You may or may not know by now that I travel a lot with my job. It gets pretty monotonous going back and forth to the same geographic locations and staying in the same hotels often enough that the Hotel Manager asks about Tink’s Algebra grade, but there is some comfort in that too. One advantage of my job is that when I don’t travel, I work from home.
When I was 16 I contracted Mononucleosis and was placed on what they called “home-bound” for 6 weeks. A teacher that wasn’t good enough for a real job with the County came to my house twice a week and ate cookies in the kitchen while I did my school work. I was fascinated to discover that I could complete an entire week’s worth of classroom assignments and homework in about 5 hours a week. When I asked the teacher about this phenomenon she gave me some non-committal response. When I asked my Mom about it she said it was because I didn’t have to sit through all the extra stuff they did for the “slower” kids. I’m not sure either answer was correct, but it did enlighten me to the fact that a LOT of time is wasted in schools . . . and offices!
So working from home actually allows me to get a lot more done than I would in a traditional office setting. There’s no other co-workers to wander in and talk about last night’s game or someone to run into in the break room and chat about the latest episode of Biggest Loser and whether or not someone ought to shove Conda off a cliff during one of the challenges. (And what the hell kind of name is Conda anyway? I’d write a post about that but the Byronic Man already did here. You should really check it out.) I still have the phone and email as distractions, but I have control over who I speak with and when and the answering of said email. Another plus is that what would be a coffee break turns into putting a load of laundry in the dryer or unloading the dishwasher. I love working at home because it is so peaceful and quiet. No TV, no radio, no distractions, just me and my work getting done ever so quickly so I can be not-working even sooner!
But lately, that’s not how it’s gone. Because my husband is “in between jobs” right now. (He’s in construction and you’ve seen the reports on the economy – it’s going to be a while) So he’s at home all the time. Just so you understand that’s like having “Take your husband to work day” every single day! Think about it. Would you want your spouse following you around at work all day? Every day?
I’m constantly amazed when I visit on-site locations and we close the door to have a meeting and another employee just walks in. They don’t think the closed door applies to them. Well guess what? It can be just me and my husband at home, I close my office door to make some phone calls and in he walks. There’s only the two of us there. Who the hell does he think I’m closing the door to??
Then Tink comes home from school and has a million and one urgent, crucial questions that can’t wait until I’m off the phone like “What’s for dinner?” “I’m done with my homework can I text now?” “I want a snack but do you think I should have an apple or a cupcake?” Seriously??? You don’t care about my opinions or what I have to say at any other time of the day but right now you want me to pick your afternoon snack? While I’m on the phone with my boss?? (ok – so I don’t exactly get to pick when I talk to my boss, but everyone else I do)
So lately I have come to appreciate my travel just a little more. Because when I get to the hotel and close the door, it locks behind me and no one can come ask me if they can have some of my super-secret, private stash of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans that a co-worker gave me for Christmas. Or if they can have the last cupcake. Or if they can borrow a paperclip. It’s just peace and quiet! Ahhh – it’s like having Mono all over again . . .