Wednesday, November 21, 2007

No more working like a bum

Working from home is a pretty sweet deal, especially if you're only in your mid-20's and it's a genuine telecommuting opportunity and not a stressful freelance gig or a scam designed to attract lazy, talentless bums or gullible housewives. That being said, however, the work-from-home lifestyle isn't always the cherry pie on cloud 9 dream you might imagine it to be. So today, on my last day working from my remote "office" before I return to the world of dress pants and styrofoam coffee cups, here is an abbreviated list of the things I will and will not miss about working in my underwear.

Things I will miss:

  • The coffee - Sweet Jesus, I have never gotten as much use out of my Mr. Coffee maker as I have in these past few months. I used to feel that I was rotting away my insides when I subsisted on the watered-down instant Foldgers and off-brand non-dairy creamer my old office offered me on a daily basis. Nowadays I've been spoiling myself with organic coffee beans freshly ground for me from the Hartford Coffee Co. right down the street, with a healthy splash of real half-and-half. I can drink two pots of this delicious black elixir every day if I'm not careful. The downside, of course, is that I have never been as desparately addicted to caffeine as I am now.

  • The commute - What commute? My morning routine essentially consists of me rolling out of bed, throwing on some pants (optional), switching on my computer, and voila!, I'm at work. Not for one second do I miss being stuck on the interstate hell that is I-71, where I would typically curse until I was hoarse before I even showed up to work. It made me a very angry, irritable person. If you met me today you'd swear I was gellin' like Magellan.

  • Robin & Co. - Is there a better source for mindless national news in the morning? I think not!

  • The music - While iPods are essential to getting through the day at a stiflingly quiet office, wearing the earbuds all the time can make you appear stand-offish and jumpy, because you never know when someone (i.e., your manager) might be creeping up behind you. At the home HQ it's a non-stop-rockathon coming out of my speakers. I can sing along to Biz Markie's "Just a Friend" all day on repeat without getting curious looks from my co-workers (I recently rediscovered my love of Biz after watching an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia during my lunch break, which leads me to my next point...)

  • The lunch hour - Nothing's more depressing than your typical corporate lunch (half) hour: grabbing a soggy brown-bag lunch from the communal fridge and scurrying back to your cubicle to scarf it down like a mole man while reading Google News, or worse, eating with co-workers in the break room that invariably smells like microwaved broccoli. The Well Respected Bistro regularly served up oven-cooked meals or panini-style sandwiches fresh from the George Foreman Grill, complimented with an endless stream of snacks and beverages, which were regularly consumed on the couch while watching TV shows on DVD (e.g., the IASIP episode where Dennis and Dee are celebrating their newfound unemployment by drinking tallboys on the stoop of their apartment, singing Biz Markie, before deciding to apply for welfare: "Hello, I'm a recovering crack head, and this is my retarded sister that I take care of. I'd like some welfare, please.")

Things I will not miss:

  • The cats - Cats jumping on my laptop when I'm trying to type; cats getting into hissing fights when I'm trying to talk on the phone; me turning into the sort of guy who complains about cats.

  • The sloth - It's a very humbling experience when you're signing for a package delivery in your sweatpants and robe at 1:00 p.m., and you realize that the UPS guy probably thinks you're the most slovenly, lazy, and unhygenic person on his entire delivery route.

  • The construction - The house next to mine has been undergoing daily construction work for the past few months, and while the sounds of constant hammering and chiseling can be irritating, it's the sleazy workers singing T.I. and Lil John loudly and poorly that really gets to me. No discernable progress has been made on the house.

  • The space - I'm looking forward to having a dining room that functions as a dining room, instead of an office/dining room that is overrun with books and papers from work. It'll be really nice to leave work at work when 5:00 hits.

  • The isolation - I mean, c'mon, look at me: I'm a sweatpants-wearing, cat-talking, caffeine-addicted, '90s rap-singing hermit who's developed strong personal opinions about morning cable news personalities and construction workers. I think you'd agree that getting out more on a regular basis would be good for me.

In any case, what's done is done. I dropped off all my old work belongings to the sullen UPS Store employee who only listens to '80s synth pop, and I get to start over in a brand new company on Monday. In the meantime, I'm unemployed and looking forward to Thanksgiving in St. Louis.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Despite what you may have been thinking, I am in fact still alive and kicking, both in the real world and on cyberspace. As it turns out (not too surprisingly) I am not too adept at this whole computer business, because in a recent attempt to upgrade my blogger template I not only deleted all of my links and other personalized categories, but I am somehow operating back on the "classic" version of Blogger. Technology, you have bested me once again! That will teach me to think twice before messing with you, technology!

In addition to being a poor blog technician, it also turns out that I am an unreliable blogger to boot (as any long-term reader can attest to). Where have I been for the past month or so with regular updates into my exciting, jet-setting life (just returned from spending an extended weekend in a garage in San Diego!) or my unnecessary picks for early favorites on season 4 of Project Runway (the fat guy!)? I have been on the job prowl, looking high and low for a new source of steady income. Despite my utmost faith in my own capabilities (I would hire me, anyway), it was a rather trying time and I felt all knotted up inside as I was fearing the worst and waiting an answer. I was, so to speak, creatively constipated. I am happy to report that this blockage has been successfully cleared and I will be starting my new job the Monday after Thanksgiving. Relief flowed through me like a carafe of coffee and a big bowl of bran cereal in the morning. Before you know it I will be starting my new job in a new company in this new town, and I will be pouring my spare energies back into this shanty blog with renewed vigor (this last part is pure speculation). While working from home certainly has its perks, I'm looking forward to rejoining the real world. I think even my cats are beginning to worry that I've been talking to them too much.