Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Working from Home - Perfect Except for Humiliating Run-Ins with UPS Man

Working from home is truly a joy, however there are a few disadvantages. I've come up with my Top 10 below. Oh none of these would ever outweigh the advantages - but in this world nothing is ever perfect.

Drum roll (if you're into that sort of thing):

1) Getting coffee doesn't actually get you the 10 minutes of "I need to step away from this problem, clear my head and return to it with a fresh idea". At least not in my small condo it doesn't. The short trek from my desk or favorite chair to the coffee pot is nothing more than crossing a room.

2) You will never look your best when the doorbell rings. Our UPS man has become accustomed to my crazy pajama/lounge wear/workout wear clothing choices, bad breath, glasses and tangled claw clip hairdos. Not to mention my lack of bra before 5 PM (unless I'm running errands!) Although he's used to it, I never fail to see his disappointment when I come traipsing to the door for work or early Christmas packages. It's like he thinks I'm going to get all gussied up just for him. He's semi-cute but has horrible road rage and I've reported him more than once for very bad driving. He threw a Gatorade bottle at our car once, denting the front hood. Oddly, he's very nice to dogs and children, basically everyone, unless he's behind the wheel of his truck.

3) The world goes on outside - and you're unaware. I typically leave the house everyday by around 5:30 for a rehearsal or show - or errands - but there is the occasional day when I have all my errands done and no rehearsal or show to get to and never (actually never) go outside. These are sad days, but what am I an old person - going out for a "walk"? I work out in our bedroom when my husband wakes up (so I'm not lazy - if that's what you were thinking!), I have every technical device invented to keep me in touch with work, friends, family. My mailbox is inside. My dog gets walked by my husband or neighbors. Occasionally it just doesn't happen. I know I'd miss going outside terribly if something happened and I couldn't anymore (global Armageddon, imprisonment), but aside from some guilt and a mild case of regret, I don't fret about this too much.

4) You get very sick of your furniture/decor/paint color/etc. Spending so much time at home makes home a very boring place to be. No longer your haven away from the office, home becomes boring resembling a familiar but worn out old shoe...suddenly you notice all of the things you don't like about your space. Lack of natural light, no elevator, no plant watering crew.

5) You can no longer escape messes at home at the office, or office messes at home. They are both there for you.

6) Thin walls/ceilings will challenge your affection for your neighbors and provide you with far too much information about their home life. Not to mention how much they can challenge your ability to concentrate. I am, however rather lucky in this department, since I really love my neighbors...just wish some of them were ready to go to school during the day. No matter how cute, loud is loud. (Especially if you're working on a rather detailed coding issue.) But, for the most part, this is not really a huge problem.

7) You get your social interaction virtually. This is both good and bad. No more sitting through boring meetings with people you'd rather not share air with, but also, no more fun meetings with funny and attractive co-workers either.

8) No more camaraderie that is found on crowded train cars when someone farts. (Upshot is obviously no least not of the stranger variety.)

9) Time moves faster...from home. Feels great to be done with your work day faster...but also feels like another day flew by and that life is slipping away.

10) No free lunches, birthday cake, office supplies, ergonomic desk chairs, downtown views, official-looking badges, fancy desk phones, endless paper, copier ink replacements, happy hour invites or gossip.

Well, that's all for today. I'm going to go get a shower and wait for the UPS man.