Yesterday marked an anniversary of incredible importance. I haven’t been to work for a year and a day. No, I haven’t been loafing about on my wife’s salary for all that time. I’ve been working from home; doing the same job as before but not actually doing it from the office proper.
Some of the changes wrought by this are pretty obvious. Sure I don’t have to commute to work any more and availability of lunch is absolutely assured. I’ve got an IP phone from my workplace so as far as the technology knows I’m sitting right there in the office next to Larry, Darrel and Darrel as I did before. My job is amusingly identical to what it was before: I have the same customers, do the same work, get annoyed about the same things and still bring home a paycheck. The ease with which this all happened is somewhat eerie to look back upon.
A few things, however, were more difficult to anticipate. Now I’ll admit that while I was in the office I was NOT the life of any party because frankly I don’t really understand parties and least of all office parties. I’m also pretty shitty at random office chit-chat as well so it’s really surprising that I would miss it. I consider myself an utter misanthrope but when it comes down to it I do (for some completely impractical reason) value the random inputs of other people no matter how bad I may be at metabolizing them. Even the most inane conversation was a welcome addition to my average day. This was not particularly noticeable until after I’d been away from the office for a few months and HAD no more random conversations. After a while I realized with a bit of a bump that I don’t really associate with anyone aside from my wife, her family and the people at work (plus or minus 1 or 2 previous co-workers who find their way into my life in some electronic medium or other). If you take away the people at work then I communicate with four different adults on a regular basis and three of them live in either this house or the one next door. That’s a terrifyingly small circle even for me. Clearly I need to go to a few more parties.
I also never thought I’d miss the drive but for some reason I do. When you commute for any period of time at all you learn the route with such clarity that most of your drive becomes a complete trance. It was during these moments of utter vehicular Zen that most of my blog entries came about. Without this ‘input from within’ my blog entries quickly deteriorated into vacuous personal garbage. I daresay even my work suffered as most of my truly inspired ideas originated in those 45 minutes of Zen coming home from work. Clearly I need to go to more parties where the guests all just stand around staring off into space.
All this said I’m more than compensated for any of these loses. Our laundry is ALWAYS done and our house has never been more secure from burglary since I’m here on guard an average of 23 hours and 50 minutes a day. I’ll simply keep replacing the background office babble with the droning of CNN and perhaps take up a nice redundant hobby to regain my Zen oneness of self… perhaps I’ll whittle myself a stand for this office phone of talk to these plants for an hour a day and explain to them our system of government.