Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Work in Pajamas...Help!

Listen, I'm sure this has been written about a thousand times, but I'm adding my two cents. I only started working from home a few years ago and in that time I have learned a few things. Number one is that people who have never done this very often refuse to believe that you're actually working all day. Believe me, loyal readers, I am not complaining about my job. I love it more than I can say. Oh, I'll bitch and moan about my typing soreness and the 'um's and 'uh's that haven't been removed from a transcription, and celebs who give one word answers. But there isn't a day that goes by...not one, that I don't thank my lucky stars that I get paid to do this.

I swear to you, I really do love my job. OK, maybe not enough to do this, but still...

And now that you've read my disclaimer...

There are a ton of good things that go along with working at home. I never really have to get out of my pajamas. I do it for my sanity, but there are plenty of times when I don't. (I make up for it by wearing four inch heels, slinky dresses and gluing lashes to my eyes for red carpets.) I've said it before, but I don't believe my UPS and FedEx guys have ever seen me in anything but nightwear.

No, I don't wear these anymore, but I did once. And since I've been talking about Underoos on Twitter, it was hard to resist.

I can type with my bunny on my lap. No one yells at me for having music on in the background or watching NSFW videos. And if I want to do sit-ups while doing research for an interview, no one is going to look at me funny. Alright, the dog gives me funny looks here and there, but he eats poop, so he doesn't get a vote.

Don't let him smooch you!

You learn a lot about your neighbors when you're home all day. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you've heard about the famous 'vomit goulash' that my neighbors have been cooking with alarming frequency. I don't know what's in it, but from the smell, I'm guessing dead people, sewage and Vegemite. It is, of course, an all day affair. I have smelled this hideousness as early as 7 am.

I didn't think you'd like a picture of dead bodies or sewage. This is close enough.

I know which of my neighbors' dogs bark the entire day. I know who comes home drunk at 3 pm. I know how often you make your children cry. (And so do half the people I interview. They've commented on it.) And I'm fairly certain the people who live behind me are building an ark. No other reason to be pounding and hammering and sawing all day, every day. It's starting to make me wish I lived in a remote forest cottage. It's so damn noisy that I often find myself typing 'Shut the fuck up' while transcribing.

Sigh. I want to go to there.

People don't really get what it means to work at home. It means that, while I can take breaks to go hiking in the middle of the day, my day never actually ends. The computer is there and if a thought strikes me, I start typing. Sure, I'll go out from 2-3 in the afternoon, but I'll keep typing until midnight. And I'll be back up at 6 am. I don't wait for an office to open. I don't leave when it closes. And it's hard to justify stopping at 6 like a normal person. I mean, I'm right here, I'm comfy and the computer is open anyway, so...

No, that's not me, but I've woken up more than once with keyboard face.

Like I said, it's all worth it. I wouldn't have it any other way. But here is why I'm writing this...other than an excuse to vent about my annoying landlady who has been pounding on my door almost daily. If I'm home, I'm working. The fact that my car is parked in it's spot does not mean I'm free to chat about your laundry for an hour when you catch me outside. (I'm not trying to be mean...I do say over and over that I have to get back to work now.) Dropping by unannounced is baaad. Please (and landlady, this means you) stop assuming that any time of day is fair game to check on the ceiling/sink/mail. Just because I'm here does not mean I'm obligated to answer the door. It certainly doesn't mean that pounding harder is going to make me notice you. It doesn't mean that the night before is enough notice for a giant ceiling repair that I've been asking for since 2008. 'But you'll be home...' I'm not free to pick up groceries for you or pick you up from the airport. 'But it's not that far for you and you're home anyway.'

This just makes me laugh every time I see it.

I'm not just writing this to bitch. I mean, it's very cathartic to do so and it helps keep my hands busy so I don't go knock some sense into whoever is banging on the wall next door. I actually want to know if any of you other work-at-home people have suggestions for boundaries. Please send them! I heart you all!


  1. Move. Seriously. I work at home, and while I've dealt with abusive parents below and a majorly untalented musician above, your laundry list is worse than all of mine and my co-workers put together! If you don't own, I suggest you scope out a new place. Xoxo

  2. This is one of my wife's biggest gripes. Not only do we live in an apartment building but she's got my son, my mother-in-law and myself to reckon with. "Just because I'm home doesn't mean I'm not working !" How's she's maintained such a high quality of work surprises me. I try to let her work but sometimes I just *have* to ask her a question. I'm learning.

    Greatly entertaining blog entry as always. You're pretty doggoned awesome.

  3. As someone who works at home, I can totally relate. And desite the minor annoymances, it STILL beats working in an office environment with all the politics, dress codes, time clocks, yapping coworkers, their smelly lunches, etc., etc.

    BTW - this may be your best blog ever! :)


  4. I say hijack the ark and sail away, sail away, sail away...

    Are the soothing sounds of Enya running through your noggin? If so, I don't know whether to say you're welcome or to apologize.

    Enya is just as likely to annoy the hell out of ya as it is to conjure some fleeting moments of calm.

    Either way... When you're back from your ark adventure (imagine all the great writing that could inspire) and only if the tree stump isn't available then maybe you could give those Bose earphones a try. Sure they look like they time warped straight outta an old Van Halen album but you work from home, right? Fashion concerns conquerored!