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Do You Call That An Ending? – With Practically Everyone On His Feet?

February 28, 2018

I worked from home yesterday. I’m fighting a cold. (It’s not the flu! Of course it’s not. No, I didn’t get a flu shot, but this is not the flu. Not, not, NOT!!) Anyway, it takes a lot less effort to stumble downstairs to my tiny cubbyhole of an office than it does to get in my car and drive 45 minutes to work.

Most of the time no one notices if I work from home. Sure, the guy who sits in the office across the hall might notice my light is off, but even when I’m at work, he typically instant messages me. Most of the people I work with do not work in my building.

I work with people across the United States. I email, text, IM, email, and Skype pretty much all day long. At times I have to remind myself to get up and walk around. So, a few days at home are not going to be noticed.

But, there’s a couple of problems with working at home. First is that my kids get home at 2:00pm. The internet gets much slower at that point. Yes, I know it’s not the internet that is actually slowing down, I’m an IT guy, after all. And I actually have sophisticated enough routers in my house that I can prioritize my traffic over theirs. In a pinch I can simply kick them off the wifi if I decide to.

They are also noisy when they get home. Not that I’m the type that needs absolute quiet to work, but if they can come knock on my door to ask, “Can I play on the XBox now?” it’s distracting. Besides, the answer is always the same, “What would your mother say?”

The real problem with working from home, is missing out on the interaction with others in the office. My role is both isolating and extremely connected to others. I am involved in lots of different departments, operations, engineering, security, IT, and numerous others. Physically being in the office, especially if my door is open, makes it easy to hear when something important is happening. If we have an outage (one of my primary responsibilities to manage) I get people popping their head in my door, “Rodney, do we have an outage happening? Do you know how widespread it is?” Likewise, I get to hear about events happening in other departments that will overlap with my role.

Also, even in this age of telecommuting, there is something to be said for being seen. I have a good friend who was an Assistant Producer on the TV show Baywatch. While most of the other APs were at the beach watching the filming, Kevin was back in the office working on the more “mundane” portions of the job. Kevin now runs a major TV studio.

The real issue with working from home, though relates to the title of this post. Bonus points if you recognize the quote. Anyone?

It’s from they play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” by Tom Stoppard. The line is delivered in Act II by a character simply named PLAYER. He’s attempting to show the main characters how a play within a play represents their lives. He fails.

When working in an office, it’s clear when it’s time to go home. When the ending occurs. Not so much when working at home. My son just announced we are having dinner, so I guess that will have to do.

The end

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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