Saturday, March 9, 2013

Working at Home

In response to the Yahoo directive that working at home be discontinued, and the responses to that directive from proponents of working at home:


“Hi, Colette, how are you?”

“Oh, hi.  Fine.  Jared!  Get out of that cupboard!  Now!  I told you before!  Sorry, it gets a little chaotic sometimes.”

“That’s OK.  I was just wondering about that point you were making on the epidemiology of dyslipidemia.  Do you think it really is worse in boys and earlier than in girls, from the statistics?”

“Oh, what was that?  Sorry, I was just a little distracted for a second.  (Whisper)  Emily, get over there and finish, or I’m going to get really mad!”

“About the dyslipidemia distribution.”

“Oh, yes, that.  Well, it’s hard to tell, I guess.  I’m going to have to look at those numbers more closely.”

“Well, right.  It’s just that our chapter is due next week and I was hoping to get the draft for everyone’s comment by tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?  Does it really have to be then?  I was hoping to go through it one more time and get the delta coefficients more precisely.”

“Yes, I know.  We talked about that when you stopped by the office last week.  I don’t mean to push, but I was just hoping we could.”

“Excuse me one minute.  (Emphatic)  Jared, could you just let Emily do that for one minute?  I’ll be right there. … Well, Richard, you know, I think I can get that to you maybe by the end of tomorrow.  Clayton will be back this evening and I’m sure I’ll be able to get to it.”

“OK, Colette.  If we get it tomorrow, then I could do my bit on Saturday and we could come in on time.  There was one other thing.”

“OK, Richard, what was that?”

“Fred was trying to redo the schedules for the second half, and he was wondering if you could do the clinic on Tuesdays instead of Wednesday.”

“What??!!  Is he serious?  That would jut be the worse thing, I just couldn’t do that!  It would completely upset my schedule.  My work at home days are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and if I had to work in the clinic on Tuesdays I couldn’t possibly switch my child care.”

“Well, this is Fred’s idea.  He thought that if you’re working, it shouldn’t really make any difference if you’re at home or at the office, and the switch would really make our clinic schedules doable for everyone.”

“Well, Richard, Fred might think that, but I need to be at home to concentrate on my writing.  (Whisper)  Emily, good, can you just work with Jared just for a second, and I’ll help you both in a minute?  Richard, I can’t possibly change my schedule.  I would become completely non-productive.  Changing schedules just completely devastates my concentration.  Completely!”

“OK, I just told Fred I’d bring it up.  I know he wanted to be able for us to sit down and talk about the departmental issues during the day, too.”

“Well, the telephone does just fine, I think.  And we trade ideas on email anytime we want.  I think better that way, anyway.”

“OK, Colette.  I’ll let him know.  Hey, I know I’m intruding.  I’ll talk to you when I see you at the reception.”

“OK, that’ll be fine.  Is that in two weeks?”

There is a loud scream in the background.

“Bye, Richard.  Gotta go.”

Budd Shenkin

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