Thursday, July 26, 2007


I have been working from home for almost six months. Or do you say, telecommuting? If you do, why would you say telecommuting in place of saying six months? What? Let’s start over.

I have been working from home for almost six months. When I worked at the office, I didn’t work with anybody in my actual office because, other than being a horrible team player who does not play well with others, I worked with people who were in far away lands, like New York, California and Bangalore, India. Every time I talked to my India co-workers I felt like I was calling Dell or AT&T customer support. Even though we were working on creating new web site services, I constantly asked them questions like why my computer kept freezing up or how I can save more money on long distance. The funny thing was, they knew the answers. And they kept thanking me for calling, and they said my name every other sentence. I think one of them got me free cable.

Since my presence was not needed in the office, management decided to send me home to work. In addition to freeing up my cube to be used as a pot luck lunch center for the other employees, my company also realized savings by not giving me a raise, claiming the money I’d save in gas, not having to drive to and from work, would be more than any raise they’d ever consider giving me. They were correct, only because George W. and Dick are asswipes.

At first, it was strange working from home. I had to create a routine separate from my normal “at home” routine, which consisted of feeding the dogs, going to the bar, coming home and passing out. Other than “feeding the dogs”, none of that was listed on my job description, so I needed to make some adjustments. After a few weeks of thorough concentration (otherwise known as napping), I began to find my work groove at home.

I actually get more work done now than I did when I was in the office. Over the years, like many of us office workers, I had learned thousands of techniques to feign working, like faxing large documents to myself back and forth between the two fax machines across the office from each other, or calling vendors, screaming at them for rate reductions, even if it was not my responsibility and they had no idea who I was. When you are there and you look like you are working, management tends not to notice the lack of production. It’s just like how lauryl sulfate binds water molecules to dirt molecules when you wash your hair, which is something I don’t do so much anymore (more on that later). But, when you are out of sight, all they can monitor is your production. Luckily, my bar was set pretty low, so since I have produced slightly more working at home, management thinks they made a genius move, and I may be up for the Sunshine Award. Ultimately, since I no longer have the pressure of coming up with new and exciting ways to look like I’m working, I’ve grown bored and use work as a monotony breaker throughout the day.

But, enough about my fabulous career. There are more important matters at hand, such as the side effects of working at home. I have grown accustomed to not leaving the house and not dealing directly with the outside world. Look how negative that sounds (Are you looking at a sound?) – there are two “not”s in that sentence. I was averaging one “not” per paragraph up until then. Oh, how the negative vibe has turned. These side effects are not as bad as they sound, which you are looking at, but they are evidence that I am changing and soon could resemble something that does not resemble me, like a banister made out of Brillo pads. I’ve also made a number of discoveries about domestic daily employment. I’m not sure what it all means. I will let you judge for yourself. Here are my discoveries and symptoms of metamorphosis.

I used to be uncomfortable being out in public if I had not showered that day. People go out of their way to avoid walking next to me now.

My shirt starts to smell by Wednesday, but the stench goes away by Friday.

Why do I own a washer and a dryer?

Hold my calls, I’m going out to wait for the mailman.

Masturbating during conference calls isn’t as fun as I thought it would be. At least not after the first 8 times. That was a fun couple of days.

Wearing of underwear has become a nostalgic experience.

The giant orange ball in the sky pierces me with unseen particles when I go outside. Even when I stay inside. You can't hide from its powers.

People’s lips move around when they talk. It is enchanting.

Where is the voice at the other end of the phone coming from?

Doesn’t xe have email?

Spaghettios are so bland that I never get sick of eating them.

You can build a cool fort out of Spaghettios cans.

Boo Radley.

I have to break out my best duds for Casual Friday.

My dogs are spies.

I don’t spend as much time hiding in the bathroom as I did when I worked at the office. Some time, but not as much.

My broom and mop co-workers think I’m fun to work with.

I’m kidding, I don’t own a mop.

My kitchen floor is sticky.

No, I do not conduct conference calls in my kitchen.

The delivery man comes from the void to bring me presents.

Rush hour traffic was the best social life I never knew I had.

Let’s go to the front window to see what the people are doing.

That’s the strange part. I mean, there weren’t any reports on my desk yesterday, and they still aren’t there, but I don’t know where they were or how they’ll get here. What do you want me to do with them when I don’t get them? Send me an email. I only respond to emails. No. Sure. Yes, instant messaging is good, too. That’s almost like email, but it makes a different beeping sound. One is a beep, the other is more of a blurp. I can't remember which is which. I have my computer speakers turned down. I want to go home now, except I’m already there. I tried going out and coming back in, but it’s not the same. I know it’s not the same because the dogs don’t get all excited to see me when I do that. They’re watching me, you know. What IS that smell?


del said...

Love the "faxing things to myself" technique. I'll have to give it a try sometime!

And, I expect your beard will soon rival Moe's.

k said...

Lol, you are brilliant and will continue to be brilliant when the nice men with the cool jacket come to visit....

keysunset said...

Other than “feeding the dogs”, none of that was listed on my job description It was included in "any other duties that may be required," so you really haven't gotten out of anything, lazybones. ;-)

Dee said...

The moniker Moist Rub must have come from your infamous conferencing habit?

e.. said...

That was some good stuff. And it still is. Some good stuff that is. Then, and now.

AMAI said...

Conference call masturbation is the new tantric sex.

I want pictures of the Spaghettios cans.

doug_plank said...

You are an American success story.