Re: Telecommuting

Subject: Re: Telecommuting
From: Ad absurdum per aspera <JTCHEW -at- LBL -dot- GOV>
Date: Mon, 31 Jan 1994 23:38:23 GMT

My particular job would be almost impossible to perform
remotely. As I draw more water around here and thus would
find it easier to cut through the bureaucratic impediments
to telecommuting, the job also becomes more political. More
dependent on personal interfacing (and sometimes in-yo-facing.
More a matter of being around for not only meetings but also
impromptu discussions. Call it one of life's little ironies.

Sometimes I'm tempted to negotiate a way to work at home a
few days a week, mostly to be able to concentrate for extended
periods on major pieces of nontrivial writing and editing.
But the phone calls and visits about funding opportunities
and award nominations and various bits of administrative
paper-shuffling... those are my job too, and they occur more
or less at random. I can informally sneak off once in awhile
(and, Allah be praised, I have a real office with a real door
to close!), but systematically being unavailable for large
periods of time would be hard.

If pressed, I could probably find a way to make it work,
but life does not lend itself to doing this easily. So I
scrape together time to concentrate, and I guard it jealously.
If the demons of babble and chaos spend the week jabbing me
in the butt with their little pitchforks anyway, I spend part
of the weekend blasting away with the ol' .45 or breaking up
some concrete with a sledgehammer (I engage in neither of
these stress management techniques at the office, mind you)
or something like that. Hopefully this results in enough
peace of mind to make up the lost time and fizzled inspiration
and zeroed-out gumption that evening at my home computer.
So I guess I do telecommute, in a perverse sort of way.

If the job were more oriented toward taking something out of
an in-box, hacking on it, and putting it in the out-box,
with some modest and scheduleable amount of interaction in
between, I'd telecommute. Whom the gods would destroy they
first make drive on the Nimitz Freeway at rush hour. Has
anybody out there figured out how to telecommute at least
partly in a "people job" like this?

"Just another personal opinion from the People's Republic of Berkeley"
Disclaimer: Even if my employer had a position on the subject,
I probably wouldn't be the one stating it on their behalf.

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