Curve balls in my pajamas

Because my “beat” is life in the home office, I keep my Internet search-crawler thingies set to hunt for news on the-ever-more-popular option of working in one’s pajamas.

This sometimes turns up Web sites that aren’t what I intended, but lingerie is always fascinating, too.

Recently, an item called “Marshall Loeb’s Daily Money Tip” from Marketwatch.com popped up on my computer screen. The article by magazine big-shot Marshall Loeb is headlined: “Stay on Track Working From Home.” It warns that “the ease of working from home can throw a curve ball in the career path,” then gives five tips for succeeding in a home office, all aimed at taking the job more seriously and striking a “healthy balance” between work and home life.

After 11 years toiling in a home office, linked to the world by computer cable, I feel I am eminently qualified to say: Hahaha on that, Mr. Loeb.

First of all, sir, working at home is not a career “curve ball.” It’s a slider. People often make that mistake.

Secondly, people who work in regular offices in our crappy economy can’t seem to strike a “healthy balance” between work and home, either. Why should anyone expect that of us at-home types? Just because we don’t waste time commuting doesn’t mean we manage our time any better than anybody else. I’m still late, everywhere I go, there’s more work to do all the time, and my children think my name is “Gimme Money.” I’m just like you.

Thirdly, you urge at-home workers to take their jobs more seriously, to treat them like regular jobs. You are clearly missing the whole point, sir. Rules and dress codes and pinhead bosses are the reasons we left the regular workplace and went home. We don’t need to inflict those restraints on ourselves.

Still, some might benefit from seeing Mr. Loeb’s ideas for success, so I’ll pass them along. With comment.

“1. Separate your work space from the rest of your home and spend time in it only when you are working.”
This is wonderful advice for those who have spare rooms and padlocks, but I disagree with your next assertion that “kids and spouses do not belong there.” What if spouses share an office? What if children insist on running around the house, making noise and messes? That’s why God invented headphones.

“2. Sit at your desk at the same time every day and keep normal business hours.”
Some of my best ideas come at 3 a.m. I get up and I write them down right away. I can always nap later.

“3. Dress in a way that will help you feel professional.”
Mr. Loeb adds, “it helps to get out of your pj’s and put on a crisp shirt.”

No, it does not. Physical comfort frees the mind. I do all my best work in pajamas. I’m wearing pajamas right now. Mwah-ha-ha-hah.

“4. Disregard house chores until the end of the business day.”
Okey-doke. How about if I disregard them until Saturday?

“5. If your work does not require constant access to e-mail, turn off your e-mail program and check messages only at scheduled times.”
Turn off my e-mail? But I require constant access. I need nonstop incoming stimuli while I sit at the computer all day. Also, jokes from friends.

I need my computer sifting through all the information in the entire world and delivering to me items like “Marshall Loeb’s Daily Money Tip.”

Such informational articles are very helpful. They help me disregard my house chores.

1 comment:

poodleland said...

How do you get search-crawler thingies to hunt for just the news you want?