Friday, November 20, 2015

Four cons to being home all day with solutions that turn them into pros! (and not-really-related stories about passing out)

I'm getting ready to write up one of the queries I need to do for a professional development course I'm taking. That's a fancy word for 'learning skills I once knew but forget, in the hopes they'll help me make money.'

Over the past two days I've been reading all sorts of pros and cons lists. I've been looking for a job for a few months now (don't judge, it's a rough world out there) and have been working on building a writing career. My theory is that whichever one happened first would be the path I took. It's probably the most passive-aggressive way to make a career decision, but I like to think of it as an income-based decision, as in, whichever brings in income is good... so far, no income from either, but this month, this week especially, I've begun to get some responses to both that will lead to *dramatic pause* employment. Or paying work.

I am pretty confident I have the drive to freelance, but I also have the dedication to my field that will land me full-time work. I'm constantly applying to jobs in my field, and I love love love my field, so it's not like when I was 17 and I took this summer job at a factory where I counted black rubber bands until I passed out and had to quit. (Actually, I passed out at the doctor's from having to get a tetanus shot, but it was after I spent all day in the hot factory breaking down boxes. It was also the first clue to my father that I, unlike the other members of his family, would not be able to ever make a living working in a mill. It was also my first clue that I may or may not pass out when getting shots. Passing out is a valid life experience I think everyone should have at least once. Preferably on carpeted flooring.)

Since many of the responses are from companies that are 'work from home' companies, I created a list of cons, and solutions to turn them into pros, because I'm a problem solver and an optimist.

First con of working from home: No real reason to wear cute clothes and own excessive shoes. It's more of a problem than I'd like to admit. I mean, my sweatpants are C. O. M. F. O. R. T. A. B. L. E. but it's kinda sad that I really only wear one outfit all week, and just as sad my first con is so shallow.
Solution: Cuter yoga pants. Coffee-shop work days. I can totally solve this problem by working at coffee shops and visiting friends.
Pros: Still comfortable. There are lots of cute flip flops. 

Oh, once, I almost passed out in basic training in the Air Force after getting a shot and seeing blood, but the drill sergeant yelled at me so much to not pass out that I didn't. He basically yelled me into staying conscious. It's a unique skill, I imagine.

Second - It's ever so lonely. There is a mom on my block who works from home all day, has for years. She manages projects out of some company in Minnesota, they sort of farm her out. It's a gig I'd love, except I hardly ever see her and that worries me. When I do see her, she's pale, wears capris all the time, and is accompanied by two children and a dog. But she loves it. I'm pretty sure if this becomes the new norm for me, I'm going to have to go join things.
Solution: Join things. With other people involved. That isn't online. It's a dangerous world for an Introvert, working from home.  And a dog. I'll probably have to get a dog.
Pro: Interactions with people are meaningful and not forced. A dog would help remind me to go outside.

I also passed out once when I was taking my friend to the dentist to have her wisdom teeth pulled. Somehow, the chemicals they were using were so strong they ended up in the hallway, and I sort of sat down, and then passed out. Everything ends up going all yellow. The cute guy that lived on my floor worked there, and ended up helping me to one of the rooms where they put that weird super-stinky stuff under your nose to wake you up and let me throw up in a trash can. Cute guy thought it was hilarious. 

Third - Food. I eat too much at home. I've gained five unhappy pounds and now am spending my afternoons with my friend Jillian Michaels, while studying how to make not eating holiday snacks fun. If it was spring or summer, I'd just run or hike it off, but it's cold out now, and I think I mentioned before, I'm not a good cold-weather runner.
Solution: Hang with Jillian Michaels. Learn to run in the cold. Eat green things that aren't kale.
Pros: Toned and a great salad-prepper.

Another time I passed out was getting blood drawn during a routine physical in England. The air conditioner in the building was not working, and it was really really hot, and so after the shot, I felt a little lightheaded and sort of just laid back down. 

Fourth - The 'what do you do all day' conundrum. Everyone, and by everyone, I mean my family, expects that I'm home just blogging, eating cookies and making random fun-runs to the 7-11 on the corner for my diet coke fix. This causes them toa develop expectations. Expectations that involve me cleaning things, or running errands. The truth is, I'm working on job applications, letters to companies and queries to magazines. And it takes all day.
Solution: Pretend to not hear them. Run out the door to work at coffee shops. Or, my favorite, convince them you work in an office. I mean, my kids probably wouldn't ever know the difference.
Pros: Tell them you're working late and you're really at the local pub with girlfriends for happy hour.

I haven't passed out in years since. I go in and make big scenes about how shots and blood and random chemical smells in doctor's offices make me pass out, and they get all ready and give me sodas and cookies, and then nothing happens and they look at me like I'm a jerk for not passing out because they were promised an incident they could laugh at, and they gave me their soda.. I also stopped making appointments in summer. 

Next week it may change. Next week, all the opportunities may come from corporations with actual offices where people are expected to show up. If that's the case, I'll have to do a second set of cons and pros.

Three: Jobs applied/applying to today - one in my field, one close to my field but with a company I've been researching and think is really really cool, and one that involves food.
Two: Follow-ups to jobs applied to where I'm in conversations with a person that led to an actual meeting which may lead to an actual job, and one who only responds at 3 a.m. because he s in Canada. Or an insomnia. Or both.
One: Child still home who's now working on something that doesn't involve a solid background in gears.

My daughter never passes out from this stuff. She's terrified of shots and having her blood drawn, has to have it done fairly regularly in her childhood, and as a child screamed her bloody head off, demanded cold drinks, and insisted my husband suffer with her. She's never passed out once, even though I'm pretty sure they lab techs kinda hoped she would.

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