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Where I try to get through a funk with bullet points

by John on March 20th, 2013

I’m in a funk — I don’t know why I’m in a funk, but I am . . . and writing, well, it becomes a chore when I’m in a funk. So today, you get bullet points from my draft folder.

  • The new Yahoo! CEO put the kibosh on working from home. For an internet company. And this seems like it’s backward process. The argument seems to be that working from home affects worker timeliness and productivity. Obviously, for any company, these are two key pillars for success. But, I’d question why those are potential employee pratfalls.

    In my job, I have the opportunity to work from home, on a very liberal policy. However, it’s rare that I do work from home – not because I feel that I’d be less productive, but because my kids just don’t understand “daddy is working, so his not playing with you doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you.” Typically, when I work from home, I feel much more productive – partly because I’m working when I would be commuting, and I don’t have a parade of people who stop by my desk (allowing me to get more of my own work done, rather than assisting others with their own tasks — it’s far easier to stop by my desk to see if I might know something about something else, rather than sending an email). But, more than anything family or work related, when I work from home, I have a pantry full of food that, if I find that I am waiting for a meeting to start, well, my willpower might be lacking.

    Anyway, I can admit that there have been a time or two, while they’re few & far between, that I work from home, take off my pants, put on a movie, and then pay more attention to the movie than work. And that’s bad – like, really bad. But, I’d argue that my productivity is greater during those days that most of my coworkers on Monday mornings during fantasy football season, or any day at the beginning of the NCAA Championship games. There are times that work isn’t a top priority, whether you’re at the office or not. But, I’d argue that most people, just to prove that they’re being productive, will not allow things to ever slide when they’re working from home. For the most part, I’m ultra-diligent. I don’t want to be called out for “being that guy who doesn’t work when he’s working from home.”

    But all of this just brings something else up — if I’m not to work from home, does that mean I can leave my job at the office? I have a laptop. I have a VPN fob. I have a cell phone. Almost every night, I’m logging on, to check my work email and get to anything that I couldn’t get to before the end of the work day. Any time something goes wrong, I’m called (be it in the middle of the day during a vacation day, or the middle of the night). If I’m not to work from home, does this mean that I can actually leave my job at the office? Because, if so, I’ll gladly work for Yahoo!

  • Lance Armstrong. Wow. Now, the title around here might be Daddy Runs a lot, but, truth be told, I prefer cycling to running. Heck, when I rode #RAGBRAI, I finished the one leg that Lance rode, before Lance1. So, what to make of this…well, on one hand, I knew. I think I’ve always known – in a sport that doping was so prevalent, when it seemed that there were few people who could testify to his “being clean,” I think we all knew. But we didn’t want to know. We want our heroes pure — and Lance was a hero. But he was also a dick.

    Anyway, Lance came clean and nobody was truly shocked – but lots of people were hurt & surprised. And I include myself among those. Part of me really, really wants to say “screw it,” and just let professional athletes do whatever the fuck they want to do to themselves. But kids emulate their heroes. So it’s not as simple as that. Then you add in my competitive streak, and I’m taken back to the early days of organized sports. As you may, or may not know, I’m a tall individual. And I’ve been tall for all of my life. This meant, in the early days of basketball, I was quite good. Well, no, I wasn’t — but I was tall, and that made me part of any team, automagically. And I tried hard, even if I was uncoordinated. Anyway, I remember, in 6th or 7th or 8th grade, playing another team, and our team was not the team with the most points. And we, as a team were pretty dejected. The coach, in the locker room, gave a pretty simple pep talk. “Guys, I’m proud of you. When you take an L, you either lose or you’re beat. Ain’t no shame in being beat – when you try your best, and you don’t wind up on top, good for the other guys. It’s when you lose – that’s when you hang your head.” To this day, I still take that little pep talk to heart – if I try my best, and someone tops me, good for them. But damn, do I get pissed when someone else does something untoward to put themselves ahead of me. When you see better assignments being passed to brown-nosers, for the simple fact that someone is an effective brown-noser . . . well, it makes you want to stop concentrating on just doing good work, and wanting to just kissing the right ass. I can see an athlete realizing that “I can’t win if I don’t dope, because someone who does dope is going to win,” and that being the only reason for which they do cheat . . .

    I don’t really have an answer here . . . people are always going to cheat, when cheating opportunity exists. Always. But, at the same time, how do we adequately verify/reward a non-cheater? I don’t know.

  • My son has started asking me how work was. How do I make him stop growing up?
  • Since I’ve replaced a brush & comb with a Bic, I now put hand-lotion on my scalp. Yet every time I do this, I’m convinced that I’ve left a portion not rubbed in, and then I wonder what others think about someone who has a strange white blob on the top of their head.
  • This year, I’ve made concentrated efforts on running more, drinking less wine, drinking less beer, drinking less coffee, drinking less caffeine, ingesting less artificial sweetener, eating fewer processed foods. So far, I can honestly say that I’m eating fewer processed foods and I’ve nearly kicked artificial sweetener from my diet . . . but the rest has gone by the wayside2

    1 I started the 108 mile bike ride several hours before Lance hit the road, but we’re splitting hairs here — I crossed the finish line before Lance Armstrong.
    2 I might be running more if it weren’t for such cold mornings – I am quite hopeful to be running 6-10 miles every morning come warmer weather, and I think the cardio I have been doing in the morning would suffice for training . . . but you never really know if you can do something until you do it. Which is why I want to do an Iron Man.
  1. What he didn’t mention in that last bullet is that he has lost 30+ pounds since New Year’s. So you’re doing something right. And you are sexy hott.

  2. Yay for kicking the artificial sweeteners! that stuff is gross!

    • I’ll admit that the re-introduction of regular sugar has made my calorie planning MUCH more difficult . . . but, when I do now get a headache, it’s far more manageable. And I’m just plain feeling better.

  3. I remember someone giving me It’s Not About the Bike and saying I HAD to read it because Lance Armstrong was so amazing.

    Of course I read it.

    And yeah, I was inspired by his story.
    But I also thought he sounded like a righteous asshole.

    I love being right.

    • You know, I never read it, but I think I need to.

      What gets me now is that he aggressively went after anyone who accused him . . . and the big reason why is “well, I’m a jerk.”

      I read someone who mentioned that Lance would actually be winning in the court of public opinion, and basically be forgiven of doping . . . if he just weren’t quite as big a jerk as he is.

      And I love you being right 🙂

  4. I’ve worked from home almost exclusively for the past 6 years (my office in in Philly and I live in York, I wouldn’t have taken the job if I couldn’t work from home) and about half the time for the 3 years before that. I would love to find a different job, but it would be VERY hard for me to go back to working in an office most of the time.

    I could go on about Lance, too, but I’ll just say that I agree that he’s a dick. Even with the doping, in a sport where it seems to be so prevalent, his comeback should be amazing and inspirational. But, he’s a dick.

    And when CJ asks about work, just say you’d rather talk about Star Wars.

    • Working from home would mean that I’d grow unaccustomed to wearing pants. And that would probably be bad for my string of “not being arrested for indecent exposure” streak.

      I actually did a double-take when CJ asked about going to work . . . has has no cue what I do at my job – just that I work on a computer, and when I work from home, I can’t even look at a computer game. But, then again, half of the time, I have no idea what it is that I do while at work….

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