Monday, November 30, 2009

To Work Alone (But I Repeat Myself)

[Editor's Note: Something like three years old, this one is.]
{Author's Note: Something like Yoda, that comment was. An editor there is not}

I work alone.

Not always, of course, but generally. This was not always the case.

I've worked in about every kind of work setting. Mill building. Clean room. School. Office. Concrete block building. Ditch. Shed. Barroom. Boat. Hospital. Home. Above ground. Below. Hot. Cold. Dry. Damp. Boring. Terrifying.

The vagary that makes any setting go is the other people. And now there aren't any.

I've been responsible for hundreds of employees at one time, and just a few at others. Hundreds of employees is much easier. When you only have two, and one is named "Rob," and you find out that "rob" is a verb, not a noun, you've got a fifty percent failure rate. I had a guy constantly found sleeping at his workstation "working" for me once. He was just one in a hundred. No big deal.

But to work alone is to be your own annoyance. You're the laziest, stupidest person present. There is always a person to encourage sloth -- you; but there is never anyone to shame you into holding up your end. You've got both ends. And the end in the middle.

Sometimes, the light is good. The tools are sharp. The wood is flat. The mosquitoes are on vacation. Your shoes fit. There are no splinters. Whatever you look for is on the shelf. The dimensions add up. Vivaldi comes on the radio. The money comes. The floor is swept. Nothing is late. The phone does not ring unwonted. The blade does not wander.

And when all that happens...

How the hell would I know? I'd settle for two of those things at the same time. I'm all alone.


Anonymous said...

I would have given the wife's eye teeth for my well worn tennies yesterday -re: the shoes fitting part.

Twas my brainless initiative to show my parents that, at long last, I can wear sensible shoes like any other American standout.

What an utterly bonehead move on my part. It's what happens when I work alone.


Anonymous said...

ed in texas

And not just two at one time. Sometimes any two in some remote sequence would be nice.

Clarke Green said...

Nailed it.

Are you, like myself, basically incapable of working with other people for any extended period of time?

SippicanCottage said...

Clarke- I've been an enthusiastic part of larger organizations. I always got the impression I was the only one with that attitude, though. People crave "jobs," and hate them.

Golden West said...

I enjoyed this just as much as the first go-round - well said!

Thud said...

I want my cake and eat it as I enjoy working alone but in close proximity to others.

SippicanCottage said...

Thud- You are different than I. When I am alone, I am in bad company.