Monday, March 10, 2008

Work Clothes

I have never been one much for convention. I could be called a non-conformist, an individualist or, my personal favorite, a rebel. It’s not that I can’t or won’t abide by the standards laid out in front of me - I can, I have, I do and I will when necessary - it’s just that when there is a choice, I’d rather find my own way. A “self-starter” in some eyes, others would characterize my natural tendencies as “difficult.” Regardless of terminology, some people are more comfortable following a clear and established path while others find peace blazing their own trail. And of course, like everything else, it is not a binary phenomenon. There are many facets and infinite gradations between each end of the continuum - never mind the odd and oftentimes inconsistent applications of this “maverick” gene.

I have punched a clock. I have adorned a suit and tie. I have had jobs where I had to wear protective gear, cold-weather wear and sun block. I have had dirty jobs and jobs where I never worked up a sweat. There have been jobs where I showed up when I pleased and left when the work was done. My favorite corporate attire? A t-shirt and jeans… sandals or even barefoot, if at all possible. My desire to be comfortable, however, goes beyond just circumstance and attire… it has much to do with making those decisions for myself because I know how best to get the job - my job - done. Although the job I have right now is much less than desirable in some key areas, in respect to fitting my natural desire to call my own shots, this one is a perfect fit.

Picture this: My day began with a phone call from a contact at Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) for a story I am currently working on. CHW runs the Mercy chain of hospitals, among many other things. That was at about 9:15 a.m. I was awake, but had not yet found it necessary to get out of bed. After taking that call, I got on the phone to my editor to inform him where my stories were, that they would be ready by the morning and, last but certainly not least, I would be writing at home today. I made a handful of calls to sources that still owed me a call, touched base with a couple of others to get some clarification, read the newspaper and had several cups of coffee.

Except for the coffee, more or less in that order.

Notice that getting dressed was not part of the procedure. I am still wearing my beat-up old sweats and a t-shirt. Shoes? You gotta be kidding! Although there are more days that I have to “go to” work than there are like today, today is not an anomaly by any stretch of the imagination. I can count on all or part of at least one or two days working at home every week. But it gets better than that; even when I do “go to” work, much of my time isn’t spent there, but out “reporting” the news. Although for the right compensation and opportunity, I would welcome a conventional job (with its requisite conventional attire), there are definitely benefits that come with a low paying job like mine.

And right now, it suits me.


Crimson said...

Popped over from Naomi's. Being barefoot is absolutely essential. Enjoyed the read.

kenju said...

That is one of the perks of working from home, Mike, and I love every minute of it.

Saur♥Kraut said...

There is EVERYthing to be said for independence, IMHO. I LOVE being my own boss. I must admit that the current economic climate makes me a tad nervous, however... ;o)