Working at home

Just ain’t what it used to be

 

Moons ago (maybe many, maybe few), working at home was a day spent concentrating on things that needed quiet time.

Respectful introspection.

Deep thought.

No, not the computer off of Hitchiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

The other kind of deep thought.

Working at home used to be a time of uninterrupted mental powerhousing, when I could sit down and read those annoyingly verbose documents, and get to grips with what the drafter actually meant.

I used to be able to work at home and take it as an opportunity to get to grips with over 600 unread emails.

Working at home used to give me, in a Supermanesque kind of way, my very own Fortress of Solitude, from where I could just get on with all the stuff that needed getting on with, and where I could do this in a completely uninterrupted manner.

I wouldn’t mind the little Lync (now Skype for Business) application sitting there broadcasting away to my colleagues, because I worked safe in the knowledge that I was actually working.

I was doing things.

And getting on with stuff.

Sadly those days seem to have vanished.

I have been working at home today.

And my Fortress of Solitude has been penetrated

Repeatedly.

I took my first and only break for a hot drink at 17.12.

TWELVE MINUTES PAST FIVE!

FIRST HOT DRINK!

OF THE ENTIRE WORKING DAY!

5.12pm!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job.

But if I had been in the office, I would have had my first hot drink many hours earlier than TWELVE MINUTES PAST FIVE!

Who do I write to, to complain about this?

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6 Responses to Working at home

  1. ianB says:

    Without reading the rest of what I’ve written after this sentence – can you guess what I am going to say? 😉

    I feel I am channeling my inner grandma persona right now.

    I’ve worked a long time in ‘the industry’. Wayyyy long – like 35 years and counting. I work from home. It’s kind of cool due to the opportunities for dog petting, better quality coffee and so on. Plus, I’m a software developer (still sounds like I work in a darkroom swishing chemicals around on glass plates and negatives) or to use the now defunct but more accurate epithet ‘computer programmer’ which means I hate humans in general and specifically any who interrupt me during my deistic creative process by asking me dumb questions like “is the printer room supposed to be on fire” and “is PHP 7 better than Python/Go/Hack/Jazz Hands on a Friday?”

    So I work from home. Sorry, my mind wandered a little there due to having to work out what the dog was chewing – which turned out to be a bone and not something important like a network switch or laptop power supply.

    Anyway, if you didn’t get time – sorry – didn’t MAKE time – to have a hot drink until 17:12 you are a Very Bad Person and need to be made to read a Donald Trump biography in the original gibberish.

    If you continue to do this you will get sick again and your heart, which we’ve already established is broken in a biological sense (the metaphorical sense being unclear at this time, is going to rebel…and force you to do an unexpected and painful rebel yell. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

    Leaving drinks so late is poor management. It’s not clear whose poor management – but none the less it’s Not OK. It means you’re not putting yourself first and doing your employer a disservice too because an employee who neglects the tools of the job is likely to make the tools of the job blunt, hard to use and take much longer to achieve the task – in this case the tool being you. Er, if you see what I mean.

    Taking proper breaks is proper. Not taking breaks is s t u p i d. If I was your head honcho I’d be having a serious chat about your attitude to company property, to whit, one brain, which you are currently sole custodian and operator.

    Working from home is not an opportunity to slack off. For example I never put on the TV during the day – ever – because I’d be sucked in, even after all these years I know I would.

    But, conversely….working from home is also not an opportunity to work harder than a team of Ancient Egyptian Pyramid builders when they hear pharaoh has got ‘just a nasty cold, I’m sure he’ll be fine’.

    I don’t care what project ‘needs’ you. If you overwork you’ll burn out… or flame out. I don’t care how uncaring any ‘project cockholders’ er, I mean ‘project stakeholders’ are or how urgent it is – ten minutes for a break should not make a difference – if it does then you suck at your job. 😉

    …and I don’t think you suck, despite all those things I read written on the gents toilets in Clapham.

    Get with it. We’re a long time dead; make every moment count…but leave time for tea.

  2. ianB says:

    Without reading the rest of what I’ve written after this sentence – can you guess what I am going to say? 😉

    I feel I am channeling my inner grandma persona right now.

    I’ve worked a long time in ‘the industry’. Wayyyy long – like 35 years and counting. I work from home. It’s kind of cool due to the opportunities for dog petting, better quality coffee and so on. Plus, I’m a software developer (still sounds like I work in a darkroom swishing chemicals around on glass plates and negatives) or to use the now defunct but more accurate epithet ‘computer programmer’ which means I hate humans in general and specifically any who interrupt me during my deistic creative process by asking me dumb questions like “is the printer room supposed to be on fire” and “is PHP 7 better than Python/Go/Hack/Jazz Hands on a Friday?”

    So I work from home. Sorry, my mind wandered a little there due to having to work out what the dog was chewing – which turned out to be a bone and not something important like a network switch or laptop power supply.

    Anyway, if you didn’t get time – sorry – didn’t MAKE time – to have a hot drink until 17:12 you are a Very Bad Person and need to be made to read a Donald Trump biography in the original gibberish.

    If you continue to do this you will get sick again and your heart, which we’ve already established is broken in a biological sense (the metaphorical sense being unclear at this time, is going to rebel…and force you to do an unexpected and painful rebel yell. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

    Leaving drinks so late is poor management. It’s not clear whose poor management – but none the less it’s Not OK. It means you’re not putting yourself first and doing your employer a disservice too because an employee who neglects the tools of the job is likely to make the tools of the job blunt, hard to use and take much longer to achieve the task – in this case the tool being you. Er, if you see what I mean.

    Taking proper breaks is proper. Not taking breaks is s t u p i d. If I was your head honcho I’d be having a serious chat about your attitude to company property, to whit, one brain, which you are currently sole custodian and operator.

    Working from home is not an opportunity to slack off. For example I never put on the TV during the day – ever – because I’d be sucked in, even after all these years I know I would.

    But, conversely….working from home is also not an opportunity to work harder than a team of Ancient Egyptian Pyramid builders when they hear pharaoh has got ‘just a nasty cold, I’m sure he’ll be fine’.

    I don’t care what project ‘needs’ you. If you overwork you’ll burn out… or flame out. I don’t care how uncaring any ‘project cockholders’ er, I mean ‘project stakeholders’ are or how urgent it is – ten minutes for a break should not make a difference – if it does then you suck at your job. 😉

    …and I don’t think you suck, despite all those things I read written on the gents toilets in Clapham.

    Get with it. We’re a long time dead; make every moment count…but leave time for tea.

    • Brennig says:

      Well that’s me told. The pressures at this job are immense. But there is a mitigation plan in hand

  3. ianB says:

    Wow – not sure why it posted my comment twice – but it was a good comment so…cool!

  4. Masher says:

    Yeah, wot Ian said.

    It’s not like anyone at work is going give you a medal for busting a gut… you’ll just get the same pay that you would have if you had gone into the office.

    FWIW, I am working from home today and I have had three cups of tea (so far).
    And two slices of toast – with homemade apricot jam.
    And a couple of fig rolls.

    And it’s not even lunchtime yet.

    Now, are you any good at getting sticky toast crumbs out of laptop keyboards?

    • Brennig says:

      I’m off toast. And bread. It’s a diet thing. So your keyboard problems are alien to me. But I might be able to help with getting figs and apricots out of keyboards. And jars of jam.