Working from home

I had a blog started a few weeks ago, and never finished, about the indignity of the daily commute to work–which in my case is from Northeast Queens to Manhattan. When I was working my last permanent full-time job, my office was on the Upper West Side and it frequently took an hour and a half each way to and from work. My temp job was in midtown, so that was closer to an hour ride.

I may finish that blog later (it discusses the various ways people can be loud and/or odoriferous, and the puzzlement over why some folks don’t care that other folks are bothered, and the bizarre systemic rudeness of MTA drivers, among other things. Suffering through a long commute that only brings you to a job you’re not thrilled with isn’t my idea of living.)

But that’s a story for another day. My temp job has ended, at least for now, so I’m no longer commuting into the city every day. I left with the understanding that I might be called back if work picked up a little. The job wasn’t bad and I liked the people I was working with. I might have said yes if they’d offered me a job, even though it was on a much lower professional level than what I’d been doing before.

Being “made redundant” was fine with me. I have two editing projects I’m supposed to be starting next week, and I’ve been working on using my off time to exercise and be creative. This morning I took a long bike ride, had lunch with a friend, and had plenty of time later to watch some TV and be housewifely and cook dinner for my husband.

I’m not just goofing off; I’m spending time creating specific plans of action for my future. Updating this website on Thursday was one of the plans. I don’t know for sure if I’ll end up being a freelancer permanently, but I do like the idea. If that’s the direction I go, I’ll need to hustle more for work. When I was temping I wasn’t hustling very much. I still got freelance work here and there to supplement the temp income, but those projects were basically handed to me. Now that my website and resume are updated, I need to pursue work. I’ll be sending my resume out to some publishers; that’s one of my goals for the next week.

One thing I resolved at the beginning of this year was that I was going to stop feeling guilty over ever little thing that pops into my head. I could easily feel guilty, for instance, for not being more of a corporate player, for not knowing the correct method of kissing ass without making it noticeable. I always thought that if you worked really hard, put in extra hours when needed, didn’t call in sick unless really necessary, and pulled your weight and more to get deadlines met, that you would get ahead.

It doesn’t really work that way–I don’t have the magic formula for how to survive a planned staff reduction. It’s often just the luck of the draw. And, it’s no secret that “surviving” a round of layoffs isn’t always good news. Sometimes it’s better to be the one let go.

At one company I was a survivor, which meant the remaining staff suddenly had triple the work to do. Upper management continually harassed us to perform and increase sales number despite ridiculous expectations.

But when I was let go from my permanent job, my former coworkers were the ones who had to go through this. The company eventually had to move out of its previous location into a much-smaller office, and the latest news was that all the employees had hours reduced and a corresponding pay cut. So, yeah, I am happy I am not under that kind of stress. I feel very bad for my friends, however.


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