Tuesday Top Ten – Top Ten Worst Things About Working From Home


Last week I discussed my top ten favorite things about working from home. But as many upsides as their are (and there are actually way more than ten), there are just as many downsides. So today, I’ll continue with last week’s theme and discuss the Top Ten Worst Things About Working From Home.

1. So much to do, so little time.
Sometimes I find myself a bit overwhelmed with everything I’d like to do. It stresses me out. I want to make boot cuffs. I want to make fingerless gloves. I have to find time to make seasonal items. But I also have to package up all the orders, and make sure that my best sellers are available. Just thinking about everything I could be doing right now, instead of writing this blog, is causing me to panic a bit. I’ll be alright, but I could really use just a few extra hours in the day.

frabz-Working-from-Home-What-my-friends-think-I-do-What-my-parents-thi-d0e9e82. What do you do all day???
I know that no one takes my little shop very seriously. No one but me, that is. I can work from 6am until 11pm, and feel very accomplished on my own, but the people around me just see that I’ve spent the entire day watching TV on the couch. I haven’t had a real day off in years. Not that I’d want one; I’d be terribly bored. But it’d be nice if the people around me could see all that happens here on a daily basis, and that it’s not just sitting around watching TV all day. Sure, the TV is on, but while it is I’m knitting, or blogging, or posting on Facebook, or promoting my shop on any number of other sites, or even reading about how to promote my shop. There is a lot of work involved in this venture, but most people just think I’m lazy.

3. Lack of social interaction.
I’m an introvert. I don’t like people. Which is why this situation fits me perfectly. But, even being so introverted, there are times when I crave the presence of people. My boyfriend is great, and my cat is a wonderful listener, but sometimes I need to be around other people. So I wait tables at night. If I didn’t have my “day job”, I think I would lose my mind. I’ve always said to the people I work with that even if I was a millionaire, I’d still wait tables. I need to have an excuse to leave the house at least a couple days a week, and since I hate (with a capital “H”) shopping, I need to work. I could probably quit and be ok financially, because I don’t really need a lot of money to live, but I’d be afraid of losing touch with reality. Facebook isn’t a good substitute for face-to-face contact, at least for me.

4. Distractions.
As much as I love naps (if you have read last week’s Top Ten list, you know how much I love naps), it’s way too easy to just lay down and go to sleep. And sometimes I run out of energy by 11am and could sleep for hours if I let myself. Or I could spend hours looking at Pinterest. Or the Etsy forums. There are so many things that I could do that seem like a huge waste of time. And some days, I allow myself to do those things. But most times, if I spend a lot of time on the computer or napping or whatnot, I feel bad about it and end up beating myself up for not being as productive as possible.

5. No benefits.
Now this one isn’t as much of an issue now, since the Affordable Care Act took effect (which I will discuss at length in another entry). But this job doesn’t come with any benefits at all. I don’t have a 401K (I do, actually, but for the life of me I can’t figure out where it is). There isn’t any life insurance. Etsy doesn’t offer a health plan. Thank god for Obamacare, because otherwise I’d be paying hundreds of dollars a month just for the minimum. Worker’s comp would be great, but that doesn’t exist either. Carpal tunnel is a pain in the ass.

6. What is this “sick time” you speak of?
Or vacation time. If I’m sick, my “boss” (my “boss = me) still expects me to work. If I’m on vacation? Yup, still working. Not that I mind, but still.

7. Lack of a consistent income source.
Now this isn’t an issue with working from home, specifically. It’s an “I own a small business all by myself” issue, really. Obviously there are times when my shop is busy, and times when it’s very very slow. The few months around the holidays are always going to be busy for my original shop, since I sell items that are more suited for cold weather. And the summer is always going to be busy for my second shop. But the in between times? I can go months in between without making more than $100. Thankfully I know how to save my money, and I have my “day job”, but if I didn’t I’d be screwed. Or homeless. Probably both.

