Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pants Optional

I work from home.  Aside from exchanging e-mails with my office in Seattle, I do not interact with anyone.  No bosses hanging over my shoulder, no customers, no coworkers, no vendors.  The dog, rats, and guinea pigs are my only companions during the day, and they don't bring much in the way of office drama. I can work any hour of the day, and if I need to take a day off, I take a day off.  My "commute" involves grabbing a mug of tea and moseying down to my office in the basement, and my work uniform can be jammie pants, regular pants, no pants, or a mariachi outfit with a fruit turban, if I so choose. Perhaps you are thinking "Wow!  You are so lucky!" or "You sad, freakish loner!"  The correct answer is YES!

People often ask me if I get lonely doing what I do.  Well, sometimes, but as an introvert, this generally suits me very well.  I wouldn't say I'm suffering due to lack of workplace interaction. Au contraire. I've had my share of tyrannical bosses, crazy coworkers, nightmarish customers, and I don't feel a burning desire to go back to that.  Most people seem to take job-related drama, meltdowns, intense stupidity, and other assorted bullshit in stride, accepting it as a reality of working life.  I feel it is something to be avoided at all costs, and am lucky enough to have a job that allows me to do just that. Dealing with humanity in a customer service capacity invariably leads to soul-crushing bitterness for me, so it's really best for all of us if I don't do it.

Even though I enjoy working from home, I do think it's important to not wander completely off into Hermitville and turn "funny".  Even introverts need to be around people some of the time, and so the human contact I don't get from work, I seek elsewhere in my free time.  I have volunteering, martial arts, Derby Lite, the gym, and usually a couple get-togethers every week. These activities are all incredibly fun and satisfying, and they force me to, you know, practice human speech and put on some type of clothing that doesn't scream "I've given up on life!"

If you're a weirdo recluse like me who is considering a career in the loner arts, let me tell you it does have its downsides.  It's not always party, party, party, watching videos of baby sloths (slowly) eat green beans, diving face first into giant bowls of popcorn, taking three-hour lunches, using Scotch tape to make yourself resemble Quasimodo, etc.  You do have a JOB to perform, after all, and to perform well. Since you don't have someone breathing down your neck all day, YOU have to make sure you stay on track and meet deadlines. This means minimizing distractions and saving housework for off-work hours. That pile of laundry can wait. I know what you're thinking --"but I'm so disciplined!"  Believe you me, one episode of Drunk History can turn into four and derail anyone's productivity.

Even though working in the comfort of your home is pretty dope, it can also make you stir crazy.  At the end of the workday, you may want nothing more than to get the hell out of the house, perhaps (most inconveniently) as your significant other is coming home from their job, wanting nothing more than to stay in. This brings me to my final point.  Presumably at some point in the day you will need to leave the house and/or encounter other humans, so for god's sake, don't eschew personal hygiene. Sporting B.O. or Medieval mouth is Hermitville-territory stuff, and I don't think you want to go there.  Soap, deodorant, and toothpaste are essential parts of your workday.  The fruit turbans, though, those are optional.

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