Working from Home is not as Great as it Sounds

Maybe I actually do like working from home but I’m not liking it now because I’m not home. And I’m not working.

I’m finding a cello teacher. Since the last teacher died, we are traveling all over the country navigating the world of cello teachers: Claremont, Chicago, Santa Monica, and now Aspen.

My son sometimes says out loud what everyone is thinking: “Wow, this is insane.” But there’s nothing like getting to a new hotel and finding out it’s next to a PokeStop to make him fine with all the travel.

I have pictures from our trips this summer, but I send them to Melissa who is my photo editor, and it’s like sending the pictures to a black hole. She waits until she has 200 pictures from me and then she edits them like a year later.

I ‘m sure she would edit my photos faster if she didn’t work from home. One reasonpsychologists recommend only periodic working from home is because it’s difficult to be productive.

I tried someone else to edit photos, but he threw out a great picture of my oldest son saying goodbye to his biology tutor as she goes off to college, and kept a picture of me with a double chin so big it looked like a brisket hanging off a cow.

Melissa pointed out that the new editor did not know my family personally and he was just editing to make an interesting picture. He did not care about importance of farewells and fatness on the blog.

So fine, Melissa is right. And we agreed she would edit the pictures of family, because she cares, and someone else would do other stuff. Which is why you are seeing Pokemon at the beach instead of my sons at the beach. Although to be honest, my sons did not swim. They just got their street clothes wet catching water-based Pokemon.

A lot of our cello travel is so we can meet the right people to find out about how to get to other people. That’s ostensibly a lesson in networking, but it’s a very specific type of networking: you make the other person feel valuable, because they are.

I remember the first time I wrote about research that says people who ask for advice do better in their careers. I thought to myself, “This is why I’m so successful. I ask so many questions.”

Later, I was older, still noticing research to show that people who ask good questions are the most successful. And I thought to myself, “That’s why I am able to identify star performers so quickly, because I see them asking good questions.”

I just read more research about asking questions. For a lot of people it feels like asking for help. And I think older peoples’ careers stagnate because they don’t want to ask for help.

So since I don’t want to feel old, what do you think I should do about photo editing? Should I be bold and crop stuff myself in Photoshop? Should I trust someone else to keep me looking thin? I’m sick of fighting with Melissa.

This would be a great time for a picture of us fighting. Melissa met me in Santa Monica last week, and I took pictures while she was yelling at me about how I don’t need more photos in order to write posts.

Do you think I should just keep publishing Pokemon GO photos to remind everyone that Melissa is too slow with my photos?

That was an example of a bad question that will not lead to success. It’s a leading question. And a disingenuous question. But it’s also a passive-aggressive question, so it feels good. At least in the moment. And anyway, if all I cared about was success, you’d hate reading this blog.

Tonight is the first live session of my course about personality type and dating. (Sign up!)  My son has tickets for the Aspen Music Festival which is the same time as the webinar. So I’ll drop him off at the concert and do the webinar in a quiet spot, with a great view, that you won’t see until Melissa is good and ready.

People will say they are sorry I had to miss the concert. But I love the webinars because I love talking with the people in the webinar. I miss having a job where I talk with people all day.

Cassie has an investor she meets every week. When he put money into her company I told her it’s important to meet with investors because good startup founders are always asking good questions of smart people. But he’s stupid. He doesn’t want to put more money into the company but he still wants to meet with her.

I am outraged. I tell her there is no point in meeting with him if he’s not part of the future of the company.

She says she meets with him because she works from home and there’s no one else she has a meeting with, ever.

I get it. Not everyone likes meetings. But for people who like to hear themselves talk, for people who think out loud, for people like me and Cassie, meetings are fun.

Cassie has a theory that all people will work from home in the future. But I don’t think so—it’s too lonely. Look, Inc magazine says it’s lonely, Forbes says it’s lonely, and these articles are written by freelancers who presumably choose to work from home. (They probably wrote the articles at a co-working space, because most people who join co-working spaces do it to have personal interaction.)

What people really want is flexible hours, and if they don’t say they’re working from home, they can’t get paid to do a webinar about dating and marriage at the Aspen Music Festival.

Hey, and wait. Here’s one more picture:

To annoy Melissa. Because I think fighting with Melissa is like Cassie meeting with her investor:  stupid and unnecessary but the only way to have consistent contact with a co-worker.