Sunday, October 7, 2007

Do I Miss Telecommuting?

I've been working in a Real Office now for a little over a month, and I'm trying to decide if I miss telecommuting. Well, yes and no.

Yes, I miss the smug feeling of rolling out of bed, performing minimal ablutions and hitting the computer in my slippers. It was fun to have a unique arrangement, and I felt like I was part of a cool trend. I miss not having to drive the car to get to work, and I miss being able to dart out in the middle of the day to hit Target, the grocery store, or other conveniences of modern shopping. I miss being able to serve baked potatoes on a week night because I was able to shove them in the oven promptly at five, even after I'd gone running and picked up the baby at preschool.

I am forced to draw your attention to the fact that none of the things that I miss were actual attributes of my job. They were the things around my job that telecommuting made easier.

I don't miss worrying about whether I am working hard enough to stay in touch with people. I am glad I don't have to constantly be available and chasing people down to reassure them that I do still work there, and that I can be called during east coast hours without regard to what time it may be here in the 'Burque. I am glad that I have my early rising benefits again (e.g. I can go running in the morning before work, rather than working in the morning). And I don't miss the meandering and largely irrational direction my technical work was taking, and how increasingly un-fun it was without my old boss there to provide a spirited intellectual dialogue.

In the new job, I'm pretty focused: I've got a goal, I need to dig up people who I can cultivate, and whose money can be put to work to advance that goal. In the course of doing this, I can send emails, I can write letters and print pieces, I can put on events, I can talk to people, or all of the above. It's kind of up to me. And I get to spend all day learning about science and medicine from people who are doing some pretty cool things that really, actually make people's lives better. Like, their actual, factual LIVES the stuff I'm raising money for.

I can bake potatoes on Sundays.

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