M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, July 29, 2009  

Family Business

I got home from some lunchtime errands today, and there was a big envelope from the company I work for in the mailbox. That was unusual, because I don't normally get hard-copy mail from them, at least not in the U.S. Mail. I've had some supplies delivered by UPS, but that's about it. So I wondered what they could be sending me today. And then I looked at the envelope, and it was addressed to Trash.

Oh, right, I thought. She'll be working there now.

Yes, once again, for the first time in fifteen years, Trash and I will be working at the same company. We'll be in different departments, reporting to different bosses who are based in different states, and she'll be going to the office (the same one I used to go to) four days a week while I continue telecommuting, but we'll still technically be coworkers, drawing our paychecks (or rather, getting direct deposit) from the same company.

In the early nineties, we did work for different divisions of another company for a couple of years. We were on the 17th and 15th floors, respectively, working the evening shift downtown with a surprising number of friends, both preexisting and new. We also lived downtown for one of those years, commuting nine blocks every weekday afternoon and paying exorbitant rent on a brand-new one-bedroom with all the overtime we were racking up. I figured that was as close as I was ever going to get to working from home until I published a book.

Then, about a year after we bought our house, the layoffs hit, and Trash's division went first. We were expecting that, but what I wasn't expecting was how much I missed being at work and knowing she was two floors down. When my division got downsized a few months later and I was laid off, I was relieved. And not just because I had already started a new job several days before.

Since then, we've both changed jobs several times, and shared commutes for two separate periods: once when we both worked in the southern inner-ring suburbs, and once when we both worked downtown. We don't share our commute now, because our staircase isn't wide enough for both of us to go down at the same time.

Oddly, once she starts her new job, we won't feel like coworkers as much as we have for most of the summer. She's been working at home most days in her current job, for the company she's been working at for nine years. She sits on the sofa outside my study with her laptop, or we'll both bring our laptops out on the deck and work there, weather and wireless permitting, and if M. Edium is home we'll supervise his backyard activities while doing our respective things. We meet for lunch in the kitchen, and occasionally there's some sexual harassment. It's been great. I'll miss that.

And we'll all miss the "Mommy and M. Edium Days" that have been in effect every Monday and Friday, while Trash has been working a three-day-per-week shift while her soon-to-be-ex-employer has been going through some stuff. We knew his three-day school week wasn't going to last forever, but we've taken steps to ease the transition from his summer schedule to fall. It involves flex time, drafting the next-door neighbor kid as a part-time babysitter, and probably a lot more "officeing" out on the deck.

But there will be good things, too. For instance, Trash will have a much better idea of stuff that goes on at my company, which will be helpful to me because honestly I generally have no idea what happens outside my department. She'll be close to lots of friends for lunch, like Chao and Delta Force Commander. And as a new employee, she'll be subject to whatever I care to dish out in the area of hazing.

So I have three things to say to my wife: congratulations, goodbye, and welcome.

posted by M. Giant 9:22 PM 1 comments


My husband and I used to work together. In fact, that is how we met. I sometimes miss it but really am more jealous that he now works at home and I am stuck in a cubicle all day. But when I do work from home it's a little too much togetherness. Perhaps if I threw in some sexual harrassment it would be better!

By Blogger Stacey, at August 4, 2009 at 6:12 AM  

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