8. My ass hurts.
No, not like that. Sickos.

I sit pretty much all day, every day. I’m really good at sitting. Sitting doesn’t burn a whole lot of calories. But since I’ve lost all that weight, I’m not so much worried about the calories anymore. I am, however, worried about how badly my bony butt hurts after a long day of sitting on it. And how stiff the rest of my body gets. This is where my “day job” becomes a benefit because I’m very active there, and I try to go to the gym after my shifts to balance out all the sitting I do during the day. If I didn’t have to leave though, I’m not sure I would ever get enough activity. I’d probably end up weighing 600lbs. It’s a vicious cycle.

9. I have no boss.
Other than myself, of course. It’s great, really it is. But as awesome as being my own boss is, it becomes hard to keep myself on track at times. Again, the distractions are numerous. And finally…

10. I have no schedule.
This one is an upside and a downside. I have a lot of freedom. But when does it become too much freedom? I try to schedule my days as much as I possibly can, because I need the structure. But if I don’t get that pair of yoga socks done by 7pm? Oh well. It’ll get done eventually. I develop kind of a “meh” attitude about things sometimes. Not good.

headerAnyway, I’m not the only one who feels that there are both upsides and downsides to working from home. Apparently The Oatmeal agrees with me. How about you? What do you think are the worst parts of working from home, or being your own boss?

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Manic mondaaaaaay


Be prepared. I’m in a very random, slightly goofy mood this morning. So this post will be very random and slightly goofy, starting with the following…

I honestly can’t decide if this is a real song or a joke, but I think I like it. It makes me smile, and what could be better on a Monday morning? It may not be safe for work, so make sure to put a set of headphones on or something before you hit play. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

I won't maul you if you take too long

Ok, done? It’s goofy, right? Alright, since we’re in a good mood now, because how could you not be, onward!

Shop stuff:
I must have done something right when I took all those new pictures, because I sold my very first tea tote last night. Again, I had just listed it, went to bed, and woke up this morning to find it had sold not even an hour after I listed it. Craziness! So I’ll take that as a good sign, and make more of these things. I love making them; it’s almost instant gratification, unlike the socks which take days.

Weight loss:
I lost 3 more pounds this week, bring me to a total of 5 pounds in 3 weeks. Not bad. I will give total credit to weight watchers, but it may have something to do with taking my pills everyday. I mean, without a functioning thyroid, I don’t really have a metabolism. As it is my metabolism is of the fake variety, but it’s a lot better than no metabolism at all. But I’ll still give the credit to weight watchers, because if I don’t, I won’t have any reason to continue with it. Does that make sense? Maybe not, but I never claimed to make sense all the time.

And speaking of weight loss, after this diet is done, I am so making these cupcakes:

I found them over at A Cookie-Cutter Blog, and they look DELICIOUS (you know I’m serious when I type in all caps and italics). Her instructions look super easy to follow too, though I think I’d skip the sprinkles. I’m not really much of a sprinkle type of girl. Weird crunch, no real flavor… no thanks.

Sports:
Have I ever mentioned how much I love this time of year? The cherry blossoms are out, and Riverside Drive, which I take to and from work every day, is a wonderful array of pink and white floral trees. It’s absolutely beautiful, if you take the time to look around. In fact, I’d say the part of Riverside that I take every morning, a couple miles in each direction from the hospital, is the most beautiful part of this very ugly and depressing city. I love that I get to see it every day. But… that wasn’t anywhere close to my point. It’s spring training, which means baseball season will be starting soon. I heart baseball. And, today is the NCAA men’s basketball national championship game. The only problem is, it doesn’t start until something ridiculous like 9:30pm. Seriously? To the people who scheduled the final game of the college basketball season, wtf were you thinking? How many people do you think will actually be able to stay awake until midnight to watch this thing? Are you banking on people falling asleep with their tvs on, so it won’t hurt your ratings? If it were me in charge, the latest I’d schedule this game is 8pm. That way everyone can still get to bed at a decent time, including those players. Geez.

The future:
It’s been almost a year since Roomie and I took our trip to Colorado. I have all those memories, almost like it was yesterday, but still sometimes I find it hard to believe that I actually experienced it. It seems more like a fantasy movie version of my life; where I drop everything and drive across country to see my life from a different angle. But it wasn’t a dream, it really happened and it was wonderful and exciting and I miss it. I want to go back.

