Work from home? Easier said than done. No matter how many smartphones, ipads, laptops, and wifi you arm yourself with, nothing can make working from home easy. That’s because we forget a small factor called “Life”.
Think I am exaggerating? Hmmm, methinks an illustration is in order.
9:30 AM: The Palak lady – Spend 10 minutes searching for 18 Rs – she needs exact change, and since neither my cook nor the maid has any, they invite me into this. At this point, since my laptop is starting up, I don’t mind the invite.
10:15 AM: Caretaker – to give receipt for the check I had written that morning. Ordinarily he does not ask for me, but the receipt is incorrectly worded, and he wanted to check if that is okay. I say, fine. And then spend 5 minutes chatting on the issue of finding good gardeners and security guards and iron men. (of the ironing kind, not the WWE)
10:20 AM: Call from courier service asking for the exact location of my house. Spent 7 minutes describing the location from every possible direction, since he was not sure where he was going to come from. Sigh!
11 AM: Call from my daughter’s school: Report card is posted online, please check before coming for Parent Teacher meeting on Friday. Additional appeal for donations for the local musical that the students are planning in January. I try, very ineffectively, to prevent my cash outflow, but end up promising to to do “something”.
11:AM to 11:15 AM: Rushed online to look at my daughter’s report card. Could not log in initially, and once I did log in, the report card was not updated. Sent an email reporting the problem.
12:30 PM: The caretaker again: He had corrected the receipt (even though I had assured him that the earlier one was fine) and wanted the other one back. I had already balled it up and thrown it in the trash can, so had to retrieve it, dust it, smoothen it and give it back.
1:30 PM: I call my cook, tell her to tell anyone else who calls or rings the bell that “I am not there”
2:30 PM: My daughters rush in, one excited as I was working from home, the other equally disappointed since she cannot watch “Grey’s Anatomy” on Star World. After explaining in minute detail of their escapades at school, they rush off for their lunch and bath. Time to really get my work done.
3:30 PM: The cook rings my room bell from downstairs, and when I come out of my room, she asks loudly – “Madam are you there or not? The courier man is here.”
I switch off my laptop, sign the courier receipt, join my kids for lunch, and launch into their homework, table tennis, yoga, and music lessons the rest of the day.
Please do keep in mind that the above schedule is in addition to the multiple bathroom breaks (I am a firm believer of the “2 liters of water a day” school), snack and chai breaks, and stretching my legs in front of the TV. Also do keep in mind that not all days are like these. There are worse.
Still think I should work from home? Hold on, there’s the door bell. I’ll be right back. But don’t hold your breath.