Thursday, March 5, 2015
So our office has a policy: we are closed if Austin public schools are closed. That happened today (sub-freezing overnight temperatures and some rain, possible icy conditions) so I got to work from home.
Here’s a view of the snow day from my front door:
I actually have the doors open, it’s so nice. Sally is running around, enjoying her fur coat. It’s about 40 degrees.
But this seems like a good time to address something I’ve been thinking about, which is working in offices.
I actually like going to my office. It is very congenial. We have parking in a garage. The people are nice. There’s often a beer in the fridge later in the day.
And for many things, it’s a good place to get work done. We have lots of meeting space, formal and informal. For talking to people, it’s the best.
What it’s not good for is writing code.
I need to find a way to flag that I will need to work from home on certain days. I was handed an unrealistic deadline the other day but there was nothing I could do about it.
I don’t have the privilege of saying no to work like I did as a freelancer, even when it is definitely improbable and probably impossible.
So I just say, “when do you want it?” and I try. That’s all I can do. (I’m rarely warned about these things, or given any input to the design and functionality.)
And I try to work through interruptions (account people wanting status updates, mostly. Status updates that they can’t do anything about but worry more.). And I code through foosball games, and conversations about actors’ contracts. And creative meetings I’d like to be in. And jokes I want to hear the punchlines of.
It’s silly, but they want to see me in the office even when it’s counter-productive.
I did get good batteries for my noise canceling headphones (I listen to lots of loud droney Krautrock, Fela, and also lots of fifties jive) so I can ignore the surroundings as much as possible.
Again, I like the office. It’s just when I need to code fast that it’s a problem.
This is the start of me figuring out how to say, just let me do this from home sometimes, like we did on that fantastic Snow Day when we got so much done.