13 Reasons Why I Love Working From Home

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I am loving the gig economy.  Maybe it’s a millennial thing (I was born in ’81), but I’ve done the whole 8-4 (and the even more ungodly 7-5) shift, four or five days a week, in rain or flood.  I have tried for years to be an early morning person, but it just wasn’t happening.  Maybe it’s because I am my most creative at night.  Maybe it’s because I grew up with a dad whose day never began before noon (unless he had a doctor’s appointment).  Maybe it’s because I like sweaters, not blazers (i.e., power suits).  Maybe it’s because I am a people person—just not for eight hours a day, which is why I still work as a Writing Lab tutor.  If you never work around people, you will lose those soft skills.  Don’t do that.

I have been working from home for at least three months now (I don’t really have a concept of time), and there are 13 things I love about it:  

  1. I save time.  Rather than my workday beginning at least a half hour early (meaning when I leave the house), I simply walk into the next room.  All I have to do is pull up my Merriam-Webster, Slack app, and my proofreading manuals on Google Docs, as well as my work window.  I can get up every half hour and stretch (because editing for long periods is intense) to refresh my brain.
  2. I save gas.  Thus, I am able to keep more of my own money.  I also don’t have to sit in traffic, which has been a nightmare ever since Hurricane Ivan blew through.
  3. I am valued as an individual (I avoid the collective word, “team”) for my technical and writing skills—not for who I know or who I don’t know.  
  4. I don’t have to have “leadership” qualities, and I won’t be judged for not desiring those qualities.  
  5. No staff meetings, which I dreaded more than getting a pap.  No more being put on the spot, trying to figure out what I did wrong last week that can be an “opportunity” (to improve) the next.
  6. No artificial light.  When I worked for a grant-funded program that helped low-income students, I had my own office where I never turned on the overhead light but had a window with the best view on campus.  
  7. No extreme temperatures.  Every office I’ve worked in has its hot or cold days, but mine is always comfortable.
  8. No confining feminine undergarments.  I still dress as I would for an office job but more comfortably.  
  9. I make my own schedule.  Almost nowhere can you do this.  This is especially great since I am still going to school.  
  10. I can work anywhere.  If I do need a change of scenery, I can enjoy a nice day under a shade tree or a quiet corner in a library while I work.
  11. I don’t have to plan.  I don’t have to think about what to bring for lunch or make sure I bring money to buy it.  Either is a hassle.
  12. There is no bad time to take a bathroom break.  For someone who drinks as much water as I do, this is important.
  13. And the best of all?  No ringing telephones!  With email, you have time to think about your answer; with a telephone call, you generally have to come up with an answer right away.  This is why my friends know not to call what they can text.   

I don’t know what my future will be after I graduate but I have to say that every day, I learn something new and useful.  Being a proofreader has proven to be the most intellectually challenging job I have ever had—just as being a professional writing tutor has been the most challenging when it’s come to communicating concepts to others in a way that makes sense to them. 

As a proofreader, you don’t have to worry about making the other person a better writer; you’re just making the document better.  I like to think of myself as cleaning up the world’s written litter—one character at a time.

The Grammar Girl Returns

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Today is the day I start my Baccalaureate program as a Creative Writing major.  I was fortunate to be able to take two months off from work to read, write, and spend time with my family; I even got to catch up with friends.  I got back into the habit of strength training (as weightlifting doesn’t sound very feminine) and took up water aerobics; I’ve also focused on updating all my online presences (including my portfolio), professionalizing them for potential employers as well as uploading my resumes to all the usual suspects (e.g. Indeed, Glassdoor, etc.).  The university I am attending also provided invaluable feedback on my resume and cover letters.  

After refreshing my Upwork account, I was hired as an independent contractor to proofread documents submitted by Grammarly clients.  Even though I work from home, the job has a very Silicon Valley startup feel, which I love.  I am learning so much already; it’s a great gig.  Though there is nothing quite like being able to set your own hours, walk into the next room to go to work, and never answer a telephone, I will always be the type of person who has to have an outside job where I communicate face-to-face.  I’m a people person who also happens to be an introvert.

In addition to my jobs as an office assistant at uni and as a professional writing tutor, my plate will be full, but it will be full of things I enjoy, and that makes all the difference.  

Writerly and Grammarly,
Sarah Richards, Class of 2022

She’d graduated a Titan
before The New Millennium,
watching her training grounds
as a gladiator
in the public school arena
disappear.
Loosely prepared
to become a Pirate,
she laid down
her educational armor,
only to pick it up again
with eyes wide open,
diving head first
into the land of magnolias,
with their spinach green leaves
& mascarpone white petals.
Now, well-prepared
to become an Argonaut,
her armor fortified
with precious mettle,
she dove once more,
under graying canopies
of Spanish moss.
As a Titan,
she had brought home
the bronze medallion;
as a Pirate,
the silver chest;
but as an Argonaut,
she would put upon herself
the Golden Fleece
& battle with her wits
that had no end.

Poem-a-Day November 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #12. Theme: Disaster

Writing Lab Blues

Sometimes she just wanted to say,
“No capitalization,
No punctuation,
No service,”
or that the use of the words “thing” and “stuff”
& the overuse of “very” and “really”
qualified as “enough was enough.”
She was a 1000-piece puzzle
who lost a piece every time
she read an essay that sought to answer the question,
“Is Google Making Us Stupid?”
So, she learned to start from scratch—
just as she had learned to bake—
for as much as she learned the Why
(even though she already knew the How),
she also learned that patience
was a learned virtue—
& that it was easier to do than teach.

2018 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 12