USA Today Best of 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why God Made Offices

Yeah, plenty of people probably envy me because I work from home. Heck, if I didn't work from home, I'd envy it, too.

But some days, I can really understand why some employers are reluctant to let employees "telecommute" (is there a new word? because that one sounds "So 90's" to me"). It's probably because certain people in high places at those companies have tried working from home on occasion and figured out how hard it is. Particularly for women.

What could be hard about working from home?

Picture me sitting down to my laptop (it's on the kitchen table, because somebody else whose business office is in our home commandeered the good spot for his desk). I'm cracking open a book file to edit, and looking at my To Do List. Uh-oh. I need to pay a couple bills. Which means I've also gotta transfer money. No problem, though. People do that all the time at work, right? When I go downstairs to fetch the receipt I printed, I notice the kids have left an empty soda 12-pack box on the floor. Which I pick up. Wait. Does this mean I'm out of Pepsi? I check the fridge. Good on Pepsi, almost out of milk, though. So back upstairs, I put MILK on the grocery list, then drop the empty box in the recycle bin. And notice the cats have spilled food all over the floor. So I fetch the broom to sweep it up. The broom is in the laundry room, where I remember I've got a load of clothes waiting for the dryer. Which is still harboring yesterday's dry clothes. So I move the dry clothes to my bed--the laundry Staging Area--and stop by the bathroom, where I notice the mirror is very spotted up. But that's fine, because the window cleaner is in the laundry room, and dangit! I still didn't transfer those clothes to the dryer. Once I've got the dryer loaded, mirror wiped, and laundry sorted on the bed, I high-tail it back to the kitchen, because I have screwed around long enough. It's time to get serious and seriously get some work done!

So I check my emails, then settle in with the file, and just as I reach the 3rd paragraph, hubby calls to ask me if I can do an invoice on his computer.

Oh, and who's that at the door? It's only the mailman delivering an Amazon purchase, but the flowers out front need water. And the trash should be at the curb.

Once I get back inside, I head back to work, but then remember that bill I'm supposed to be making up. And don't I have to call the insurance agent today?

When am I gonna make it to the grocery store for milk? Probably before I go, I should scan the sale flyer and stock up on whatever's cheap, and like, something for dinner. Which means I probably need to clip this week's coupons too. Oh jeez. And get the mail at the Post Office, because there might be a check waiting to be deposited, and I may as well go to the bank while I'm already running around town.

*** 90 minutes later: I'm putting away the last of the groceries, have started another load of laundry, and almost finished that customer invoice. This is good. Now I have a solid 3 hours to work on that edit this afternoon... at which time my phone rings and one of the kids needs a ride home from Wherever. Right away.

Hubby and kids look at me at the end of the day like I'm mentally damaged and wonder why I can't get anything done when I'm right here all day long. Right here, all day long.

Piper Denna
Romance is sexy! (working from home? sometimes.)