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Posted for work: Working In-Office vs. Working at Home

This post is originally found on my work place’s FB page ans was initially written for there. However, it is my creation and I would like to share it with you!

Working In-Office vs. Working at Home
 
We all have our validated reasons for working from home and what makes the lifestyle work for us. Once again, my decision to remain an at-home professional was validated by something simple as walking my son to the bus stop this morning. Here is my little tidbit as to why I am making working from home work for me.
 
Lets back up by saying I woke up before my alarm clock to start my day. Rarely this happens but it can be a glorious thing if you embrace it! Out of bed I sprung…getting some house hold things done prior to walking the kiddo to the bus and clocking in for my daily grind. Normally, I will have started on my coffee rations prior to walking to the bus. However, this morning, I was so busy that I failed to get that far. So, as I was on my way out the door, I grabbed a cup of that morning happy and took it with me to enjoy while chatting with the kids at the bus stop. Just as an aside here, everyone knows that a full cup of java and any article of clothing that happens to be white are not friends. Try as they might, it is just not a happy situation. Thankfully, I make it a habit to try and not wear much white because Murphy’s Law dictates that my coffee will find its way to the white article of clothing and make me look like I am a slob. Or at least like this:
 
 
Sure enough, as we walked to the end of the driveway, what did I do? I sloshed the coffee and there it was: coffee on my shirt. It never fails. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not very graceful when it comes to walking and I try to find ways to fall over things that are not there. (Ghosts! They are tripping!) Add to the long list of talents: The inability to walk and carry a full mug of joe. So yeah, while minor, that was a valid reason to add to my plethora of excuses (well, not really excuses but list was too…repetitive) as to why working from home is the lifestyle that works for me.
 
What is on your list validating that remaining an at-home professional is the right choice for you? What do YOU say?
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Whatever happened to Miss Ingold?

Back in my lat teens and early 20’s I was a breakfast manager at a local fast food restaurant named Hardee’s. The hours were perfect: 3am-1pm. For me, it was an easy job and presented challenges as well. One such challenge was some of the people that worked the same shift I did. One was the hostess, she is a topic for another story. The other was this big ole German lady named Ingold.

Ingold was not by any means your normal person. To begin with, she had to warm up to you. It was not easy to gain her confidence in your abilities as either a manager or a co-worker. Also, she hated everyone. However, she was good at her job. Ingold only worked breakfast. When it was time to transition, she was out the door. She was a good worker but you had to get her on your side to work for you. You see, Ingold liked to be prompt and start things on time. While the manager was technically not supposed to start or arrive to open the doors until at least 3:45 am, if you showed up at any point after 3:00 am, you were certain to have a bad day. Showing up late made Ingold grouchy and boy…you never wanted that woman to be grouchy. (Grumpy doesn’t even come close to what this woman could be if she was…grouchy. Even Oscar the Grouch was mild compared to when this woman was on a roll. Ah, but I digress.) I liked to show up early just for her because I knew if she started her day off right, I would not have to worry about the kitchen because Miss Ingold handled things. Besides, at 4:01 am, the time the schedule says we are supposed to clock in, she would get in her car and go home. THAT, my friends, is a bad day. Without her, it was difficult at best.

Other workers knew that too. Because I worked hard to get Miss Ingold on my side, she eventually warmed up to me. I think there were a few mornings that I totally earned her respect. “Why? How?” You ask? Like this:

Ingold worked six days a week. The days I was blessed to have her on my shift, I knew I was going to have a good day. She kept that kitchen running and things were hardly ever late. I would giggle at her when there was a special request from a customer during the busy part of the morning because she would yell through the window at me “What the hell do they think this is Burger King? This is not have it your way!” Begrudgingly, she would make the special request anyway. If she was particularly chipper, she would offer to make your breakfast for you on your break and hook a sister up!

Anywhoo, back to the how and why. There were a few times I had overslept. Upon waking, the only thing I would think would be:

“Shit! Ingold is gonna be pissed!”

I would jump straight up, throw on my pants, button 4 of the 7 buttons on my shirt, grab my shoes, brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, and other “get ready” stuff and run to the car just so I could make it on time. One particular morning I got lots of laughter from her (which was rare) because I showed up at 3:05 am and had all my stuff randomly in my arms and was dropping and picking up things all the way from my car to the door. I was apologetic every step of the way. One sock on, one sock off, she actually told me not to worry that she was in a good mood because of me. This thoroughly confused me because in Ingold time, I was late. I think the that she seen that I was stressing out over her being grouchy more than I was at my appearance at Good God It’s Early in the morning. To be honest, I think that was the first time I did that. After that day, I think I had Miss Ingold on my side and we got along famously. Even when she was grouchy.

She was old then and this was in the mid 1990’s. I moved on and life went on but I thought of her often. I really liked that old Broad. I wonder what has become of her?

What do YOU think?

 

Why are you so self inflated?

I have done tech support for a while now and it flabbergasts me to have people call in who like to THINK they know what they are doing. They start out by making it very clear that they have been working with technology since 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. They then go on to tell you they did your job for just as long and are now retired for sixty years. O.o

Ok, well, my brain says it is not sure how that can be since you are calling in, but ok, lets go ahead and fix whatever is ailing your technology today. MMMMkay?

Now, while you fight with me to verify that I have YOUR account and no one that belongs to someone else, you tell me that you have done everything under the sun and to the moon to fix it and you just know that I am not going to be able to help you.

