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Sunday, March 21, 2010  

Office Mate

I know that it's the first rule of blogging to not blog about your day job. And the only rule more important than the first rule is not to blog about your coworkers. But I really wanted you a little bit about the fellow employee who is my current office-mate. If she wants to complain to HR, I guess she can, but I think that if she had any objection to my writing about her here, she could have made them at any time in the past eight years.

Yes, I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Trash and I now work at the same company, although in different departments, and for different bosses who report to different bosses' bosses all the way up to senior management. Yet we work pretty close together. Which is not entirely surprising given the fact that most of our respective teammates work in different time zones. In our company, geographical proximity has little or nothing to do with proximity on the org chart.

The other main difference is that she has a desk and a phone to go to at the office, whereas I don't. But she never goes there and has her desk phone permanently forwarded to our house, so that's not so much of a difference after all.

So the way it works most days is that my study -- the ten-by-twelve room that opens off the living room -- is now our study. It was awkward at first, since I had already claimed the big table/desk we got from our neighbors and she was stuck with TV trays. But then on a walk, we found a rolling computer desk that we brought home, and now she has that next to her TV trays so it's all better.

The company offered to pay for a second business line for both of us, but our conference calls usually don't conflict, and when they do, that's what cell phones are for.

People tend to hear about our arrangement and ask, "So how's that working out?" Like we're supposed to be annoyed at spending all our time together, day and night. The truth is that we don't. One of us usually has to drop M. Edium off at school in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon, and we hardly ever do that together. Yes, we're apart for up to fifteen minutes at a time, but that's also what cell phones are for.

I suppose it would be different if we weren't both equally busy most of the time. If one of us was always swamped and the other was always slow and being like, "So, what'cha doin'?" it might get a little tense. But generally we're both swamped, and when one of us isn't, that person generally uses the downtime to make lunch or do housework rather than bugging the other.

And unlike before, we can now communicate even when one or both of us is on the phone, thanks to the inter-office IM system (of course it's all work-related). This can be especially handy when M. Edium is at home, now that he's getting old enough that spelling things out doesn't work as well. We can simply IM each other anything we don't want him to overhear (of course that's also work-related. Client confidentiality, you know).

Plus now we can have lunch together almost every day (not that we often have the same thing) and can go for short walks together now that it's warmer outside. And we can help each other with our work, whether it's me proofreading something for her or her doing a large research project for me. In fact, this is such a sweet deal I'm considering not posting this for fear of messing it up.

Years ago, we worked for different divisions of a different company. Back then, we lived eight blocks from our office and worked three floors apart. Now we sleep one floor from our office and work three feet apart. This way is better.

posted by M. Giant 5:31 PM 3 comments

3 Comments:

You guys are awesome.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at March 21, 2010 at 7:21 PM  

Lucky! Just finding a computer desk like that! I need one of those so bad, and I never see anything good on my walks! Plus, I'm sleep deprived with the new baby, (my nephew, not son, but as much as I do, I'd like to have that amended. Maybe being co-parent would work.) Anywho... yeah, free stuff.. and sleep would be good.

By Blogger Maisy, at March 21, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

If I didn't love you so much, you'd be, like, the barfiest couple ever.

By Blogger Linda, at March 22, 2010 at 7:28 AM  

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