Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Diary of a Day of Working at Home

People who work in an office often have a dream of working at home. No commute, no annoying co-workers, one's own coffee machine for cheap refills... and no doubt some of that is true. On days with bad commutes, where I waste several hours in transit, only to freeze on the walk from the Metro station to the office, I allow myself the luxury of daydreaming about how nice it would be to avoid all that mess. But here's a cautionary tale.*

The alarm is set for more or less my normal time. Thanks to the evil and misnamed Daylight Savings Time, it's pitch black out. Hit the snooze button. Twice, I think, but it's hard to remember.

Take out the recycling. Make coffee. Shower. Listen to a couple of podcasts. That's sort of productive, right? Breakfast. I'm sleepy - is it socially acceptable to nap at...good lord, is it 8:45 already?

I need to call the transit people. [Digression time. Cue the music.] Someone - maybe in the Dept. of Transportation, maybe Metro, who knows? - decided to discontinue the current inefficient system for providing a subsidy for mass transit (a topic in an of itself for another time), which involved picking up a piece of paper and later exchanging that piece of paper for a different piece of paper that would then be used as next month's rail pass. Instead, I needed to sign up for a service that would mail me the rail pass. This had pros and cons, but none of them particularly mattered, as I had no choice. Naturally, there was a snag in the system, and I had to fill out more forms and talk sweetly to get things done in time. I needed to call to confirm that everything was running smoothly by the deadline, which was today. Called the transit people, was told everything was working. Great. Nap time. Crap, it's only 9:30. I can't nap now.

Another cup of coffee would hit the spot. Check Twitter. Check email. Check work email. Send a reply to a work email - I may be on leave, but I'm still on the job. It's just how I roll. Anything new on Twitter? Look at several web sites linked to by various tweets. The coffee is getting cold.

Above, the glass-enclosed nerve center (as they say on WTOP). Caledon coffee mug - check. FIOS modem - check. Productivity software - uh, I swear, boss, I'm just checking to see if there's an update for the BIOS on the computer.** Time for some real work.

Finish off edits on another blog post. What's that crazy @SecondLie up to now? Anyone else with amusing tweets? Crazy idiot [fill in name of political party here]. Okay, let's stop messing around. I have things to do.

Futz about in Second Life for a while. It's lunch time, isn't it?

Lunch break! Read email. Okay, now it really is nap time.

Two hours later - this doesn't bode well for sleeping well tonight - I'm up. Tea. Tea is definitely what's needed. Get the mail. Retrieve the recycling bins. Turn on the TV - hey, it turns out that it's college basketball tournament time, who knew?

And so another day at home comes to an end... No commute, though.

* There are limits to what I'm willing to steal from my employer. The occasional paper clip or file folder is about it. I took the day off, so I'm essentially just wasting my time.

** See first end note. (And notice how I finally found a use for that expensive copy of the Handbook of Development Economics? What kind of a company makes a monitor without a height adjustment, anyway? Why yes, that does appear to be the H-P logo.)


Astolat Dufaux said...

This sounds about like my day these days, except I'm my own boss now. :)

Rhianon Jameson said...

You might have to dock your pay, Miss Dufaux! :)