Flexible working is great. Until it isn’t.
Over December and January, it meant that I could take off oodles of time with MS.
Luckily we were fairly quiet, so I spent day after day on my sofa, nursing my fatigue and nerve pain, feeling very sorry for myself and admiring my Nordic-Noir Christmas tree, i.e. it had white lights on it and not much else (too tired).
Now we are in February, those days are coming back to haunt me, and how. Money is not so much tight as non-existent. There’s no more days off and I’m still not 100%.
The good news is, I’ve devised ways to be in work, without actually doing that much. It’s genius:
- On a large building site, I try to have complicated A3 plans open and nod, seriously, pen in hand. There’s always a pile of cement bags to sit on and cultivate the ‘hmm hmm’ look.
- If there’s no plans, I sit on the cement bags and look up, with a pondering expression. People will think I’m checking out the roof pitch. For added authenticity, I open the calculator on my phone and tap furiously.
- I waylay contractors with questions I already know the answers to – plumbers and electricians love nothing more than talking you through their work, wire by wire, pipe by pipe.
- I count the bricks that have just been delivered (being careful to check the invoice beforehand so I already know the actual number).
- Make teas and coffees for everyone. If I do this, no one will care you’re actually doing nothing at all.
- If all else fails, I grab a brush and hold onto it for dear life. I look busy and it’s a great way to stand up straight.
So this is what I have been doing, alongside practising my ‘eyes wide open but I’m fast asleep’ look. I’m getting pretty good, which is why I think The Boss has twigged just what I’m up to.
He bought me a teeny-tiny computer a couple of days ago, so we can synch stuff. Which means I have to do some work. He’s also looking in to office spaces and has booked me into the Apple Store’s ‘Macs for Complete and Utter Numpties’ session next week. (there’s a pretzel store opposite, result).
As my best qualities are bossing people around and typing up spreadsheets, he’s taken the MS into account and is making the most of my talents. I’m a people person and there’s only so much you can say to a pile of cement bags and a tonne of sand.
I’m excited to be moving into a more office-based role. And the best news? It comes complete with zero office politics (I can’t argue with myself/no danger of being sacked for having MS), I still get to wear my builder’s gear to work as I’ll also be out and about checking up on our contractors and I can appear somewhat creative as I open my tiny Mac in the nearest coffee house.
If I could just work out how to use the Mac, I’ll be fine.