Monday, February 20, 2006

Pouring myself a cup of ambition.

Small Person is poorly ill.

She has a virus thing that has left her with a cough and a temperature. Last night she coughed for ages (finally making herself sick) and, when I checked on her at seven thirty this morning, where she would normally be stirring she was still twitchy-faced and dreaming. So I took an executive decision. Today, I would Work From Home.

Ooh, working from home. For some reason, this strikes me as being impossibly glamorous. While the population at large was struggling into work clothes, damping down Sunday-night hair and scowling through their cornflakes I lazily mooched around in my jarmies, emailing Lovely Assistant for the files I would need today and informing Small Person’s school of her absence. New Boss was a little recalcitrant on hearing of my proposal this morning, but once we’d established my objectives for the day he soon capitulated. Once Madam was up and breakfasted I explained that she needed to be quiet for the day so that I could work, and we settled down to variously plod through spreadsheets and gaze vacantly at Spongebob Squarepants. I don’t feel the need to clarify who was doing what. And do you know what? Even with the distractions of the fridge, the TV, the interweb and just plain staring out of the window, I achieved more today than I did in the whole of last week at the office. Maybe it’s because of the cachet my thirteen-year-old mind ascribes to Working From Home. I couldn’t stop telling people. The school rang to say they’d found Small Person’s glasses which had been AWOL since before half term. Since the Ex had been the one to inform me that they had gone missing, I thought it was only fair to update him. So I texted to let him know, adding that Small Person still wasn’t totally better and that as a result I was Working From Home. As if he cared. This afternoon, a nice lady representing the Home Office called round to once more try and convince me to take part in the Crime Survey I’d recently cried off from on the grounds that it was Saturday afternoon and I really couldn’t be bothered. She asked if I could spare her some time. “I would,” I said airily, “only I’m Working From Home today.” We arranged an appointment for tomorrow instead, and she went away in total (imaginary) awe of my 21st century lifestyle, even as I emailed Oslo on my Blackberry (I did nothing of the sort) and pencilled the finance boys in for a week next Wednesday (in my head). Ridiculous, isn’t it? I’m just that sort of person though. I have a distinct memory of being around eight years old, and playing at the Rec on a chilly Spring afternoon without my coat on. I remember being utterly convinced that anyone seeing me would be unavoidably impressed with my strength of character and physical hardiness, and spent a week in bed with a cold as a result. Again, ridiculous.

But you see, when I am Working From Home I am not poor, downtrodden Surly, awash in the minutiae of sucking up to my superiors, hanging round the coffee machine for a gossip and hiding in the loos. No! I am Nicola Horlick! I am Anita Roddick! I am, I am….um…Sigourney Weaver in “Working Girl”!! Oh yes!! In your face, corporate drudgery!

I bet they never have to nip off halfway through a video conference with New York* to cook some fishfingers, mind you.

* Not that I have been video-conferencing with New York, or anywhere for that matter, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?


Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

seething with envy. SEETHING, i tell you.
sorry to hear about the small person, tho...*hugs*

20 February, 2006 17:59  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

we too are dealing with the drudgery of germs this week.
I'm so thrilled to know the glamorous Surly, working from home.

20 February, 2006 18:05  
Blogger Universal Soldier chimed in with...

I wonder if they'd let me work from home - a machinegun nest in the porch I was thinking.

Hope small person is feeling better.

20 February, 2006 18:31  
Blogger Jemima chimed in with...

Wow: spreadsheets! Do you have a briefcase too? I'm impossibly impressed.

Work is much easier without distractions. Probably your co-workers distract you from you tasks by projecting stress. I get loads more done at work, it's interesting to note, when the children aren't in. I'm much calmer and more efficient without them distracting me. Children, khhh! Maybe teaching was the wrong profession for me.

word verification: ykhal, is that the noise a sick small person makes as cough turns into vomit?

20 February, 2006 18:39  
Blogger Inexplicable DeVice chimed in with...

Not-real-life is so much better than real life!

Hope SP's better soon.

20 February, 2006 18:44  
Blogger Smat chimed in with...

if it's the same bug thing we've had then the cough lasts for several weeks. You'll need to work from home for a few more days. At least.

20 February, 2006 19:28  
Anonymous Dave F chimed in with...

Bringing my disgusting job into the hallowed cloisters of my pad is a thought that fills me with horror.

20 February, 2006 20:30  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

oh, but it's so much better here, what with the heating, and the kettle, and no random stranger's poo spoiling my day....

plus, it makes me feel all high-flown and cosmopolitan. sad but true.

20 February, 2006 20:31  
Blogger Urban Chick chimed in with...

what? you didn't even sneak a peek at 'neighbours'?

betcha even ms hotdrink herself does that

20 February, 2006 21:06  
Blogger frangelita chimed in with...

Poor SP. Hope you enjoyed the Spongebob Squarepants and fishfingers, I hear it's bitchin'

20 February, 2006 21:18  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

fishfingers - they rock. spongebob - meh.

small person is coughing and burning up and coughing. let the working mother guilt commence!

neighbours have been at defcon 1 for the last three days - have tuned them out....

