Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Joys of the Office Job

Presumably because I have a book due in six weeks (or at least that's the best reason I can come up with), I've been waking up before 6 a.m. the past few days -- and let me tell ya, that is not my preferred time to rise. I am an owl, not a lark.

So the afternoons? Have been pretty much a wash out in terms of energy. Monday, I dozed off at about 4:30 and man, I zonked. I woke up about half an hour later and was all, "Huh? Dinner? Wha...?"

Yesterday afternoon, I wasn't much livelier after my Law and Order lunch hour, so I decided to do "administrative" type tasks -- correspondence, website maintenance, totals of expenses for my taxes, that sort of thing. I also did a little paint scraping in the room I'm going to repaint.

As I was doing those tasks, it occurred to me that for lots of people, that's what their day job is like -- and I gotta tell ya, I could see a real upside to that. When those type of tasks are done, they are done. No wondering if maybe you should have used a different point of view in that scene. No worry that maybe you should have had that happen at the climax instead of what you did. No wandering around thinking, thinking, thinking, about what should happen next to your hero or heroine.

You get to talk to real people in an office. I'm working alone, all by myself. Nobody to talk to except the cats. I haven't yet reached the stage where I converse out loud with my characters, but it could happen.

When office workers leave their place of work, they leave their work behind. My office is in my house, which is akin to having your house in your office. The work is always there, waiting. Lurking. Haunting...

I don't get a vacation. I take a vacation, which is not quite the same.

I don't get sick days. If I've got a deadline, there's nobody else to take up the slack.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love my job, and I realize I am very, very lucky to be able to do the work I do and to not have to go to an office and endure some of the rigamarole that goes on in the corporate environment. I don't have to sit through boring meetings, or play office politics. I can work in my jammies if I want (although I never do). I don't have to listen to the interminable yammerings of some person two cubicles over.

But there are times when it would be so nice to have the sort of job where I do what I did yesterday: have a checklist of things to be done, and when they're finished, they are finished. And I wouldn't mind sitting in a meeting or two, especially if pastries are provided.


Anonymous said...

Pastries are always a good thing! :)

Kimber said...

Ummm...we office workers get to leave our jobs behind? Asks the gal who pulled allnighters for the last two days and is working a stat holiday (and likely weekend).

With downsizing and blackberries and cellphones, only those in the lower levels of the hierarchy get to leave their jobs behind at 5pm.

'Course I might be just grumpy 'cause I'm finding it difficult to see straight.

Margaret Moore said...

Actually, this did occur to me. I should have clarified I was thinking more low-level administrative type, which is where I was before I left the Corporate World for the Mom World and the Writing World -- a job without a lot of responsibility.

I don't know how nurses, doctors, teachers and others who have life-and-death, life-influencing careers leave their worries behind (which is one reason I never considered those professions, worrywart that I am.)