Most people who read my blogs know that I work from home. If you’re not among them, well, I do. Work from home. Or work at home. Whichever the more grammatically correct phrase is. Many have commented at my “enviable” situation and I do have to admit that working from home has its perks. One, I don’t have to drive down to the city five days a weeks and deal with the insane traffic that has made Metro Manila infamous. Two, I can work in my pajamas, or even without them if I choose to. Third, as the girls were growing up, I got to send them off when they left for school each morning (most mornings, at least — there were times when I was too dead tired to get up) and I was there to welcome them home in the afternoon. More importantly, I was there to listen to their stories, to the high and low points of their day in school, to laugh with them and commiserate with them.
But working from home isn’t heaven. Far from it. It’s so much nicer than going to an office but it has its share of problems. Some readers think that I act like a spoiled brat when I complain about crappy internet connection. What they don’t realize is that unless I have a stable and reasonably fast internet connection, then, I can’t work. That’s the bottomline.
If crazy traffic, flooded streets, unreasonable bosses and even more unreasonable subordinates are problems that office folk deal with everyday, I deal with issues like server downtimes, unavailable e-mail service, copyright infringement, non-existent support for premium blog themes that didn’t come cheap at all… the list is endless. It’s just that the items on the list are very much different from issues that office people face day in and day out. And the biggest difference is that when you work alone, like I do, you deal with all the issues by yourself.
Yeah, I’m having a bad day. Although I’ve had worse days. Like that time when the server was down for several hours and my blogs went offline. In the Pinoy Cook fan page in Facebook, I posted an explanation cum apology to the 6,000+ fans although heaven knows that the server downtime wasn’t my fault. Then, someone instructed me to reboot my computer to put the blog back online. As if. I was patient and nice as I tried to explain that my computer and the server are two different things, that the server is with the webhost, not me. And she just kept repeating her instructions as though I was too stupid to understand her the first time. I’m sure that the person meant to be helpful. But still… Sigh.
Nonetheless, I still consider myself luckier than others. I made the choice to work from home and it has been a very fruitful endeavor. A wonderful learning experience, a time for discovery and self-discovery, a lesson in self-reliance… I’ve had the pleasure of calling Speedy at work in the middle of the day with conversations that often went like this:
Me: “What are you doing?”
Speedy: “Doing paperwork (or talking with a client or something)… What are you doing?”
Me: “Lying in bed, watching TV and eating popcorn… Aren’t you envious? It’s so cool and relaxing here, and it must be a hundred degrees out there…”
And he’d curse. Goodnaturedly because he’d know I was just dissing him.
Well, Speedy is semi-retired now. And he has more time than I do to watch TV and YouTube and hang out in Facebook. He can do all that while I pound away on my keyboard writing about irritating issues like the CBCP and its war against contraceptives. He can do all that while I pull my hair out over dead servers and content thieves.
Sometimes, I envy him.