WORKING FROM HOME
LUV - Statistically speaking, many of you will be reading this in an office. A nasty, noisy, strip-lit office full of mouthbreathers and oversharers and whiners and farters, all desperate to encroach on your personal space as much as they possibly can. Horrible, isn’t it?
Or maybe you don’t work. Maybe you’re still at home. And this is it. This is the highlight of your day. Reading a shitty blog about nothing on a laptop you’ve got perched on your bloated belly on a manky sofa in a home that doesn’t come close to reaching any of the expectations you had for yourself as a child. Rubbish, huh?
Not me, though. No siree. For the last six years, one month and 27 days - with the exception of about a month in 2008 - I have managed to combine the professional standards of an office with the comfort of my own house. That’s right. I work from home, bitches. I am footloose and fancy free.
Yup, no hot-desking for me. I have my own desk. In my own room. Ain’t no stranger going to dick about with the height of my chair. I work from HOME. I can look at whatever I want on my computer - pornography, malware, images of Keith Chegwin’s face photoshopped onto cat heads - without fear of reprisal. I set my own hours. I work from HOME. I am LORD OF MY OWN DESTINY.
And commuting? I spit in the face of commuting. I work from HOME. I get up, I walk about 12 paces and I’m in my office. And no going out and spending excessive amounts of money on shop-bought sandwiches, either. I work from HOME. I can wander into my kitchen any time I want and help myself to any snack I like. And I don’t get group emails every three days to notify me that there’s cake by the watercooler for somebody’s birthday, because I work from HOME. Municipal cakes are for the WEAK.
And being properly dressed? Piss off with your being properly dressed. I work from HOME. I NEVER get properly dressed. I put trousers on maybe three days a week, and never before 4pm. I couldn’t even draw you an accurate picture of a sock any more. I work from HOME. I set my own sartorial agenda.
And being outside? In the fresh air? Where there are people? Real people, with faces and hair and soft warm hands that you can reach out and touch? And hearing the voices of other human beings? And listening to their stories? And closing your eyes and soaking up their carefree laughter? Fuck that shit. I work from HOME.
I’m so very, very alone.
- Stuart Heritage
HAT - There is an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (yes, I know) where something weird invades the Enterprise and the crew all physically devolve to a previous genetic state. Lieutenant Worf becomes some sort of, I think, bison. Counsellor Troi transforms into a weird soupy fish woman in the bath and Captain Picard, if I remember rightly, turns into an insufferably fruity blouson-wearing, poetry-spewing Frenchman.
I bring this up because that’s what happens to me when I work from home. And I’m an adult. I am. I bathe, clothe and feed myself almost daily, and hold down a couple of jobs. But when I work from home? All bets are off. Each time I strive for a perfect day of serene, sunlit productivity, and each time I fail. Really quite badly.
This is how I think it’ll go:
7am: Wake. Perhaps a run?
8.30am: Breakfast at the table, listening to The Today Programme
11.00am: Coffee and light stretching
11.15am: Deliver shit with passion
1.00pm: A healthy lunch. Couscous or some fucking thing
1.30pm: Push some envelopes. Smash some boundaries
3.00pm: Bust some pilates moves; green tea
3.15pm: Go above and beyond. Just generally kill it
5.00pm: Finish work. Boom.
Inevitably, this is what actually happens:
7am: Wake, convinced that everyone thinks I’m skiving. Launch out of bed and turn on computer without going to the loo or rubbing eyes. Start work
8.30am: Remember to go to the loo. Make coffee
9.00am: Sit at computer
11.00am: Sit at computer
11.15am: MOAR COFFEE
1.00pm: Hunger. Pull on one sock and hobble to kitchen. Return to computer eating dry Weetabix from the box
1.30pm: Sit at computer
3.00pm: Sit at computer
3.15pm: Start to smell quite bad
5.00pm: Google “body odour Chlamydia symptom?”
6.00pm: Google “unicorn porn”
7.00pm: Wander into kitchen, slather Nutella on a slice of bread, top it off with a chunk of Cheddar, say “WHY NOT?” out loud and put the whole thing in mouth
8.00 - 11.00pm: Sit at computer
12.00am: Peel pyjamas off stinking body; change into fresh pyjamas; go to bed.
Back in the office the next day, a colleague will begin a bright, witty conversation with me and all I’ll be able to say is “I PUT CHEESE ON NUTELLA YESTERDAY” and everyone will fall silent and edge away.
This is what happens when I am left to my own devices. I’m afraid I just can’t be trusted. HAT.
- Robyn Wilder
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