Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Is It Really Work If There Are Cat Beds Nearby?

I'm pretty fortunate to have a job where I can occasionally work from home. Not everyone can do this and certainly I have had many a job where I did not have this option. I guess you could call it a perk. However, when I work from home it's not all pickles and sunshine (what? You've never eaten a delicious dill pickle outside in the lovely summer-time air? It is just this side of heaven gosh darn it). I may be sitting in a much more comfortable and, even with the traffic noise from my busy street penetrating my shitty single-pane windows (can I borrow several thousand dollars to replace all 30+ windows in my house? Pretty please? No? Ok...fine), quieter environment; I do still have to actually get some work done. Let's do a Pros and Cons approach to working from home shall we? Why the hell not.

  • Super short commute. I Can't beat that. The worst that could happen is maybe there is a cat jack-knifed on the stairs but one can usually nudge said cat along and get down to the first floor with little hassle.
  • The aforementioned quiet. I sit in a cube farm at work (high roller...that's me) and while I understand that there are other people on the planet, I don't like to hear them when I'm working. Ok, I don't really like to hear them at all. Am I a misanthrope? Maybe. 
  • The coffee. Holy hell is the coffee at home waaaaaaaaaay better than the stuff I can get at the office. As a matter of fact, I have not had a cup of coffee at work in nearly 2 years. And this shit is FREE. I just cannot deal with bad coffee because I am a snob. I have my usual cup of home brew on the way into the office and then maybe I'll grab a diet Coke at around 10am. I still get my caffeine fix which I require in order to function but I'll tells ya: I'd much prefer it in hot coffee form. I can get this at ye olde homestead. Lovely.
  • Dress code. It's not like I have to wear a suit and a tie at work but I do have to look somewhat presentable. However, at home...all bets are off. Now I will still get dressed because I am a professional goddammit. Plus, I can't take myself seriously when I'm in my PJs so how can I expect anyone else to? But my attire will be decidedly down from what I can wear at work. Old ratty t-shirt with what appears to be a grease stain across the chest? Sure. How about some shorts to show off those fabulous-good-lord-I-didn't-know-something-could-be-that-pale legs of mine? You betcha. Don't feel like fixing my hair? Not a problem. Go with the "just got out of the shower" look instead.
  • Temperature. The office tends to be about 5 to 6 degrees warmer than I would like it to be. This does a few things to me. One, it makes me a little sleepy and I can get distracted more easily. Two, I'm already rather well insulated so I tend to become uncomfortable. This does not occur at the homestead. Even in the dog days of summer I can retreat to an air conditioned room and cool myself off. 
  • Cats. One might think that the furry little buggers would be a "pro" in this debate. That would be incorrect. Case in point: I was working from home and had staked out a nice comfy spot on the couch to sit. I had the laptop on the coffee table, my notes and stuff piled neatly next to the computer, and I was ready to go. A half hour later when Morticia decided that it was way more important for me to be a pillow for her rather than a productive member of my team was when I realized that this was probably not the best place to sit. When Molly came over and started licking my arm I knew I had to move. I moved all my stuff into the dining room and spent the rest of the day on a very hard and not so comfortable chair. These chairs are ok for enjoying a nice meal but not so much for sitting all day and trying to work. Then Oliver threw up right in front of me. I wish I was making that up. Nasty.
  • Discipline. Because I am at home and NOT in the office, it is ultimately up to me to make sure that I get stuff done. Usually I'd say that this is a problem because I am quite lazy and can be distracted by pretty much anything. But for whatever reason, when I work from home I get very focused and I tend to get a lot accomplished. I actually think my company gets more work out of me when I'm not in the office than when I am. The reason this doesn't show up in the "Pros" category is that I don't want to work at all. But stupid reality says that I must. So, "Cons" it is.
  • Lunch choices. At work I have a number of options for lunch. I can choose the sammich The Wiff lovingly prepared for me (I will 9 times out of 10...honestly), I can go upstairs to the cafeteria (or what I call "Cafe Fail"), or there are a number of restaurants, sub joints, pizza places and crap like that within a short walk of the office. When I'm at home it's just what we have in the kitchen. And that usually means a whole bunch of ingredients. See, The Wiff likes to cook so she has on hand many items with which she can conjure up lovely meals. I, on the other hand, cannot cook and so I'd rather just have some quick stuff available that I can slap together. Ok, this may be a weak example...are you still reading this?
  • Communication. When I'm at work and I have a quick question for someone I can usually just walk over to where they sit and ask them in person. When I'm sitting in my house, my choices are calling them which I'd rather not do, emailing them which my be delayed since I'm on the VPN, or using our internal IM service. All of these choices are ok but they fall short of just being able to talk to someone face to face. Then again, I do prefer to not talk to anyone so maybe this is also a bad example? 
As I suspected, the Pros clearly outweigh the Cons when it comes to working from home. Not a surprise at all. I need to figure out how to become independently wealthy so I don't have to go to work. That's the goal. How I get there is a mystery I'm afraid. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Junk From My Brain

