Posted in Miscellaneous

Migrant Remote Worker

I hate saying it out loud because it sounds so pretentious, but we have people come and clean our house once every two weeks.  They do a great job, and keep us from having to worry too much about the minutiae of daily life, like scrubbing toilets.  And no, don’t think that just because I work from home now that I can do it all myself.  I always thought that when I started this job I’d have time to do more around the house, but that hasn’t really been the case.  I’m always busy.  But it’s busy doing stuff that I love, so hooray for that.

This isn’t at all what I started writing this post about, but I ended up here anyway.  Somebody posted this in one of our Slack channels today, and said the center was Automattic…and I think I agree.  I’m not saying I’ll be in this job for the next 30 years, but I’m incredibly happy to be here right now.

Ikigai is the Japanese word for finding your purpose in life.  Or so I’ve been told.

But now on to what I really started to say here – We have cleaning people come every couple weeks…and rather than sit there while they clean around me, I use these days as a reason to get out of the house and work somewhere else for a few hours.  Normally they come in the morning, and I come back home after lunch and the house is clean, but this week we had to reschedule for a different day, and they ended up coming in the afternoon (I know, because I’ve been spying on the baby monitors).  So I’ve been out of the house all day, migrating between different wifi hotspots.

I started out this morning at the Deli Mall Cafe, across from the Springfield Mall.  I was actually trying to go to Barnes and Noble, but they weren’t open yet.  The cafe was nice, but I was the only one in there, and I don’t think they get a lot of laptop jockeys.  I felt a little uncomfortable, so I left after an hour or so.

Then I moved to the Burke Library, where I sat for almost 3 hours.  I got a really nice table in a corner next to a window with a power outlet.  I even set up my iPad as my second monitor using Duet Display (well worth the $15 investment).

Next I had to get lunch, so I went to Panera and sat outside there for at least an hour, maybe close to two.  I got a lot of work done, but ended up posting a problem I was having on an internal blog (using P2) right before leaving.

Next I stopped by the post office to mail a dead USB stick back to PNY for replacement, and while I was there I got an alert on my phone that somebody had replied to my post with a potential answer.  So when I got back out to the car I opened my laptop (tethered to my phone for wifi) and checked it out, and sure enough they had solved it.

After that I finally went home…only to find that the cleaning people were still there.  So of course rather than talk to people I opted to turn the car around, and now I’m sitting outside at Starbucks writing this epic post.  Next I’ll probably run in the grocery store next door and pick up something for dinner before heading home for real.

It’s been a long day, but I’ve been just about as productive as I normally am.

Next time I think I’ll try to ride my bike instead of drive.  I’m just a couple miles away from a shopping center with Starbucks and Chipotle, so I’ll be set for most of the day there and I won’t have to go far.  And if I was feeling really ambitious I’d bring the bike trailer and fill up on groceries too.  But I can almost guarantee that I won’t be ambitious.


I'm an Excellence Wrangler at Automattic. I enjoy coffee, and debating who would win in a fight...

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