took me a week and a half and three computers to recreate my development environment at home. I’m lucky enough to have a room in the house that I can dedicate as my office, but my desk is much smaller and doesn’t support the number of monitors I usually use. 

An in-home computer set up with 4 monitors

What has surprised you?

Surprisingly, I feel like I accomplish much more working from home. There are fewer interruptions, and digital interruptions are easier to manage than in person interruptions. When someone comes to my desk to ask a question, I can’t ignore them until I complete my task. Email and chat communications are much easier to push off a bit.

I’m also surprised by how much better I am at communicating while working from home. I think because I must be more intentional about regular communication and I have more time to order my thoughts everything just comes out better.

What do you miss most about being in the library?

I miss my monitors! So many tasks would be easier if I just had one more monitor! 

Seriously, even though I’m a major introvert I do miss face to face interaction with my co-workers. I find that Zoom meetings and conversations on Teams fill that void well. We even have Thai Thursday over Zoom!

Anything else you’d like to share:

There is a real possibility I’ll look like this by the time we are able to go back to the library.

A picture of a mountain man - with a scraggly beard and a weary expression