Many don’t realise this, but I have a full-time job. One that requires me to sit at the computer for 9 fixed hours, with an hour’s break, for which I’ve to report when I take it and when I’m back. I’ve been at the job for 5.5 years.
I go back and forth whether to write about it or not at all. But it has been a part of my daily life for much of my adult life. Now that I’ve quit, I’ve nothing to lose! Also, there are also many misconceptions about what I do, because I do my work from home.
When people hear that I “work from home”, they immediately say: “Oh, that’s so nice! You’re so lucky!” Well, I am blessed that my bosses allowed for such an arrangement, but no, it is NOT “so nice”.
People conjure up in their minds a “dream life”, a very relaxed scenario where I lounge very glamorously, coffee in hand with a laptop by my side, writing for an hour or two, and then spend the rest of my day doing whatever I want. Mostly, my fellow mommy friends say I’m lucky because I get to be with my children all day.
Here is where mom guilt really kicks in. Yes, I am in the house with my children, but I can’t be with them like I’d like to. I’m sitting at my computer all day, working fixed hours, and dealing with work that has to be done “right now”. My children never get my attention, but they do receive my anger.
When the Internet dies (and oh do they die at the most inconvenient time – “Welcome to Lebanon”), I get so frustrated and anxious, my entire family, especially my husband, takes the heat. Does the office care? No. As far as they are concerned, I’m off slacking. “Oh, her Internet died again? Tsk. Maybe she can’t do the job.” They don’t see my husband and I scrambling to find alternative connections. We pack everyone in the car and drive from place to place just to get me back online!
What really kills me, is when some one had the audacity to suggest that I’m not doing my job because I can’t manage baby and work. It kills me, because my children often hear “Wait, I’m busy.” “Wait, can’t you see I’m working?” et cetera. I wouldn’t be so mad if it were true. If I really gave my children the attention instead of putting in time in front of the screen.
Working from home, is not a peach. I see my children, but I’m not there with them. I have no benefits. No medical or dental insurance. No bonuses. NOTHING. I get a flat-rate pay cheque. I pay for my own transportation, Internet, electricity, and stationery.
But I loved my job. I had great bosses. I’m actually really good at my job. I take criticism constructively, and actively ask for feedback, only to be given a “in general” type answer.
After I caught wind of what was being said, it just wasn’t worth it for me any more. It isn’t fair to me. It isn’t fair to my children. With time, more people were siphoned above me. And that’s where the cookie crumbles.
I’m not one to butter up anyone. Or sugar-coat anything. I’m not one to make polite conversation with a personal agenda. I just like to get things done. You know, especially since I’m incapable of juggling work and children, I better not waste time small talking! Ha! Truth is, it just isn’t in me to make small talk. If I’ve nothing to say, I say nothing. Simple as that. But if there are things to be said, I’ll say it. If you’ve something to dish, dish it. I’ll take it with a pinch of salt and flush it.
Boy, does salt-water cleanse work!