Working from home this week is proof to George Goldsmith’s (founder of the McKinsey TomorrowLab) adage that the virtual office works … virtually. It’s been so long since I’ve done the bathrobe commute that I’ve forgotten how nutty it can make a person to be separated from the face-to-face action.
I’m missing some big meetings in NYC, but I’ve been calling in and then suffering as some part of my brain refuses to engage when I can’t see the powerpoint or look the presenter in the eyes. If the volume declines — which it always does when one of the speakers is at the periphery of the room — my attention goes right out the window. It is so bad that I just disconnected and reverted to getting some writing done and making the best use of the solitude.
I have found a couple phone tricks over the years. First, standing up while on the phone seems to improve my powers of concentration (being wasted on Dilaudid does not help me focus, instead I feel like I am in a William Burroughs’ novel). Second, and unrelated to conference call etiquette, is how to hang up a call you don’t want to be on. Start talking and in the middle of a sentence, hang up on yourself. If the other party hunts you down, accuse them of hanging up on you as no one ever hangs up on themself.
Between instant messaging and email I’m being productive, but it’s no substitute for being in the thick of things. Not that I miss Raleigh-Durham, it’s just that trying to get stuff done while sitting in the house on a nice day is proving to be more of a challenge than I thought.
(thx to all for best wishes. One more doctor’s appointment on Monday. I’d post a picture, but my face has really gone funky. All the contusions on my scalp have followed gravity south, turning the top half of my face black, yellow and green. I’m trying to stretch the time between pain pills so I don’t get too used to them. Towards the end of each cycle I find myself watching the clock.)