So I advise you that I have to see what happens when you unplug the thing. Wait….is that silence I hear???? I listen as you drop the phone and move all the furniture in the room to pull the plug out of the back of the device and you come back and tell me the deed is done. While we wait for the technology to wake back up, you then tell me that you didn’t think to do THAT! Lo and behold the technology is alive! Were it self aware like in the Wil Smith movie iRobot, it would have told you that was all you had to do Mr. Smarty Apple.

You know, I have a ten year old that would have told him the same and he is a self aware human.

I wonder if the customer was self aware to know that everything else outside of simplicity was unnecessary. Replanting those trees away from the house may be something you regretted doing in your technology troubleshooting just to get the calculator to work my friend.

What do YOU think?

Sometimes I Just Put My Headset On While the Dogs Snort at Me

I have been working from home (off and on) since I was a teenager. This time around it has been solidly for 3 years. My kids, friends, and family now know the routine. DO NOT DISTURB WHEN WORKING.  Sometimes, I can work with my office door open. While it does not happen often, I have to make it a point for them to understand when I am not to be disturbed.  This was quite frustrating at first but I really did not have to make much effort after about the first month. It was vibrantly clear when mom was working and when she was not.

When this epiphany first happened, I noted that it started with baby who was then 4 years old. Only this time I was not really working. When I don’t work and I have to sit down at my desk for some tedious task, I unplug the headset and use the speakers. This particular day, I felt it too much of an effort and just put the headset on and began checking emails. My desk faces the door to my office so I can see when the dogs have to go. (Yes, they are trained to let me know quietly when they have to go instead of scratching frantically on the door.) I had left the door open and this was during the time which I often would work with the door open. (Gawd, I miss doing chat support.)

Lo and behold, here comes the four year old bopping around the corner to come and tell me some amazing story of some thing or another he just built with his stuffs in his room. He looks up at me as I sit and wait for him to open his mouth and spew out his musical little voice and he stops dead in his tracks.  He stares at me for what I believed to be an eternity but my peripheral vision noted about 3 seconds (according to my work clock sitting on my desk.) He immediately about faced, and marched right back to the oblivion from whence he came. No noise, no speak, were I “on the phone” the caller would not have been the wiser.

I sat there slack jawed for another moment or two then lights began to go on in my brain.  My children DO listen! They DO understand! Oh. My. Gawsh!  I am utterly impressed. Fast forward to the fact that said child is now seven. He does fail to remember from time to time that when that door is closed, DO NOT BOTHER MOMMY. They simply have to pretend I am not there. Further, they still have to get along because I will become a fierce dragon should the living room turn into a UFC ring the moment their father steps outside for a moment. Ah, such it is that we are. Family.  Yea, they know. Sometimes they need a gentle reminder so I have posted the picture on this blog on my door.

Those of you who know, we do not have a cat the first. Therefore, the names of the animals have been changed accordingly. Yes, Dogs. The constant through all of this? I am no longer facing the door but the dogs still let me know quietly they have to go. Snorting under the door works fine because if a customer ever hears it (not that they will, wonderful noise cancelling mike, sliced bread was the last greatest thing) I can always blame it on a sneeze. 🙂 

Now I just have to figure out how to let the dogs know that putting their muddy paws on the window frame is not acceptable when I am working. I am certain the whole neighborhood knows where I spend most of my time as I often leave the dogs outside and they immediately come to my window to say hi. The upside to that? Who needs a mirror to smile in when the dogs are making you smile and sound (to the customer) like you are thrilled to have them yell at you for something that is probably their own fault.

What do YOU think?Image

Calling ‘home’ from work.

Sometimes I work on Saturdays. Most Saturdays, our teenager has some sort of thing she has to rush off to and blesses us with the lack of her teenagery presence. Well, maybe not a blessing because she is our gurl and we miss her when she is not here. Just don’t miss that ‘tude so much.

 

At any rate. Working from home, WAH Professionals know it is not as easy as going into the other room and waking said teenager then coming back to your office and return to work.  This is where I have to “call home” and make sure the teenager is up and getting ready so she wont be late to her activity. Anyone with teens knows for sure that if they miss something, no matter how trivial it is to YOU, tears will ensue.

 

So, here I sit tethered to my machine (work has a strict rule that thou shalt be ball and chained to your computer as wireless anything is a big NO NO) trying to get her attention.  She is only 2 rooms away and I know she has to be out the door by half the hour to arrive on time. Texting, texting, texting….no reply. Hrmmmm. It is slow. Maybe I can sneak in an actual call to her without a call coming in from work. Calling……..no answer. Figures, the teen keeps her phone on silent and unless she is looking at the physical phone itself, she is not going to see the thing blinking like a fire truck blaring down the street. Ugh! Time to call the house. Never mind I get lots of flashy lights and notifications in my office when the house phone rings and it annoys me greatly but here we go…..RING (as I hear it through the walls) RING…. RING…..

 

Sleepily, a voice answers. Ah, yes. Just the voice I am painfully searching for. “Are you up m’dear? Get up Daddy so you can go, go, go!!!”  She replies with an “OK Mom. Love ya.” Of course the teenager only says that because she is still SLEEPY!  But hey, it works. I accomplished getting them up and running from the comfort of my floppy bunny slippers.

 

What do YOU think?

 

Disclaimer: Author has several blog outlets and pages. This entry is reprinted on those for high level access.

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