Workload: “And Finally, Monsieur, a Wafer-Thin Mint…”

This certainly applies to many professions – I’ve certainly held positions where the “other duties as assigned” clause was used as often as my job description. At least, in the UK, there’s a contractual agreement about how many hours the ‘salaried’ job is expected to require, and the workers have the right to stick within that limit. Not so of the American job, and the traditional American work ethic.

Othmar's Trombone

Maître-D’: Today we have for appetisers: moules marinières, pâté de foie gras, Beluga caviar, eggs Benedictine, tart de poireau — that’s leek tart — frogs’ legs amandine, or oeufs de caille Richard Shepherd — c’est-à-dire, little quails’ eggs on a bed of puréed mushroom. It’s very delicate, very subtle.

Mr Creosote: I’ll have the lot.


Maître-D’: A wise choice, monsieur. And now, how would you like it served? All mixed up together in a bucket?

Mr Creosote: With eggs on top.

Maître-D: But of course, avec les oeufs frites.

Mr Creosote: And don’t skimp on the pâté.

Maître-D: Monsieur, I can assure you, just because it is mixed up with all the other things we would not dream of giving you less than the full amount.

The bilious Mr. Creosote: undeniably one of the Monty Python team’s…

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My 4am to noon weekday schedule

I’ll start this out by apologizing if anyone read into the initial post that I’m hiding in an attic a la Anne Frank. I’m not hiding. Actually, I think of it more like lurking in the attic… like an old creepy doll.

If that makes you feel more at ease, we might be friends.

If creepy lurking makes you feel more at ease, we might be friends.

Rest assured, I’m safe, I frequently get natural light and converse with people who are not imaginary. (Or so I think – can one ever really be sure?)

I talk to myself

I’m in the attic because that is where my remote office is set up. In fact, in addition to a spot with electricity and an internet connection, free from distractions, it also has two skylights. In effect, by working from home, I’ve been upgraded from a cubicle to an executive-sized office with a door and two windows. So thank you to my wonderful new parents in-law and my niece, who set up the desk and cleared some space for me.

And, I have all the amenities, because all the relevant electronics and office supplies were shipped to the house before I even got here. So, I’m all wired up.

I’m working my dream shift, especially since I only have to commute up the stairs. 10am to 6pm in the UK is 4am-noon Central time. Here’s a Map that totally overcomplicates that point by using too many colors. I live in UTC(0) and the US office is located in UTC-6.

It took some convincing to get the bosses in the US office comfortable with me logging off at noon, but the early start already turned out to be an advantage twice in the first week of work, so there you go.

Another benefit from working from home is that I get to take wardrobe tips from people of Wal-mart. If I hesitate to answer your video call, trust me that it’s for your own protection.

This turns out to be a necessity since I filled my luggage with souvenirs instead of clothes. In another week, when our shipping container arrives, I’ll finally be able to improve my attire to Ron Burgundy level, which I understand is perfectly appropriate for video chats which only include your head and shoulders.

So, yes, I’m working for the same company, with similar responsibilities, a couple hours ahead of them. From the attic.