Follow by Email

Monday, 14 January 2008

Back to the future

Being ill when you work at home is decidedly odd. I started back at 'work', that is sat down in the room where I work with fingers poised over the keyboard, on 2nd January. My commute to work is at least two seconds and it takes me that long to commute home. The staff canteen serves whatever I want it to (provided I have bought it and can cook it, a moot point). Coffee and tea - as much as I want and nobody can surprise me by looking over my shoulder at what's on the screen when I should be working.

When you feel ill and decide not to go to work there's a process. Call your office and talk to whoever you need to in a voice that suggests manly perseverance under extreme duress where many other lesser chaps would have succumbed already but you have managed to stagger on but is just pitiful enough to garner immediate sympathy and the magic words 'Oh you do sound ill best not come in today. See you when you are better.' Staying at home then means largely being immune from work, emails and phone calls. And if you do get them you can practice the 'I'm getting better let me just crawl by my fingertips to my Filofax so we can rearrange our meeting.' voice. Now at home no such luck. You can either get up or not. Mrs EoTP has gone to work, the kids have gone to school. I did get up one morning and decided that the move from the horizontal to the vertical was not something that my immune system was currently supporting and would I please reverse the entire move. So I did. After an hour I was bored so started all over again and this time managed a posture that one of our ape ancestors might have been pleased with having just discovered upright walk. And that's where it starts to go wrong.

Nobody is forcing me to work. Nobody has called on the phone to demand I meet a deadline. In fact nobody is asking me to do anything. The kids had pointed out that the dust bunnies were the size of Corgis and therefore the house might need a clean (I am still astonished that they even noticed). So why am I in front of the screen working when I have to stop to sniff and cough every few seconds and my head feels like its been put between the jaws of a vice? It can only be some deeply rooted Protestant work ethic that says you must NEVER stop working even though you are like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and all your limbs have been cut off. What does the Black Knight say?: "Just a flesh wound.'

So I'm here. I've been working, I've met deadlines, I have shopped and cleaned. And nobody told me I had to.

But this is life for the medium term. The full time job search goes on and I will continue to work for the 3.5 days agreed with the company. Mrs EoTP and I have dared to think we might book a holiday this year as it seems possible that we might be able to take one. As Mrs EoTP has not been further than Birmingham in 9 months Shrewsbury is currently regarded as a remote and exotic location but I think we need to go further than that.

Like Wrexham.