M. Giant's
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010  

Commuter's Lament

Have I mentioned how much I love working at home? I've been doing it for about two and a half years now and I never want it to stop. It fits with my schedule, it allows me more time with my family, and it has given me the chance to really push the envelope when in comes to the neglect of personal grooming. Pretty much the only downsides are that I go through socks a lot faster, everyone at the office knows it was me who stunk up the bathroom, and once I broke a guitar string during work hours.

So I didn't really need to appreciate it more than I already did. But something happened to make me.

Of the many things I miss least about going into the office, one of the worst is all the time wasted getting ready and getting there in the morning. With the current arrangement, I often start the workday before getting dressed, eating breakfast, peeing, or getting my eyes properly in focus. And then I stop working after a few minutes, but the new e-mails I got overnight (which average about 0.09 per day) are checked, yo.

Then, after two years of telecommuting, I had to go into the office for a couple of days. While I was looking forward to seeing coworkers I hadn't seen in years, and meeting the newer ones I'd never met, I couldn't help minding a little bit. Here I was going to have to wear pants in July and try to remember where I'd last seen my shirts with buttons, not to mention my toothbrush, razor, car keys, and shoes.

One nice thing was that with everyone on my team in town for the first timeā€¦ever, my only Minnesota-based coworker hosted a little get-together at her house in a western exurb. So I not only got to meet new people, sort of, I got to see new places. It was a lovely evening.

However, at the end of it, when I was driving home, my car quit on me. In a turn lane to get on the freeway, which is the fourth-worst place to have your car quit (the other three being, in ascending order, on the on-ramp, on the freeway, and in a horror movie). I thought, Dammit, I knew I should have had that alternator replaced. Everyone told me they go out at 70,000 miles. But I thought I might still be within the standard deviation, with my odometer at 115,000. I confess I'm not entirely clear on what "standard deviation" means, any more than I understand the concept of "alternator."

So anyway, after sitting there cranking it until the dome light faded and the clicking of my hazard lights sounded more like someone flicking a playing card, I realized I was going to have to call for help. Luckily my cell phone was in my pocket and fully charged, and had my home number programmed into it so I didn't have to try to remember what it was (you never call home if you never leave it, after all).

Trash answered on the first ring. "Are you having car trouble?" she asked without preamble.

I looked at my phone, wondering if it had sprouted a GPS tracker and a webcam. "How did you know?" I asked in wonder.

She told me -- in part two of this entry.

posted by M. Giant 12:47 PM 1 comments


NOOOOOOOOOOOO - don't make us wait.......

By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 20, 2010 at 4:13 PM  

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