NOTE: Blogger had a meltdown last week and my post "Junk From My Brain" was lost in the shuffle. I'm re-posting it since it doesn't look like they will be recovering it themselves.

The Pony Tail.  I think that the Pony Tail might be one of the happiest hair-do's ever. Whenever I see a woman jogging or even just walking quickly with her hair in a pony tail, I always imagine that the pony tail is singing a little song in a high-pitched-happy-happy-sing-song voice as it swishes back and forth. "Pony-tail! Pony-tail! Pony-tail! Pony-tail!" I had thought about making a video with me doing the voice of the pony tail but the creep factor of me filming several women jogging or walking seemed too high. "No officer, I'm not some pervert. I'm just making a video of pony-tails for my blog. See, I'm going sing the voice of the pony-tail! ...Because it's funny? No! This is NOT a fetish. No wait!...please don't arrest me...I'll leave. I'm sorry." I just realized that the Pig Tail as a hair style is as happy if not happier than the Pony Tail. Hmmm...I betcha that filming someone with pig tails does involve a fetish of some sort though.

The Shirt Taco.  You know when you're  wearing a button-down shirt and you're a fat guy? No? Ok, so what about if you are wearing a button-down shirt and when you sit down a space opens up between two of the buttons? That's a Shirt Taco. Shirt tacos can happen from a shirt not fitting well causing it to bunch up when you sit or, in my case, you have exceeded the shirt's documented capacity limits. This is sometimes preceded by consuming a meal. Such as: "Ah crap...I shouldn't have had that big lunch. Now I have shirt tacos." The worst type of shirt tacos are usually seen on men where there is no undershirt behind the taco. This allows hairy flesh to poke out. That's nasty and no one wants to bear witness to such an exhibition. On the other side of the shirt taco spectrum is when a woman's ill-fitting shirt gives one a brief glimpse at the booby area. These particular shirt tacos can be fun. Yes, I know I'm ma dirty old man but don't even act like you haven't glanced inside a shirt taco, seen some lady's bra and giggled to yourself. You have and you know it. These are more dangerous though because one does run the risk of getting caught looking. What I have observed is that no matter where the shirt taco appears (man or woman), it is unwise to acknowledge its existence. Just give it a quick glance when you think the coast is clear and then chuckle to yourself later.

Apostrophes and Computer Forms.  As an Apostrophized American (apostrophied? apostrophed?), I am flabbergasted that in 2011 there are still computer forms out there that refuse to recognize the apostrophe as a legitimate character. What the frick computers? My name is "O'Malley" and your dumb form has forced me to revoke my own apostrophe in order to satisfy your out-dated and, dare I say, discriminatory computer code. I will now and forever be labeled as "Omalley" in your stupid database. Every time I have to deal with your company I will have to say "No, the name is O'Malley not Omalley. Yes, I know that's what you have in front of you but I'm telling you that's not how it is spelled. There's an apostrophe in the last name but your site wouldn't let me put it in. It just kept rejecting my application/order/whatever. Yes, I'm positive. I've had this name for as long as I can remember. Yes, I'll hold." It does help me sort the junk mail that comes to the house. If the last name is misspelled, chances are that particular piece of mail came from a company that I don't want to work with anymore. Here's the kicker: My own email address here at work does not include the apostrophe. Mother fuck.