From Garden of the Gods

Can you blame me, seeing just one of the pictures of the trip? It wasn’t great weather; it rained most of the way out and most of the way home, it was cold most of the time, and our first night of camping was interrupted by a mountain blizzard. But it was a wonderful trip. In fact, I think Roomie and I are going to end up moving there. I think. At least for a year. We’ve been wanting to move out of Binghamton for a while now, and we both really loved Colorado. We are going to look at Asheville, NC in June, but unless we absolutely fall head over heals in love with it, I think Colorado is the final answer. We’ll see.

Alright, I’m done. Maybe not completely, but enough for now. Plus I have to get to work. You know, adulthood and responsibilies and all that crap. Have a great Monday all!! 🙂

I have a cheerio stuck in my cleavage


Yes, really. TMI? I don’t care. I’m trying to figure out how to get it out without my cubemate noticing. I probably should stop eating cheerios while hunched over my desk staring at funny pictures on the internet. They’re just so damn delicious! They aren’t even real cheerios, they’re this organic something or other that tastes oddly like very yummy cardboard. Definitely not in a bad way. And I’m pretty sure that they have a metric ass-ton of fiber in them. They’re only three points for a whole cup of them, so it’s really a win-win for everyone involved! And when I say everyone, I mean me, of course. They do have kind of a weird aftertaste, and they definitely taste a bit funky after a sip of coffee, but whatever, it’s food. I’ve always hated those little kids who come into the restaurant and throw cheerios everywhere, but now I get it. Sorry, little kids who I’ve given my best death stare! I totally understand you now!

I have so done this before.

Roomie and I went craft shopping last night, because I needed to find cellophane bags to put the magnets that I have yet to make in. Damn AC Moore, they were having a yarn sale. I cannot resist a good yarn sale, especially when everything, including Pirouette and Sashay is 30 percent off. I have a problem, that’s my conclusion after this latest shopping trip. I have a yarn addiction. My sage of a roommate says that admitting it is the first step; he’s so smart! I’ve never had a problem admitting it, but when I go to a craft store for something that costs two dollars and emerge with 90+ dollars worth of yarn, it scares me a little. What am I going to do with all that yarn? It’s not like I bought stuff that I don’t have a use for; it’s all for specific projects. The problem is, I will never, not ever in my lifetime even if I was to have a normal life span which I probably won’t, be able to use all the yarn I own. Never. There is simply too much of it. And when it comes to yarn sales, I have zero willpower to not take advantage of them. The other problem is, all of that yarn lives in roomie’s bedroom. It used to be the craft room before he moved in, and he allowed me to keep all my craft supplies in the corner. I can’t even get to the corner now, there’s too much stuff there. I’m going to eventually sort everything out, but I’m not really sure where to start at this point.

I got that doctor’s note, and gave it to my boss at the restaurant. I didn’t really sit down and talk to her about it, but that’s probably for the best. I probably would have threatened her with a lawsuit. Why, you may be asking? Because she scheduled me for only Saturday this week, which I’ve now got a doctor’s note saying I can’t work. So if she takes me off that shift, I won’t have any shifts this week. I would be very tempted to assume that no shifts means she’s “letting me go”, and to start filing for unemployment. She doesn’t want to pay me unemployment, which is why she’s only scheduling me for one shift a week; she is trying to make me quit. Uh huh, not gonna work. If she wants me gone, she’s going to have to find a damn good reason to fire me. It’s certainly not going to be performance related. Also, I’m pretty sure I’m covered under the DDA (disability discrimination act). If I were her, I’d want to keep me as happy, and healthy, as possible to avoid a lawsuit. Especially since she knows my little sister is a lawyer.

Anyway, onto happier things. I’ve been really bad about linking to other blogs in this thing lately. So I’m thinking of sharing at least one link everyday that I find useful, interesting, funny, or otherwise entertaining. What do you think? Not that I really care; it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want with it, damnit. Onward (and have a very happy Wednesday, all :))!

