I could have a problem
My work computer sits to the left of my home computer. I like this set up. During the day I can use one for work and the other as a distraction. This was a wonderful set up when I first started working from home. I would be able to surf the net while on a web meeting on the work computer when it got too boring.
I sit in this room a lot. Mainly because of work. I would say I’m in this chair over 14 hours a day. There always just seems to be more and more work. It piles and piles. Good for the company I suppose. Even when I’m playing on the home computer that work computer stares at me. Pay attention to me it would say.
It’s staring at me and the home computer with jealous even now as I type this.
I walk around the house to escape this room and that computer, but there’s really no avoiding it. It’s here. With both computers going, there’s a strange heat wave when you enter the room. No fans or open windows can subdue the heat glowing from the room. You know when you’ve entered the room.
At first, the heat was distracting and uncomfortable. I found myself leaving the room pretty often to escape the uncomfortable sensation. I felt like I had to refresh myself from this constant bombardment of electrons that shot out from these screens.
As the months went by and the hours I spent in front of these computers grew. Something changed. The heat in this room was no longer uncomfortable. It’s warm here. Not a temperature warm, but more like warmth. No matter how hot it is elsewhere, it always seems cold compared to this room. Even when it’s unbearably hot in this room, it’s where I want to be. It’s comfortable now. It’s no longer warm. It’s warmth that’s in this room now.
I found it harder and harder to tear myself away from the room.
Of course I know this is all in my head. It's so hot in this room that it's not physically comfortable for anyone.
When I type on the home computer, I find myself constantly sneaking a peek at the work computer. Seeing if there is an email I need to tend to. As if I don’t work on that computer enough. It still stares at me even during my time off. Even during time that I know I should be away from the work. It’s always there. Always tempting me to get something else done. Always just sitting to the left of me.
In less than a week, I’m going to take my real first vacation since I’ve started working. I have already promised that I would not take the work computer. I have been telling my clients that I can’t be reached during this week for over a month now. I don’t care if the sky is falling. Don’t contact me.
When I think about this, I start feeling anxious. I don’t think I’ve been away from the work computer for over 24 hours in the last 2 years. This is how you realize it’s a problem.
You know how I really know it’s a problem? After a night of drinking, if I haven’t passed out yet, I’ll still come to this room. Most of the time I can even get a little bit of work done.
Is it because I’m such a good employee?
Is it because these things are so urgent I had to get to them right then?
No. I sit there because I can’t resist the warmth and the computers must be attended to.
That is a problem.
Let’s see how the week without the work computer pans out for me. Maybe I'll be able to escape or maybe I'll just find a quick fix where I can and sneak some emails in.