I remember back in the olden days (approximately one year ago), when I had a “real” job in an office. With desks and phones and coworkers and everything. Over a course of maybe six months, several of these coworkers quit or were fired and ended up working for companies that didn’t have offices. So these lucky fools got to work from home.
I always thought this sounded amazing. Getting up whenever you want. Working whenever is convenient for you. In your pajamas, if you like. No pointless meetings, no being bombarded with a billion questions an hour, no dudes shooting nerf darts at each other over your head. HEAVEN!
These guys agreed that it was pretty sweet. And in general they seemed way, WAY happier than they had in the office. But when they’d meet up with us corporate lackeys for drinks, there was something a little off. They were a tad too…intense, maybe? Like they were REALLY eager to see us. Their pupils were too large from all that sitting in their dark rooms with only the computer screen as a source of light (and possibly, vitamin D), and they had to sit on their hands to prevent themselves from grabbing us by the shoulders and shaking us as they yelled, HI! IT’S GREAT TO BE OUT OF THE HOUSE!
Flash forward a year, and here I am, “Self Employed” and loving it. And I admit that in the first few months I spent as much time as possible in my pajamas. I would email my working friends during office hours just to say, still in my pj’s! Or, even better, still in bed!
But after a while, being at home so much lost its appeal. It was just so empty, and quiet, and…boring. I began to miss, not my job (no NEVER that!), but my coworkers. The hallway banter, the amusing overheard conversations in the kitchen, the wave of laughter that would start at one end of the office and quickly splash over everyone as a funny email spread from desk to desk. I even sort of missed those nerf darts that I had to pick out of my hair.
Yep, I’m talking about cafes. And let me just say that I heart free wireless. As inventions go it ranks right up there with opposable thumbs and yoga pants.
Now, for the low low price of an americano, I can sit in a corner for hours and do my thing. I can be around other people without actually having to interact with them on any personal level. AND, since I’m “working”, I can write off my coffee expenses at tax time. SWEET!
Most importantly, home has become a nice place to be again. And I don’t scare my friends with inappropriate touching anymore.
“The Old Office” © Julius Bernhard von Rohr
“Old Coffee Shop” © The Jared Wilcurt