Wednesday Web Gem!
OMG I need to do this right now!!!
-This blog by “Jeeze Julia” on pantry organization is GREAT. I love, love, love mason jars, and there are thousands of uses for them. This is just one, but it really does make me want to run, not walk, to AC Moore and buy as many mason jars as I can, and then run, not walk, all the way home to organize my pantry. That in itself is a feat; I don’t even go in there if I can help it. That little corner of my home could probably qualify for FEMA assistance all by itself. Damn this being an adult thing, and damn working for a living, I want to clean my pantry!!

Burn out, and other concerns


I think it might be a function of spending my days staring at a computer screen, but I’ve begun to get really sick of the internet. Maybe I just want some time to myself, which is funny because I’m writing this in a public blog, but I feel the need to be “unplugged” more and more these days. I have a hard time even logging onto Etsy without it feeling like a chore; more something that I have to do rather than something fun that I want to do, which is a big change from even a week ago. I used to really enjoy participating in the forums and my teams, but now even writing this blog entry seems tedious.

I took yesterday off. From blogging, not work. I just couldn’t make myself think of anything witty or interesting to say, so I just didn’t say anything at all. Maybe it’s because the weather is so nice, or just because my hormones are all crazy-pants and out of whack right now. I’m angry, just in general, and I think it’s starting to spread to most areas of my life. Maybe I need a vacation, but I can’t even get my boss to give me the weekends off, so I think a vacation will have to wait.

I know my motivation to really work on my shop will come back. I’m still knitting and creating, so at least the motivation to do that hasn’t left me. Hopefully once I’ve decided to participate fully again my shop won’t have fallen completely off the map. I just can’t do it right now. It feels like work, and while I know it is, I have enough work to deal with, I need this to stay something fun, something that I like doing.

But anyway, I’m still knitting and decoupaging and all that fun stuff, so I figure I can afford to take some time off from all the promoting and posting and commenting and stuff that doesn’t seem so fun to me right now. The creating is the fun part, anyway. I put up one of the new tea totes yesterday, and I think I’ll make a few more this weekend. Maybe I’ll list a set of coasters later on today, since I didn’t finish the third set of dish cloths in time to take pics of them this morning. But they’re super cute; they remind me so much of Easter! Oh, and I started another pair of rainbow yoga socks, to replace the ones that I sold a few weeks ago.

Speaking of sales… I haven’t had a sale in a week. Even my views are down. But I think that might be just because I’m so sick of participating in teams and forums right now and my negative attitude is showing to the rest of the Etsy-world. I’ll be fine once I take a break. Maybe this weekend I’ll institute a no-Etsy policy for myself, just to give myself a bit of time to relax. Once this starts to feel like a job, it’ll start getting stressful like a job too, and I’m inching ever so close to that very thin line between work and fun.

Anyway, enough about that. Here are a few of my other worries at the moment:
-I was scheduled to work Saturday again. UGH! I really need to be able to take two days off from both jobs, to keep my body from falling apart, and to give me the routine I need to take my pills everyday (which I’m doing very well with, by the way, even though it’s only been 3 days). I told my boss this, that until this temp job ends I need weekends off, and it seemed for a while like she understood. Now she wants a doctor’s note. I’m working on that, but I’m afraid that once my doc sees how bad my levels are right now that they’re going to want to put me in the hospital. Then I won’t be any good to anyone.
-I told you I lost a pound last week. I got on the scale yesterday morning, just curious, and I’d gained that pound back, plus another. I got on the scale this morning, and I gained 4 more pounds!!! Wth is going on?! I’m going to have to talk to the doc about that too; I’m not even sure if it’s safe for me to be on Weight Watchers right now.

Ok that’s it. Tomorrow is Friday, meaning Feature Fridays! I am actually excited about it. Have a great Thursday everyone! Go outside and get some Vitamin D!!! 😀

Why yes, I DO glow in the dark, thanks for asking!


Unless I wore this costume to work. Yes, I do own it.

