Fuck-Off Fridays

Working from home is, I’m sorry to say, a bitch.

Look at this photo. It is the view from my desk while I’m writing/editing/hostage negotiating/etc. It’s gorgeous. It’s inspirational.

It’s … distracting.

To the point where I am thinking about buying one of those stand-up desks so I’m not tempted to daydream in my chair as much as I do.

I just accepted yet another freelance offer. I said I’ll start Monday. Which means working weekend on other stuff! Whee!

I have a tradition around here that I like to call Fuck-Off Friday. That’s for all those years of my friends going out to happy hour while I was still in the office till 9, 10, 11, 12 or whatever time. In other words, I don’t do a damn thing and I LOVE it.

I had to shift it back to yesterday, unfortunately, so today is going to be one of those other kinds of days. I had even anticipated giving up one of my jobs, but I’m going to give it one more month and see if things improve.

The thing is, I got all of my jobs on reputation alone. Everybody knew me and/or worked with me in a past life. So I guess a part of me just doesn’t want to disappoint, lest I tarnish that pristine (or close to it) reputation.

In non-work news, one of my favorite comedians will be here on my birthday. One of my beloveds said we should get the girls together and have a night out. I LOVE it.

I realize I had a phenomenal group of colleagues, two jobs ago. While I will always hold up Ye Olde Employment Establishment as the best functioning team ever, I could say the same of other jobs if you take out the people with the six-figure salaries.

I’d never say we were aligned against the upper-level people, although I know every last one of them was paranoid that we were. Instead, it was more that we could band together, share our collective knowledge, and cover our collective asses from unnecessary kickings.

What leaders fail to understand is that alliances in the workplace are a GOOD thing. We’re not aiming for anarchy. We just want HARMONY.

If we’re going “behind their backs,” so to speak, it’s to get on everyone’s good side. To build loyalty for that day when you need a favor and you want to make sure they drop everything for you when you need it most. To perhaps commiserate, yes, but in hopes of getting some insight into a problem rather than just a pure kvetching session.

When I was the communications director of a charity, I was told everyone is my enemy and to treat them that way. And that’s how I was treated by people on my level. You were simply the equivalent of a speedbump for a bus whose brakes have been busted — it wouldn’t stop the CEO from yelling at you, but you could be used to distract the CEO from yelling at THEM.

Anyway, it’s good to have friends across all departments and throughout the pay spectrum. Because at the end of the day, no one can judge your individual performance without looking at who helped you get there, and who you brought along the way with you.

For me, I may get to my goals more slowly than the rest, but my bus is filled with everyone I stopped to help along the way. Amazing things happen when everyone is in sync and has access to relatively the same amount of information — at least, the info they need to do their jobs better and advance in their careers.

But hey, when you turn over your staff by 50% in a year, don’t be surprised when you’re not only right where you started, but further behind. Train people right, treat them better and push the business ahead on their collective knowledge and ability. Anything less breeds indifference, even in those with the best of intentions.

Oh, yeah, that brings me to one last thing about working from home. No meetings! Sure, WebEx and Skype and conference calling keeps me busy. But no losing three hours at a time, three times a day anymore — and not with people I see six times a day anyway because we’re in the same room!

I truly don’t know what to do with all this free time … other than to work or stare longingly at the beach and daydream away…

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