Working at Home. It’s (Not) All About Porn.


Working from home represents the ideal dream for many people, but the reality of it is that you will be judged for it, in some rather unexpected ways. And somehow, it always leads back to porn.

1. Even if you say it’s not porn, it’s porn.

Work at home gigs are rare, the unicorn of the employment kingdom, and rarer still are work at home gigs that actually pay a reasonable amount of money. And if you can find one that pays a livable wage, it’s a keeper. But unless that job comes with a byline and a link that you can send your nosy relatives and jealous friends, they will conclude only one thing. Porn.

You’ll get this question a lot when you work from home: What do you actually DO all day?

And it will go downhill from there.

You say, “I check code lines for syntax errors.”

They hear Porn.

You say, “I teach people how to use software.”

They hear Porn.

You say, “I troubleshoot web display on university websites.”

They hear Porn.

I may as well just tell them right out of the gate that I run a link farm for porn sites. Accept my judgement and never speak of it again. My life would be easier for it.

2. Guests should be able to eat off your floor.

There is some sort of delusion among the masses that make them assume that people working from are not actually working. That we simply collect a paycheck while we sit on the couch playing games, and eating grapes and smoked Gouda. And with that excessive leisure time on our hands there is no excuse for dirty dishes in the sink, or piles of unfolded laundry. Stay at home moms are subject to this judgement, too.

I know what that cocked eyebrow means when I offer you a drink and then have to wash a cup before I can give it to you.

Those of you that go out and work in the employment world that contains cleaning services and maintenance folk never have to dirty your hands with anything beyond cleaning your own mold-ridden items out of the company fridge. And even that is a bit of a time management problem for most of you. So you wait until some poor sap does it and fires of the disgruntled email reiterating the company fridge rules.

fridge

You literally can’t manage to open a door, lift an item and deposit in the bin over the course of your 40 hours. But you judge us for not keeping a house that Howard Hughes could sleep in while we do the same 40 or better.

You lift that delicate eyebrow and look carefully at the edge of your cup while you judge me not just unclean, but being one furry carcass from appearing on Hoarders. And you wonder—what does she DO all day?

Oh. That’s right. Porn.

3. You’re always good for the pop in visit.

Now to be fair, I have never like the pop-in. But when working from home, this can create a problem that doesn’t arise in the regular workplace.

You would never go into a bank and sit down across from your bank teller friend and begin chatting. You’d never hop up on the conveyor belt at the grocery store and settle in with a couple of coffees for you and your cashier friend. And you’d certainly never ask if you could drop your kids off in the office of your friend the college professor so that you could run out and get a quick haircut.

Why not? Because they’re working!

And our cultural workplace norms dictate that those actions are unacceptable, and could very easily result in your friend being fired, or at least reprimanded.

But when people work at home, you seem to think that these are all perfectly acceptable practices.

And when we cut the visit short or—God forbid—don’t answer the door, we are judged. What, are we suddenly too good for the likes of you? What could we possibly be doing that we wouldn’t enjoy a little company?

Oh. Ahem. That.

4. That…outfit?

This if often more accurately described as “my pajamas” on account of the fact that I hit the ground at 6:15 AM, get the kid up, dressed, fed and out to the bus while I consider the logistics of 3D printing a cup of coffee. (Seriously, that shit is magic!). And the moment the kid is on the bus I head to my office with the deluded hope of putting in an 8 hour day so I can hang with my little when the hubs heads to work.

So it is really not unusual that some days I kick about in the jammies or yoga gear and don’t make my clothing a priority.  If nothing else, I am saving about 40 bucks a year on pantyhose.

But when you pop in, I can feel your eyes on me as I stand at the kitchen sink washing you a coffee mug. You are thinking way too loudly.

Why is she always in lounge wear? Wearing lipstick.

First, I always wear lipstick. Always. There are probably a grand total of 10 living people who have seen me without it. Because I like it. It pops me awake and the bright vibrant red makes me happy.

So yeah, lipstick. In pajamas.

But to you, it can mean only one thing. I had a “package” delivered, or I am waiting for the cable guy, or…

Yeah. We’re back to porn.

So scour the internets for a work at home job if you want. I confess I love nearly every aspect of mine. But you may want to save yourself some time and just start collecting porn links and open a link farm.

I hear there’s good money in it.

 

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