Sunday, November 11, 2007

Okay, I might miss telecommuting a little

I don't want to be an anti-telecommuting bummer, and I realize that I haven't been as positive about the telecommuting as I was in the past, like, when I actually was a telecommuter. So, while I love my new job, I do miss some key things about telecommuting.

I miss the ability to be around the house to get little things done during the day. I love my house and it was fun to spend my lunch doing little yard things and whatnot. I find that even the short commute eats into the day, and now that it's dark so early, I feel like I'm getting less done than I should. This feeling is also probably compounded by the fact that I was traveling last weekend, so I really didn't get things done. We only got one out of three jack-o-lanterns carved, and managed to not take any pictures of Halloween costumes.

I also miss being able to work in a steady and concentrated way. I find myself feeling frustrated by the level of interruption in the real office, not so much for me, because I'm pretty good at focusing and keeping my head down, but moreso for my colleagues. Some days I see folks spending what seems like an inordinate amount of time massaging a project that really should be kicked out the door lickety-split. Or it seems like we veer from coffee, to a two hour luncheon with a prospect, to an afternoon meeting about how we're going to count planned gifts, to quitting time without actually doing anything.

But of course we are doing what we're supposed to do. We in development are at the whim of the donor, the doctor or scientist, the dean. We exist to make those other things happy and fulfilled, and sometimes that means dropping everything to get something done. So this kind of work is pretty different from programming and web stuff, where you have a project, it's mapped out and you hit your deliverables. Getting things done is a much fuzzier area, and sometimes it's hard to tell that you're really working, especially as you dine on a cobb salad at the country club. But trust me, it's work.

I may also be feeling a little negative because there are attempts to rope me into office politics. In the old job I had a long-standing reputation as a relentlessly positive vault. People knew they could piss and moan to me and I

a) would not comiserate, agree, or disagree

b) would not repeat what they said to the person or persons involved

c) would not fink them out to the boss

d) would try to see the best in the whole situation and make the complainer feel listened to and less miserable.

In the new job my attributes are not well known to my colleagues yet, and so they're actively trying to whip me into a frenzy around certain issues. Good luck. I am a rock, and I'm not going to repeat anything out of turn. Although I'm not sure if similar levels of discretion extend upward. But I'm learning to govern myself accordingly.

But I digress. What I'm really trying to say is that I seem to get nostalgic for the liberty of telecommuting and the familiarity of a long-time job when things in the new job get a little sticky. But that's okay.

Because I'm on the verge of raising some money, and that's going to be a nice kick in the pants.

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