As a remote employee, I don’t think I’ve become a recluse yet, at least not to the point I’m watching Ice Station Zebra five times a day and growing my nails long like Howard Hughes did when he ditched public life. But I may be getting close.
It’s getting harder to leave my little nest of four monitors and a kitchen full of Smarties, wasabi crackers, M&Ms, and endless Fudgsicles delivered to the refrigerator once a week by mi esposa extraordinaire.
I get my work done while sporting lounge shorts (code for boxers), a “remote workers do it by themselves” t-shirt and flip-flops. And when I need to go to our regional offices for the day, it’s quite an inconvenience.
I have to shave and take a shower – not an everyday event in my effort to be green – and wear long confining Dockers, dress socks, dress shoes, a belt, and long-sleeve button-down shirt.
Do people really work in these clothes every day? It’s difficult to think and to feel comfortable in this outfit.
To make it worse, I have to get in the car and drive to a place that doesn’t have a large pair of golden arches in front and doesn’t serve McGriddles, and where my portion of the conversation consists of “bacon, egg, and cheese McGriddle, please,” then “hi,” finishing with “see ya.”
When I leave home I have to interact with other people, my co-workers, who I do like and am happy to see. And it’s pretty good doing that, I admit, and a nice break from the isolation of home, telephone communications and email.
Then I leave the office and suffer in traffic, which is torture. I’m spoiled and am lucky I haven’t wasted hours of my life looking at bumpers and bumper stickers. Knock on wood.
And after 11 hours, I walk in the house shredding the layers of clothing and stripping down to my usual work uniform. The puppy steals my socks, my daughter pretends she’s Cato in The Pink Panther and sneak attacks with a pillow to my head, and order in nature is restored. Life is good again.