Pope Francis I and Learning to be a Remote Worker

The smoke was white this afternoon (evening in Rome) and Twitter was all aflutter with the news.  I scrambled to find the TV remote in the nightstand cause I was sitting on the bed at the time, reading articles online or writing or something.  I have no idea.  I couldn’t find the remote for a long time and was worried I’d miss the big reveal.  I forgot how long these things take, so I really had no reason to worry.  When I found the remote, it wouldn’t work.  Dead batteries.  I switched them out and then I watched a new Pontiff emerge on the balcony.  History was made.

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This whole scenario made me realize exactly how long it’s been since I turned on the TV in my bedroom.  When I tell people that I don’t watch TV, I mean that I don’t watch it ON the TV.  I am pretty much all about Netflix streaming these days, but occasionally some Hulu or iTunes.  I still haven’t seen the last 5 episodes of “30 Rock” and I am way behind on my absolute FAVE current TV show, “Community”.

I say all of this because I have officially been a remote worker for about 2 weeks, but unofficially for a bit longer.  I always thought remote workers, or more accurately, people who work from home (not Starbucks or a restaurant), would be able to multi-task and do their laundry and clean and watch TV and have it so easy compared to the office workers.  There are elements that are awesome, definitely, but all this multitasking hasn’t been one of them as yet.  I have to focus on my work.  I haven’t done any more laundry since I became a remote worker.  I haven’t watched TV during “working hours”, I haven’t been cleaning my house even during NON-working hours, and I have yet to get a single mani/pedi on company time.  I also haven’t put on pants today at all, which has been lovely, I won’t lie.

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I think this will feel more like a job-job when I get my office set up but that’s still a couple months away.  In the meantime, it feels like a lot of “playing” on the internet.  In my head I know that all the Twitter stuff is reading and compiling professional articles and it’s FOR work, but it doesn’t feel like WORK.  I think that’s the sign of a good fit at my job, ladies and gents.  The new has not worn off.

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That being said, I’m very aware of the fact that this remoteness could be TOO perfect for me.  Especially during times when I’m not in school, I could easily not interact much with the world.  I am not trying to have this blog turn into Diary of a Shut-in.  As someone diagnosed with anxiety and major depressive disorder, I have to work harder than others to be social.  Not to have fun; I always have fun once I get there.  The work is in leaving the house in the first place.  That’s only during episodes, which are few and far between, thankfully.  The latest one (which was more severe and longer-lasting than ever before) is winding down big time now that my job stress (and then joblessness stress) is gone.  Life is getting really good again.  I’ve been out with friends lately, old and new.  I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming SHRM Conference here in Baton Rouge, and I bought a Groupon for some Zumba classes!  I will NOT become a cave dweller 24/7.

In my family, we talk on the phone and email to stay close.  We have visits and reunions and the occasional road trip.  We go out to eat.  We do not do this.

In my family, we talk on the phone and email to stay close. We have visits and reunions and the occasional road trip. We go out to eat. We do not do this.

I know that with some people, the challenge to working remotely is in being productive and not screwing around.  For me the challenge will be not letting this take over my life and mental health.  So far it’s going really well, but if this starts to read like Diary of a Shut-in, someone holler at me!

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