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This Was Not Addressed In The Workplace

 
by Dan Reinhold

This Was Not Addressed In The Workplace...
So you're working at home now! No more of those annoying workplace issues that have filled several volumes of professional journals. They're all behind you, a faint, unpleasant memory. Of course, working at home has no such...challenges?

No one looks over your shoulder. No one monitors your output from afar. ( I was looking for the way out of that website...really!!) No warnings or veiled threats about too much time at the water cooler. BUT...

There is one issue, one factor, one paradigm, one contingency, one concern never addressed, nay, not present in that organizational outhouse.

Its destructive influence has been well recorded, yet they continue to be commonplace. They are not found in the corporate world because of the dangers inherent in their continued presence. Volatile, unpredictable and thoroughly incomprehensible, they are the greatest challenge of working in your home and they're always there!!

Among many names bestowed upon them (some less than complimentary) throughout recorded time, they are known to us as...children.

Of all the horrors imaginable, they are the worst because their minds hold only one thought: You're home.

What project, with looming deadline, impossible demands and voracious time-consuming appetite, ever frustrated your best efforts more than a five-year-old opening your door punctually every four and one quarter minutes to announce, "I wanna _________?"

Do you ever recall conversations of this kind during a performance review?

"Milquetoast, we are in agreement, then, then your primary goal for the next quarter is to successfully address the concern of little Jennie's incessant attention-getting behavior as well as Montague's single-handed defacement or demolition of several pieces of valuable furnishings and pets?"

As I sat writing today, I was visited by my youngest son, Nicholas. He is three years old and will turn fifteen in June. Having left my door ajar while he played in the next room (" And about your child emergency reaction time, Milquetoast..."), he appeared beside me with an air of quiet resolve that would have made Churchill shudder, several books held tightly in his arms.

Fixing me with a steady gaze, he firmly stated, "Read to me." My first reaction was the SOP for child demands as written in the official Parents' Manual. "I can't read to you now, Nicky. Daddy's working." He is a highly intelligent and perceptive young fellow who could plainly see that his father was poking at the computer keyboard (as he has done) while wearing old jean shorts and sipping lemonade. It was perfectly obvious to him that I was not working. He then replied with the SOP for Parent Refusal of Demand as written in the official Children's Manual.

He raised the volume. "Read to ME!" By this time, my poking had stopped and my lemonade was becoming warm and watery. As the exchange escalated (parental authority - stubborn demand - parental bargaining - stubborn demand - parental pleading - stubborn demand...), the true underlying objective was achieved. My productivity had been shot to pieces. After this episode had concluded ( you know, that Dr. Seuss was a very succinct expository writer), I realized how ill-prepared I'd been by the corporate world for such encounters. When my oldest boy was little, I worked in an office in a big city an hour's commute away. Working at home has proven to be very different in many respects than working away from home.

I wonder if there are any professional journals about this sort of thing?


With two boys, a dog, a cat, a wife and a household to keep together to boot, Dan Reinhold is the editor of WAHumor to hang on to his sanity by showing how insane the work-at-home community can be. Work at home? You deserve a laugh!

Dan Reinhold is the editor and creator of WAHumor, the newsletter for all who work at home. If you work at home, you deserve a laugh! Subscribe at [email protected] Send something WAHumorous to [email protected]
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