I'm one of those lucky people that get to work from their home office. I work some odd hours since I work with people from the U.S., Ireland, England and Sri Lanka - so, due to the time zone shuffle, my days start early and I often work late in the evening. Skype is my best friend.
Working at home affords me a great degree of flexibility. Flexibility is a nice way of saying that there are very few to no Human Resources rules in place at Chateau Rhino. One of the areas covered, or rather not covered, is dress code. I tend to work in sweat pants or shorts depending on the time of the year. Shirt is optional. And, since I don't need to maintain my oh so touchable curls in a short, office appropriate professional douche style, I've let it grow out and, unless I have to go out, the brushing of said oh so touchable curls is optional. I also tend to run my fingers through my hair when I'm thinking or wanting to pull it out in frustration when I'm on the phone. The result is a very nice "homeless vagrant crossed with a mad scientist" look. I'm thinking of adding a scruffy robe to finish off the ensemble. Then again, maybe not. I don't want to be outre.
Anyway, this thing has a camera ... and today is a prime example - so, through the wonders of technology your get to see for yourself - the following was taken in my office moments ago:
Hey, at least I'm wearing a shirt today.
Now, all of this is well and good from a comfort perspective. For me that is. Not so good for the poor soul that walks by or, gods forbid, the odd service industry person (FedEx, UPS, Meter Readers, Etc) actually crosses the moat and passes through the gates of the Chateau to knock on the front door.
I may have mentioned in passing that I enjoy fine cigars in moderation. And, by moderation I mean Rhino moderation which equates to 3 or 4 times a day. I especially like a nice cigar with my tea in the morning. I puff away on the front porch with my laptop and read the mountain of overnight email from off-shore before I have to join my first conference call. It is during this wondrous zen time that some old-timer inevitably rolls by on their doctor mandated morning constitutional, waves at me (this is The South, y'all), slows down, gets a good look at me in all my scruffy, half-dressed glory, at which time they grace me with "The Look".
"The Look" is best described as the look of confusion, quickly morphing into disdain, on the face of an old person whenever they see an able bodied man at home, in his pajamas, sitting on a porch and smoking a cigar at the time of day when most of the world is sitting in traffic on the way to their respectable jobs. Obviously, I must be a layabout of some kind - what kind of man sits on his porch in his Pj's when they should be off makin' the bacon? Why isn't that man AT WORK?!?!?! Must be an alcoholic. A wife beater. High on "the marijuana". A monkey raper. Definitely not a respectable member of society.
Younger people have a different version of "The Look". It is more akin to pity. They figure I must be one of the legion of unemployed that they keep reading about on the interwebs. Today, the UPS man came to the house. The Fat Red Dog and the SchizoDoodle were in the front yard so, to be polite, I walked out to the driveway to meet him halfway lest he be licked to death by the canines of love. Imagine his delight; watching me trundle his way in my slippers, Pittsburgh Steelers pajama pants, Polo t-shirt and mad scientist hair while smoking a cigar. I greeted him with a "how ya' doin?" and took the package. He gave me the up and down, face transitioning to "The Look", gave me the "good ... you?", didn't wait for my response and walked back to his truck. Probably didn't want to hear a tale of woe.
One time, in a moment of weakness, I made the mistake of calling after one of these guys, "Hey, I work from home." What the hell was that? A desire to be acknowledged as a productive member of society? HEY, LOOK AT ME ... I'm employed ... I make THREE TIMES your salary when you have a good 'overtime' year. I'm someone. I count.
I don't do that anymore. I'm ashamed of that one moment of weakness. I generally don't give a rat's ass what people think, The Rhino is a literary action hero for fuck's sake. But, that one time, for some reason, "The Look" just got to me.
So, now, if I get "The Look" I'll mumble something about retirement, interwebs startup framistams or some such thing. Give 'em the whole eccentric rich guy vibe.
But you gotta' have the hair to pull it off.
It is good to be the scruffy yet gainfully employed Rhino.
The HLDW insisted that I share a pic of a properly coiffured Rhino
Still not that pretty ... but still. And, yes, that was taken at my 'other' office - the Cigar shop.