I just found myself looking at my reflection in the mirror, which I try to avoid doing, but holy moly! I couldn’t be brighter if I tried! Between the neon blue polo shirt, the florescent pink shoes, and the day-glo green stress gloves (they’re supposed to keep my hands from swelling up; they’re not working), there is NO chance that anyone on this campus is going to miss me today. You could see me coming from a mile away. The only thing that helps camoflage me a bit is the gray hoodie.

I’m less hungry today. Or at least, I have less of an appetite, which really helps. I’m able to focus on other stuff, rather than just how many hours until I can stuff my face with something totally unsatisfying. I’ve only used two points so far today (on fat free creamer and splenda? Just seems wrong), and my lunch is only 4-5 points, plus I’ve got these super yummy cracker chip things that are 3 points for 30 of them. So that’s 10 total for the first part of the day, leaving me with 16, which is great. That means I can eat dinner, have a glass of champagne, AND still have leftover points for desert!

There is this woman who, as far as I can tell, does nothing but walk around the office all day long. Literally. I’ve never seen her at a desk that belongs to her. I don’t even know where her desk is. But she paces, and chats, and paces some more, and sits down to talk to people about what she’s eating and her latest health problem. She’s even started coming into our cubicle asking about random stuff (why there are so many keyboards on the desk across from us, for example. In case you’re wondering, the desk across from us is where the intern sits, and where we put all the electronic junk that we don’t want). She must burn a LOT of calories.

I'm adorable! Take me home!

So I finished those yoga socks yesterday. OH! And I got to a mini-milestone; 40 listings! Only ten to go before I reach my goal for March! I’m not sure how I feel about the Knit Picks yarn I’m using for the green pair, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it. It’s super soft, but it seems a bit thick for sock yarn. This pair may not have the same flexibility that the others do, but I think that’s ok. I do love the colors. They match my day-glo gloves. I think after I’m done with these I’ll make a bunch more tea totes. I haven’t sold any yet, but people seem to like them. I worry that my prices are a bit off on a lot of this stuff, but I can’t get anyone to tell me. Don’t make me beg people, I’ll do it! Please tell me!!

Anyway, back to work. Have a good Tuesday! 🙂

Self-righteousness is bad for your health


Sometimes I look at people and wonder what they were thinking when they decided to make a certain decision. Whether it’s an outfit they walked out of the house in that just doesn’t look right on them (skinny jeans anyone?), or the way they allow their kids to behave in public, some things just bother me. But as long as it doesn’t effect me too much, I tend to just let it go. If I see some guy walking down my street with a case of beer, even though I am not what anyone would consider a heavy drinker, I will look, maybe wonder where he’s going or if he’s going to attack my car (that actually happened once, I’m not prejudiced against drunks), and then go about my business. I try not to judge, but I’m not perfect, and everyone judges people. If I do judge, I don’t dwell on it. Honestly, I have more important things to worry about.

Truth

What bothers me are the self-righteous douche nozzles who think it’s absolutely horrible that people smoke cigarettes. Now, being a smoker myself, maybe I’m biased. But from personal experience, we are treated like pariahs by society. We have to go outside no matter what the weather. We have to hide in a corner most places, so we don’t expose others to our second hand smoke. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that those things aren’t right. But if I’m doing everything in my power to make sure that my choice isn’t imposed on you, shouldn’t you show me the same courtesy? If I had a nickle for everytime someone came up to me, and with no provocation at all, no inkling that I might be open to such things, felt it necessary to tell me that smoking was bad for me….. I’d be a freaking billionaire. You choose not to smoke. Great, good for you. It’s a nasty, expensive habit. But guess what? I choose to smoke.

That’s right. I don’t smoke because I’m addicted to it. For sure I am, and quitting would be a pain in the ass, but that’s not why I don’t quit. I don’t quit because I like smoking. It’s wonderful first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee and some Etsy trolling. There is nothing better than a cigarette after dinner. And forget it about it if I decide to have a glass of wine and overdo it a bit. I love smoking. I love the taste, the feel, the calmness it provides me, everything. I choose to smoke, and all I ask is that you respect my decision just as I’ve respected your decision not to smoke.

