I don’t know the provenance of the phrase The bee’s knees, and I’m too lazy to use an online search engine to find out, but if my work from home experience is any indication, it obviously is some sort of super villain origin story.
That is, to say I’ve been stung by WfH would be an understatement.
Sure, on paper there’s lots to love:
- You don’t have to roll out of bed until just before your first meeting
- You don’t have to shower or get dressed…ever
- No dealing with traffic‡
- Reduced mileage / insurance costs on your commuter vehicle
- No more being ambushed by colleagues at your desk / in the hall when you’re trying to get actual, real work done
- Reduced risk of catching/spreading a potentially fatal disease
But like the iPhone, looks aside, you actually have to use it. And like the iPhone, it turns out working from home has significant, painful drawbacks:
- Your recent lack of good hygiene has left you…less attractive…to your significant other
- Your commuter vehicle, having sat idle for months, has become home to a colony of wire- and hose-chewing rats that, to be honest, scare the bejeezus out of you what with their sharp needle-like teeth and glowing red eyes and tiny, skittering claws and that glare of intelligent hatred they seem to be directing at you
- When sleeping at night, you discover that the above-mentioned colony of rats likes to take field trips after dark where they march up and down the crawlspaces directly above and below the room you sleep in
- When moving to another room in order to escape the sounds of the rats, you discover the field trip isn’t limited to the spaces above and below your bedroom
- Your kiddos, no matter how far along in brain development, simply don’t understand that you’re working and they aren’t supposed to even look at the door leading to your home office, let alone barge in and start expounding on the virtues of their most recent Minecraft mod, speaking at a volume and speed that prevents you from getting a word in edgewise and leads the leader of your Zoom meeting to mute you
- Your dogs, no matter how far along in obedience training, simply don’t understand that you’re working and they aren’t supposed to even look at the door leading to your home office, let alone start scratching at the door while barking vociferously just because a fly (or maybe… a bee!?) landed on the tip of the radio aerial on the (idle) commuter vehicle in the driveway, leading the leader of your Zoom meeting to curse the day you were born before muting you
- No matter how fast and ‘premium’ your internet service is, it isn’t fast or premium enough. Not. Even. Close
- You are invariably home and have to directly deal with a pipe breaking, a child getting injured, a spouse discovering something bad you did, a fever-impaired driver crashing their car into your home office (warning: that fever-impaired driver just might be you) instead of having a phone and physical distance to serve as a bit of a protective buffer from the tr/drama
- All the stuff your spouse complains about the house (bad pipes, terrible temperature control, leaky roof, rotting floors, rampant crime in the immediate neighborhood, feverish drivers crashing into things, etc.) that you used to just shrug off and say, “I don’t think it’s as bad as all that” turns out, now that you are directly experiencing it, to oh yes, be all that bad
- You discover that the people you live with and used to love unconditionally have become around-the-clock irritants who just need to leave you the eff alone for a few hours a day, dammit!
- The barrier between work time / hours and home time / hours is GONE; you’ve gone from working 40 hours per week to 168 hours per week
- And by far the worst aspect, you now have plenty of time to follow, in excruciating detail, just how disastrously the election is unfolding
Scientists keep telling me that we need to save the bees. Well, I say, “Screw the bees and the knees they came in on!” Perhaps the dog’s bollocks would be a more accurate descriptor, but this is a family blog…
‡ Though I hear tell traffic isn’t nearly as bad these days as it was in the pre-pandemic days