Books podcast: What What’s that strange thing you’re doing? (Part Two)



What What What (by Kathleen McGrigor)

Against “progress from the one condition of nobody in a suit or tie working from home”. The book’s author, Kathleen McGrigor, has addressed this challenge time and again in various essays and blogs over the past decade, such as in this excellent chapter from the brilliant 2006 collection of writers whose offices are the living room, brought out one of the best descriptions of the experience of working from home this side of Morrissey:

“… I was a resolute creature of habit, highly functional at face value, who approached life with a certain type of steely, almost pathological detachment, which, in my case, worked beautifully until something mysterious came along and I felt very anxious indeed. I feel that I have to work, evermore so, in my apartment; for whatever reason. I began to feel a certain logic to the situation: the work of my obsession – that is, whatever my work requires – was taking place very far away; it was being done by my hand in my feet, in a small room containing one desk, an alarm clock, two kitchen lights, and a telephone.”

Strange, strange, strange – you can’t work from home; people will think of you as crazy; you’ll risk damaging the purpose and spirit of the office for what is basically a social function. I don’t quite work from home, because I’m on the road more, but they are difficult skills to learn. But I do no longer fear I’ll be seen as a weirdo.

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