20 February, 2006 21:22  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

ohhh...neighbours, not theneighbours..

*ashamed, yet strangely relieved at having missed the reference*

20 February, 2006 21:24  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

*and the spacebar*

20 February, 2006 21:25  
Blogger bedshaped chimed in with...

Have you recently swallowed a dictionary or was that served up with the fish fingers?

20 February, 2006 21:34  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

bedshaped, were it anyone but you...i would bellow "fuck off" and flick you the v's.

since it's you i'll let you off with a glare and a pointed tapping of my foot...

oh, and you missed "capitulated"....

20 February, 2006 21:39  
Blogger bedshaped chimed in with...

But I saw "capitulated" and was just about to reload when I came across "minutiae".
At that point my pc rebooted and I kinda gave up.

Hope small person gets better soon. This illness thingy doing the rounds is a bitch.

20 February, 2006 21:59  
Blogger Tabby Rabbit chimed in with...

I used to *hate* working from home. I grew addicted to drinking tea and watching 'Stargate SG1'. The whole street would be devoid of any human life apart from a few elderly neighbours - (it was like a virus had killed off everyone under 95). If I could go back in time I would read this post and change my attiutude: backcomb my hair Signourney-style and email Oslo on my BlackBerry while waiting for the conf call with NY to start...

21 February, 2006 08:54  
Anonymous Other Half chimed in with...

I saw said Working From Home in action and it was an impressive sight. SG tucked up at the table, laptop poised with a spreadsheet open, mobile phone close to hand to take those important calls form the office.

Meanwhile SP was wrapped up in snuggle bag, eating her school packed lunch munching on Nik Naks and slurping Capris Sun juice.

All in all a very Wall Street moment !!!

21 February, 2006 09:08  
Anonymous Piggy and Tazzy chimed in with...

I wonder if Small Person has bird flu?

That'd be ace!

Hope she recovers though.

21 February, 2006 09:37  
Anonymous Dave F chimed in with...

How is the small person today?

21 February, 2006 11:06  
Blogger crisiswhatcrisis chimed in with...

It never wears off, that self-important feeling. Never never never.The one you get when you've finally dropped enough hints to a stranger at a party and they ask "So what do you do?" and you get to say "Oh, I work for myself" is even better. Love it, looooove it.

Having had a poorly SP myself lately, hope yours is tons better today. That puts me off work - just want to keep cuddling them up all day.

21 February, 2006 11:30  
Blogger GreatSheElephant chimed in with...

Hope small person feels better today.

Working from home soon loses its attractions when you do it every day because you don't earn enough to be able to afford an office. Bah.

21 February, 2006 11:34  
Blogger Sherbert chimed in with...

Surly, your timing is shit! I've been Working From Home for the last 5 years and have recently decided to end it in favour of joining the workforce and getting a Proper Job. This is largely on the grounds of feeling very, very isolatory. Having made this decision, I've recently started to query the wisdom of my decision as, apart from the lack of need for self-grooming before starting work, it does have a certain glamorous cache about it. Sigh.

21 February, 2006 11:53  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

hoping your little angel is feeling better today SG. Did she cough all night?

21 February, 2006 14:50  
Blogger the Beep chimed in with...

Hope SP is better. My slightly larger Sp had a week off with it. nwya, just wnated to pop in and say working from home definitely not all its cracked up to be (and CwhatC will just have to wait a few years for that to sink in, I guess). Look on your nose-picking faintly odourous colleagues with benevolence when you go back. I don't even know them and I miss them.

21 February, 2006 15:28  
Blogger the Beep chimed in with...

Also forgotten how to type - too much time at home, alone.


was what it was meant to read....

21 February, 2006 15:29  
Blogger crisiswhatcrisis chimed in with...

Maybe you're right. I do love working in my jarmies, though. Especially when I'm on the phone at eleven in the morning to Important Clients and they don't know.

21 February, 2006 16:39  
Anonymous Whinger chimed in with...

Partner often works from home, and somedays it's all I can do to not pitch a giant fit as I head off to the office.

So jealous.

21 February, 2006 17:34  
Blogger the Beep chimed in with...

Give it 16 years, and the gloss wears off. Mind you, I can keep up to date with the Olympics and so on, and if my Large Small Person is ill it's great and for deliveries and so on. But, fuck me, it's lonely.

21 February, 2006 19:03  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

thank you for your concern (and jealousy, which, frankly, means more). small person went to school today, mainly because i had no choice. there was a report to be done that only i could do. the childminder won't mind poorly small people, the ex's parents are elderly and not in the best of health (small person gave her paternal grandfather tonsillitis three years ago which damn near killed him so they're not so keen to have her when she's ill any more..), and my mother is a mentalist soul vampire.

so she went to school and my conscience went from 0 to guilty in about half a second. she soldiered on but feels rubbish again now.

poor lamb. bad, bad mother...

21 February, 2006 19:22  

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