Thursday, May 06, 2004

Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore"

Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis (both of you) will notice that there were no entries made yesterday. That's because I blew off work yesterday. I have no regrets. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be.

That one is for any Office Space aficianados who may be lurking. In truth, there was a little bit more to it than that...but not much.

The whole thing started with Brandi coming into Bowling Green on Tuesday night. She was scheduled for an interview in BG on Wednesday afternoon, so she drove over to my place when she got off work on Tuesday. She had much of the day free on Wednesday, so I decided to burn a vacation day and take it off with her.

It was a perfect, Ferris Bueller-esque kind of day for it. You know..."How could I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?" In my case, being at the ripe old age of 26 and out of college for going on four years now, it was work rather than school, but the general concept was the same. I saw no point in coming to work and sitting here with nothing to do while behind me a large window looked out on a perfectly beautiful day that I would be unable to enjoy.

So I stayed home, and I'm so glad I did. Brandi and I slept in until 11:00 with the window open so we could enjoy the breeze. She decided to skip her interview (which was for a part time position she wasn't all that interested in anyway), so we had the whole afternoon together. We had Chinese food for lunch, then ran around town a little bit, culminating in a trip to the local Dairy Queen. We took our overflowing ice cream cones to the picnic bench outside and basked in the sun, watching traffic, road construction workers, and people flowing in and out of the rental management office across the street.

We hung out for a bit after that, and Brandi had to leave at 4:00 to be at work. I played some PlayStation basketball after she left (in front of the windows, of course), and then drove to Stow to join her for the evening after she got off work. We had a nice, relaxing evening, eating pizza and watching a movie. Then we went to bed, and I got up early this morning and came to work.

I do this from time to time, and it's always nice to have a day off in the middle of a week. It helps me to recharge. The daily routine really wears on me after a while, because I hate being on a schedule. I hate it passionately. I prefer flexibility (although not unpredictability) in my day-to-day life. I can handle being on a schedule, but I don't like it. Sometimes I have to take a day to break out.

If I ever find myself in a situation where I'm in charge of this sort of thing, my first option would be to let everyone work flex-time. Choose your own hours, as long as everything gets done by when it needs to be done and your hours come out to forty. I had a limited form of flex-time in a previous job, and I liked it a whole lot. If I needed to get off early one night for one sporting event or another, no problem--I just made up the time on some other day.

That was great for me personally, but I realize that setup isn't optimal for all businesses and work environments. Therefore, my second option would be to offer each employee one "discretionary day" per month. It's a simple concept: you get one day off to use per month, use it or lose it. Preferably these days would be scheduled in advance (like vacation days) to avoid conflicts, but if you just get up one morning and decide it's too nice of a day to come in, so be it. I need days like that from time to time, and I suspect I'm not the only one. I think even a lot of people who don't acknowledge that they need an unscheduled break from time to time would benefit greatly from having one.

This is why I'll never be in charge of anyone. Any business that made the mistake of putting me in a position of power would be doomed to fail miserably.

For the most part, I think that's because I don't exactly have a traditional view of jobs and careers. There is almost no job that I will ever hold that will be part of how I define myself. It seems to me that a lot of people make having a certain career one of their life's goals, and/or become absorbed in it once they get there. Not me. I've never had a job that I've spared much more than a passing thought for when I wasn't actually there doing it. For me, a job is just something I do so that I can do other things. Only this and nothing more.

To close, I'll defer again to Office Space and the great sage, Peter Gibbons: "We don't have a lot of time on this earth! We weren't meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day...filling out useless forms...and listening to eight different bosses drone on about mission statements."

"I told those fudge-packers that I liked Michael Bolton's music."
"Oh, that is not right, Michael."

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