Friday, July 06, 2007

Working at Home

I often hear from people that they would love to work from home as if home is some sort of oasis of tranquility and mixed drinks where I work poolside. It's not. I swear to you. It has just as many interruptions as other workplaces. I'm going to keep a short journal just for today, updated just about hourly, on interruptions while working at home.

7:00 a.m. Hike in Backcountry with dog. Morning writing under oak tree interrupted by horse fly who keeps landing on dog's face. Dog paws mouth. Very distressing for everyone involved, including the horse fly, which I attempt to kill. On return to house, I retrieve trash barrels from street.
8:00 a.m. Check all email accounts, bloglines, Zoetrope, friendster, facebook, myspace, etc.
8:45 a.m. On noticing tree-cutting truck in front of house, I retrieve dog from back yard where she was lounging in her cabana. Then I open all gates so tree-cutting people can get to tree (ponderosa). I talk to tree-cutting people about ponderosa and refrain from telling them that this is the third time in as many months that they've cut the ponderosa (at Southern California Edison's expense) and that the ponderosa simply doesn't grow that fast.
9:00 a.m. Begin actual editing.
9:45 a.m. It's now too loud to edit. The tree-cutting people are using an industrial woodchipper in the front yard. I do the dishes instead of editing.
9:50 a.m. A negotiation ensues with tree-cutting people. I want the mulch from my trimmed tree to use for landscaping, and the head tree trimmer wants to buy my Honda Civic. The Honda Civic is so dirty that he thinks it's broken and wants to fix it. It's not broken though. It's just really dirty. We reach an impasse in negotiations. It is too much of a pain for him to leave the mulch where I want it, and I don't want to sell my car.
10:00 a.m. Editing resumes after a quick check to make sure all gates are closed in the backyard in case I let the dog out.
11:00 a.m. Editing continues. The past hour was actually quiet and I edited my essay on rajiformes.
Noon I seem to have slowed down substantially, so I'm going to go forage for food and take a break.
1:30 p.m. I seem to have forgotten to eat, and instead gone to the post office, bank, and drugstore. I'm now going to eat. And then edit for three more hours.
4:00 p.m. Alarming phone call followed by tea. This always happens on Friday afternoon. I could write it on the calendar. Thank God the end of day is in sight.
5:30 p.m. Three phone calls just before 5 p.m. I think people like to cross things off their to do lists by calling me. Bully for them.

So, in short, lots of editing, some dog management, some phone calls, some errands. No poolside drinks. And no oasis of tranquility. It's just like every other workplace, except I threw some chores into the workplace.