flotsam

I see you

Following on the Find Friends app, watching my family crossingthe country vertically, knowing how they progress, when they’re in for the night or arrived at their destination, knowing God is sovereign and so gracious, knowing my BiL will take care in every way in his power, knowing Sis will check in when time and circumstance permits, but loving the connection along the way.  

Love you guys. LoveX3, x4. 

Have fun! 🙂

flotsam

Working from…  somewhere

Over the course of the last 10 years, my company has gone from ‘completely resistant to remote working’ to ‘grudgingly accepting of remote commuting in bad weather’ to ‘more or less accepting of remote commuting provided the person and role are suited to it.’

That turn has suited me just fine. The convenience of not having to drive in snow and ice (or use up a wasted personal day to avoid it) is more than offsetting to the fact that, in the rare case the office closes due to weather, I’m still on duty because I’m not IN the office (and the company never closes). 

Then when I bought my house, and set up a formal remote working arrangement, I was careful about how I phrased it. “Up to X days in the office per week.”  An upper but no lower threshold…. Zero days in the he office technically qualifies. 

Yes, that’s been good. 

Now, my company got bought by another company. They are still living in a time 10 years ago, when remote computing was a strange and suspicious thing. My direct manager is cool; he sees I get the work done the same either way. I just start the day that much earlier without a commute. 

His boss, who has not even bothered to meet me yet BTW, is not so cool with it. 

And he is planning to relocate to the same office I don’t always work in. 

Where space is increasingly at a premium. 

So he would like to see me either in the office a lot more often, or give up my spot there. 

So now I have to decide which of 5 states to choose from. 

  1. My old home, which is 3-4 hours away but my friends have been super gracious about having me to stay, which makes that doable. Going forward, however, the office will want me there with so much frequency of visits I’d pretty much need a full time place there. I mean seriously, I can’t be moving in with friends 2-3 days every week. Not to mention the wear and tear on my car, and on me, with so much road time. 
  2. Where their old HQ is based. Pluses: Lots of visibility, only need to be there a day or two a week(?).  Minuses: 2 hours each way plus tolls and parking; soon to be no convenient stayover options. Nope
  3. The next state over. Pluses: moderate visibility, multiple internal clients based there; no tolls depending on route taken; onsite parking available; definitely space for me in the office, only need to be there a day or two per week (?). Minuses: 75-90 minute commute; no convenient stayover options. Best suited to 1-2 non consecutive days at the office per week. 
  4. My home state. Pluses: in state status; “only” 60-70 minute commute; tolls variable to route taken. Neutral: Unclear space availability; no onsite clients (low visibility). Minuses: paid parking, expectation that I be in-office daily; possibility that office may get merged with next state south. 
  5. Next state south. No discernible pluses. Neutral: No onsite clients. Minuses: traffic, tolls, parking, 2 hour commute. Nope

Looks like I’m going to have some decisions to make.  

Exciting times. 

flotsam

Buying and selling

In order to sell their house, my parents’ township forces an inspection and corrective action for anything that doesn’t pass. This is before a buyer requests a home inspection; totally a separate issue. There is really no such thing as selling the home as-is, in that sense. It’s a baseline of protection for buyers; the septic will be to code, the safety standards are met, the fire detectors will be working and up to code. 

I don’t know if other towns are as persnickety but that was their experience. 

The place they are currently shopping in – the place they put in an offer – doesn’t seem to have similar rules. It’s weird, how much variance there is in this process. 

Well, we’ll just wait and see. If it’s not for them, may that become clear very quickly. 

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Itchy

I am not outside often enough to get bug-bit. 

Or so I’d hope. 

But the evidence in the shower this morning (and driving me crazy now) is that my ankles were a mosquito feast in the recent past. 

This whole nature thing is not my cup of tea. 

flotsam

Two houses

My parents look at a little house in a nice little neighborhood with a beautiful yard. We walk it trying to get a feel, decide what we would change, where the laundry  could go. My sister likes it, but I … I can only say I don’t hate it. I’m not sure why. 

Mom and Dad have their own feelings, as they should. But that is separate. 

On Saturday we go with them to look at another house. The neighborhood cute, oddly quiet, not as convenient. The house has an unusual layout (“unique” said the listing) and an indescribably awful bathroom fixture, but in spite of that stuff, I like it. Whether I like it is irrelevant to the process, but I do. This time it’s my sister who had an unsettled dissatisfaction. 

This whole process is strange, really. 

What is good in any case is that my parents felt positive about the house, with all its faults. If not enough to buy it, at least enough to renew their hope in the process. 

And maybe that’s enough, for the moment. 

flotsam

Fast forward

Monday starts with a start, when I realize that I didn’t set my alarms correctly when I went to bed.  I wake up, not sure but feeling like I’ve overslept.  

I have, though mercifully only by 20 minutes.  I hurry through the morning body ritual of the Nacirema, and still have time for a quick morning coffee with my friend before going to face the traffic and the day, meetings, dental appointment, lunch with a friend, tasks and to-dos. 

Tuesday I awaken ahead of the alarm. Coffee with my friend to start the day, preparations for Wednesday’s meeting and the long slow fights with uncooperative technology, then dinner with another friend, my packing mirrors theirs on a smaller scale, movie night at the house, but for some reason I am too tired to even finish the much-beloved  Ryan-Hanks feature.

Wednesday I want to fight the alarm, but I don’t. I am packed to go and sipping coffee when my friend comes out, having stayed up later to finish the movie and probably worked on the packing. In a little while sons 2&3 join us; a special treat and the younger bounding down in his uniquely exuberant way. (Smiling to think about it.) 

The day flies by, the long anticipated meeting comes and goes with only moderately more clarity.  Lunch worked through at my desk. Dinner with more friends I’ve missed. 

Driving home, the long journey this time, good, long talks and multiple dropped calls (“Can you hear me now? Hello? Hello?” Ugh, no.) 

The last 45 minutes of the driving in the rain. 

Arriving home, all joy and relief in both the close of the trek and the parking space awaiting me. 

Settling in, unpacking, technically Thursday when I realize it is trash day, back out I go to be the responsible grown up. 

Then at last, I can settle into pjs and fall at last to sleep. 

It was a good trip, all in all.