WFH

“Sitting in front of the computer, my brain and hands connect in a singular, focused way across the keyboard.”

I’ve worked from home for most of my adult life, more like worked at home after I finished working at a desk, rushing back to get dinner ready.

The kids are gone, I’ve moved along in jobs.  I’ve succeeded as an information worker who occupies a niche between software engineers and the website content other people read. Now I’m able to WFH, which means that on occasional Fridays when I am not needed to attend a meeting or offer an otherwise physical presence in a cubicle, I can remain in my sweat pants, connect my computer to the VPN (virtual private network) and shield myself behind the company’s firewall except for occasional forays to the greater outdoors, the Internet, where I check email and Facebook.

I’m plugged in most of the time.  Mornings when I get up, evenings before I go to bed, log on to check bug reports.

Provided with a good network connection, these days I can move my brain around from home, work, commuting on the bus, or offsite on vacation, and function equally as well from any  location, like a song  released from its CD or a book removed from its hardback covers ready to interract with anything that comes its way, thank you Jonathon Keats’ Virtual Words.

Technology offers language filled with algorithms and acronyms, stand-ins for words most everyone’s forgotten. My brain can ache with the buzzing.

In the olden days, when I was not WFH but working at home, I came home to cook flank steak crisscrossed with a knife and rubbed down with garlic on each side and flavored with a squeeze of fresh orange juice to give it tang; always macaroni and cheese–the kids loved that–and chicken cooked in all the innumerable ways chicken allows itself to be cooked – boiled, baked, breaded, fried; haphazard menus of spaghetti and something else, turkey cutlets, lentil stews, chile con carne. Garlic bread,  a different kind of language.

Now I have passwords and usernames that I carry turtle-like  from one system to another and hierarchies of data that precariously balance on functions, services and calls. I move between the language of life and computers.

Scary as it seems, sometimes it feels as though my body is a carrying case to transport my brain from one locale to another.Sitting in front of the computer, my brain and hands connect in a singular, focussed way across the keyboard. Everything else recedes into the background: a ringtone, the tea kettle, the leaf blower outside a  window. I create a circuit between the screens I’m analyzing, and chats that are open in an effort to eliminate possible variables of error.

Somewhere a boy is eating a kernel of popcorn on a first-floor landing.

A young girl walks by with an iPod strapped to her upper arm and a Raiders patch on her jeans.

I like that my hands and my brain deeply need each other, a partnership. I think people are meant to work that way.

In Israel, the color of a yarmulke is a code
about where you stand along that country’s
divided political line

Male and female mallards swim
on the pond at Leona Canyon,
surveying cattails

 

About Lenore Weiss

Lenore's collections include "Tap Dancing on the Silverado Trail" (2011) from Finishing Line Press, “Sh’ma Yis’rael” (2007) from Pudding House Publications, and "Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island" (West End Press, 2012). Her writing has won recognition from Poets&Writers (finalist in California Voices contest) and as a finalist for Pablo Neruda Prize, Nimrod International Journal. The Society for Technical Communication has recognized her work regarding Technical Literacy in the schools. All material is copyrighted on this site and cannot be used without the author's permission.
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