A few weeks ago, I managed, via foolishly clicking an unloaded link secreted within a MySpace message, to fill my computer with over 30 trojans and viruses. There are several lines between which you may read, but whatever. What this meant was that the IT guy at work had to spend two days trying to figure out what to do, ultimately settling on wiping and reloading everything, which was fine, since it works moderately faster now. However, during those two days without my work computer, a wonderful thing happened.
I got to work from home.
Now, before you assume that I hate work and my company and my colleagues and am just another person who didn’t date enough skanks in college, I want to be clear on a few background details:
- My company, while not as fun as it was three years ago, is still Hella Fun. The reason why it is less fun is that it has nearly tripled in size.
- I am very lucky to work here, and I have a position that makes use of my most prominent aptitudes. So for that I am grateful.
- Most of the people here are a joy to be around all day, and even the ones who aren’t 100% fun 100% of the time are still pretty cool.
- I don’t have to tuck in my shirt or even wear real shoes if I don’t want to, and the three people I am directly responsible are awesome and I love them.
- I’ve been here three years, and I’m still allowed to be hourly, but with benefits. So really, this place is pretty awesome.
So, I like where I work, but here are a few key differences between unfolding my laptop at my desk at the office and unfolding onto my coffee table at home:
- If I work from home, I don’t have to drive there. I hate driving to work because I hate stoplights, and I swear, Fort Worth seems to have stoplights every twenty feet. And I’ve mentioned before that pretty much every place I go regularly is narrowed at some point by orange cones, so that also beats me down. Never mind that driving to work means rumbling over two sets of brick-paved roads, behind pokey work trucks, behind pokey day laborer trucks and occasionally behind pokey cattle.
- At my house, the only traffic past my workspace is me. For whatever reason, out of the three different rooms I’ve been in at the office, two of them have been high traffic areas. Now, I am out of my seat a lot, and I know where I’m going, which is no where important. But most of the other traffic is all busily work-related, and this annoys me. It’s pretty much “CHOO CHOO! OFF TO ANOTHER MEETING!”
- The other thing that fills my office during the day and eventually causes me to go outside is the constant VOO! VOO! as people are paged over their speakerphones. I’m sorry, but I cannot ignore this. My brain won’t let me. My apartment is for all practical measurements devoid of ringing phones. No one really calls me, and I enjoy it. But up here, man I can hardly think for all the fucking phonecalls.
- At home during the day, my complex is mostly silent, and I have the sliding glass door to look out of. Now granted, my view contains some old lawnchairs, Junior’s friends’ cigarette butts, but it’s a lot of natural light, and this makes me happy.
- I honestly get more stuff done.
Basically, the things that stick in my craw are the sort of things that would stick at my craw in any office. I mean, how many businesses never get phone calls? If you answered ones that are out of business, that’s probably the best answer. But man, I am pretty distracted anyway, and all the interference makes it all the more difficult to focus.
I don't know if it's ADD or if I was supposed to be autistic but my wires crossed correctly at the last possibly instant, giving me a brain that developed mostly normally. But I am highly susceptible to the sound of other people's voices, and it takes all my focus (or a really compelling Wikipedia article--say, one about G.I. JOEs, for example) in order for me to ignore it. Other people's voices, combined with incessantly ringing telephones, combined with what is probably waiting to be spoken on the other end of the ringing telephones makes me fucking crazy sometimes.
Anyway, I like working from home.