I don’t know about you, but my job involves a whole lot of stuff that doesn’t have anything to do with work. Getting up early in the morning, so I can get in the shower and get into the office before morning traffic gets really bad. Worrying about even worse traffic I’m going to run into on the way home, no matter when I choose to leave. Dealing with people I don’t like very much but can’t get away from. I like my immediate superiors just fine, but I can’t say that about everybody in every department. I end up cleaning up other people’s messes in the break room, because they’re all slobs and I can’t stand looking at it.
The worst part, for me, is the huge crush of people. When I started at this company, we had about 15 employees. Now we’re up near 60 or 70. No matter where I go, there’s lots and lots and LOTS of them, clogging up the space in my head. I feel like I’m being constantly abraded. (Yes, I am an introvert, thanks for asking.) My job requires an inhuman amount of concentration, which is getting harder and harder for me to accomplish in the office.
When working at home, I often don’t get into the shower until ten or eleven, when it makes for a good break to clear my head. I can connect to the office network through the VPN, which is 95 percent as good as if I were physically there. I can crank up iTunes loud enough to rattle the windows, or I can work in complete silence. The people I have to interact with can still get in touch with me, via instant message or email or cellphone, which puts them at enough of a distance that they don’t drive me crazy.
This has opened up so much space in my head, I can’t believe it. Despite the fact that I’m probably working more hours than I used to, not less. I’ve got a real phobia about staying in the office later than about 6:00pm, so I always leave by then, no matter if I’m in the middle of something or not. If 6:00pm rolls around and I’m at home, I’m already in a warm fuzzy state of mind, so I’ll probably go ahead and work for another hour or two until I get to a good stopping place. I’m lots more productive and happier besides.
I pushed for this because the situation in the office had become intolerable to me, to the point where I was about to quit. Now that I see how much better I feel, it seems like I should have been trying for this a long time ago. It’s better enough that I just turned down a job in the Bay Area in California, writing software for the Mac. Okay, there were some potential problems with that company, but still.
Let’s see, what else has happened. Steph and I went to San Francisco for a week, so she could see what California is like. I’m trying to get situated in East Nashville, and act like I really live here.
Today I made my second trip to this little organic grocery near my house called The Turnip Truck. Everyone I’ve encountered at that place seems so happy to be working there. The guy at the register was almost too happy, like maybe he’d just started the job. I asked him, and he said he’d been working there for two and a half years! Imagine still being thrilled with a job, even after working there for two and a half years. I can barely fathom such a thing.