What to wear to work??

I now have 3 dress codes to shop for…

At Home:
aiming at Getting out of PJs + Staying warm. Most of these items I would not be seen dead in, but there is an element I can permit to be photographed:

beaded wrist warmers

Appointments out of Auckland:
aiming at Professional + Interesting + Easy to travel in. Favourite item: teal velvet jacket.

Appointments in Auckland:
aiming at Professional + Interesting + A chance to wear things that don’t travel well!

Actually no need for any more shopping in this area, Miss Sarah. There are so very many of these exciting items in my wardrobe.  They look at me reproachfully from their padded hangers. Once upon a time they were my everyday work clothes, a delight to my clients and colleagues. I’m saying it myself, but I had quite a rep for dressing beautifully.

Today’s choice: a snug-fitting flame-coloured dress with a long black leather coat and tall boots. Quite sorry there’s no photo, but I couldn’t bring myself to ask the other attendees to take a snap of my fabulousness…

Inconvenient though it is, in all three codes I’m holding steadfast to the *all-black-is-the-last-resort* principle. Colour is life!

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Cunning schemes, however small…

…don’t you love it when they work out?

Meet Lady Moneybug. She’s a cute little leather coin purse from TradeAid. Her job is to look after the cash and SIM card for “the other side of the Tasman”.

She’s big enough not to get lost, cute enough to be memorable and small enough (there’s not that much cash!) to fly with my laptop. When we get where we’re going, she unfolds her wings and gets me connected on the local network at a reasonable price (no more horrendous roaming data bills for this Ladybug!) and we’re ready to buy a coffee or other essential fluid. In a matter of minutes.

Her toolkit was upgraded tonight by the addition of a paperclip from the office box thoughtfully provided by the hotel. Now I can actually get the SIM out of the phone…

It’s a really good feeling to make one of the small steps to the efficiency I wrote about earlier.

Working too much

I needn’t have worried about not working enough

Turns out I go to the office via Commute Number 2 and some days it’s past midday when I realise I’m still in my PJs and haven’t had breakfast yet.

That’s not so clever, and I’m getting better at looking after the worker. 

I’m taking it as a good sign – I’m really focused on my work, interested in what I’m doing, and the housework doesn’t have a chance of distracting me. Not that there was any great danger from that quarter.  I’m definitely working more hours than I did in a conventional workplace. This is mostly due to the following:

  • there’s a lot to do, and I don’t want to create a backlog, since I didn’t inherit one (bless you, Mr Predecessor!)
  • everything’s needed by someone else, and I don’t want to Let Them Down

…both compounded by the worst thing of all… I’m so SLOW

This is the first time in years that I’ve had a job that I don’t already know how to do. No doubt it’s very good for me, but it is hard operating at something like 40% competence. Everything seems to take such a long time, and I’m not as confident of my work as I like to be.

Fortunately I’m in an amazing team and my colleagues are very helpful in teaching as I go. It’s important to remember that this is a temporary state – I can already see the day, not far off, where I know *how* to do what I’m doing at least 90% of the time. Then we’ll see some proper “productivity” as well as a bit more flair and creativity

Not working enough

When I took on a job that has me working from home, I was a bit worried.
Worried about whether I would actually work.

After all, I have a Masters in Procrastination, with a Major in Self-Distraction and these are some of my specialties:

  • like to sleep
  • like to read
  • like to make art
  • like to tweet
  • like to go shoe-shopping
  • like to walk on the beach.
  • With enough time I even like to cook 

There are also the great truths that:

  • the garden needs serious work
  • the freezer needs defrosting
  • the bathroom needs painting
  • so does the pantry
  • what’s that interesting jar back there? – ooh! brandied apricots…

No matter how attractive working from home appears, I cannot expect my customers or employer to step aside for me to do this stuff. Even though all these things are in my face in my work space.

The thing is… there’s NOBODY looking. Nobody to note how much time or effort I put into my day, when I’m in the office or out of it. Nobody to bolster my willpower and reinforce my self-discipline.  I truly had no idea how much of my work ethic is actually located inside other people, and based in their expectations. Also, not so great at resisting temptation. Worrying.

My art work is completely different – it’s all self-driven in terms of content and timing. It’s great if *you* like it, but I really don’t care. I’m learning to do it when the work and I are ready, so rate of progress isn’t a significant measure either. No concerns about Letting Anyone Else Down

I had a lot of worried thoughts about all this.

Tune in tomorrow  – same Bat-time, same Bat-channel – to discover what actually happens

Out the window today…

The first roses!

…the tiny pink blobs almost dead centre.  Well, I could see them, and that’s all that matters. Rosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’, my favourite. And the only one I can reliably grow.

There was also Kārearea, the NZ falcon, briefly perched in the tree opposite the window. Never seen one there before. Perfect camouflage, completely fooled the camera. Nothing to see here, move along.

The Commute. Part 2

 The physical and mental journey to the home office

  1. Stumble towards Horrible Noise at the other end of the house
  2. Turn off the alarm (in the office. If it were in the bedroom I would turn it off and go back to sleep)
  3. Go to bathroom. Clean teeth.
  4. Go back to office. Step on to yoga mat laid out previous night. 
  5. Do five Sūrya Namaskāra  and any other pose that feels useful
  6. Roll up yoga mat, turn on computer.
  7. Go to kitchen. Make coffee.
  8. Return to office with coffee. Commute complete.

Be grateful there are no photographs of this journey