What gets me is people like this woman on Etsy this morning. The subject line of her forum post was something like “I just witnessed something horrible”, or something like that. Now, to me that says she just saw a 30 car pileup on the highway or someone beating their kid in Walmart. Nope, she saw a mailman, not even her mailman, smoking. She was going to complain to the post office on her lunch break, hours after said horrific event had happened. Seriously? Get off your high horse, lady. Please.

I’m not normally an agressive person. I like knitting, looking at my Etsy shop stats, spending time with my cat, drinking cheap wine on my nights off, and movies. I’m pretty peaceful, overall. But this kind of small minded, self-righteous behavior really makes me angry. I stand outside in blizzards, when it’s ten below zero, exposing myself to hypothermia, just to make sure that your lungs don’t get polluted by my habit. I have to walk around the building in the pouring rain to make sure I don’t accidently blow any of my (delicious) smoke in anyone’s face. The least you could do is walk past me without giving me dirty looks, without coughing in my direction, without posting things like this woman posted. I am more than willing to be uncomfortable for the sake of other people. I chose this, it’s fine. But please don’t make me an outcast because you made different choices. I’m sure I don’t agree with at least one thing you choose to do. It doesn’t mean I’m going to publicly humiliate you because of it.

Now go ahead and be angry with me. You have my permission. 🙂

It’s a beautiful day


For those who don’t know, my first day job is at a college campus here in upstate New York. Colleges are strange places to spend a few hours a day, especially if you aren’t actually enrolled in classes. The picture to the right should clearly illustrate my point. It was taken, by me, right outside my office. Yup, there was a guy in a chicken suit walking around an empty campus. We asked him why, and he wouldn’t tell us. He wouldn’t speak at all. Strange.

So today is an absolutely, drop dead beautiful day. It’s almost 60, sunny, with no wind. It’s obvious that there is an almost painful confusion about how to handle this. It’s New York, in March, and it’s 60 and sunny? Wha???

What the hell am I going to wear????

Anyway, I go outside for a smoke break, which is pretty much the only time I get to observe the oddness that is this campus because I work in a damn windowless cubicle, and I’m surrounded by children who had no idea what the appropriate outfit for 60 degrees in March was. There were heavy bubble coats and scarves, walking next to shorts and short-sleeved polo shirts (thankfully, no popped collars). I saw one girl wearing acid washed mom-jeans and a belly shirt. I really didn’t want to be rude, but I couldn’t help staring at her with my mouth wide open. Acid washed? REALLY??? I’m not saying I’m the most fashion-foward girl I’ve ever met, but the last time I wore acid washed jeans was in the 1980’s. That was one fashion trend that should never, ever, eveeeeeeer come back. Legwarmers, fine. Acid washed jeans, not so much.

This is as wasteful as losing a good blog idea while putting creamer in your coffee. Never fear! I have a solution!

I hate that I’m stuck inside on the first nice day we’ve had in six months. And I really am stuck inside all day. I go from here to my second job at the restaurant. Boo. But at least I get to take smoke breaks!! Speaking of which, I’ve been carrying this little notebook around with me for about two weeks, so that I don’t get a great idea for a treasury or a blog or a new project for my Etsy shop and then forget by the time I get back to my computer. This blog came into my head during the one smoke break I’ve had in days without my notebook. Gasp! So I had to run my ass back to my desk (after the smoke break, the bathroom break and the coffee break of course) and write it all down. Then I put creamer in my coffee. Somehow, the way my brain works, I figured I’d forget everything I had just dreamed up between getting to my desk and putting the creamer back in the mini fridge.

Ooook, back to business. Yesterday I promised you part two of “Home is whereever I’m with you”. I lied. I’d say I’m sorry, but that would be another lie, thus compounding the original problem and setting us on a cycle of ever evolving apology-lies. I’m not sorry. Deal with it. Anyway, I’m not going to write that post today. First of all, I can’t for the life of me think of what I want to say. Second, I’ve got other things to say. Maybe not more important things, but way more entertaining things fo shizzle. I’ll get to it eventually, maybe tomorrow, but I won’t know until tomorrow comes so I make no guarantees.