Working from Peter’s Tex-Mex, Beijing.
The biggest upside to my job is that I have reached a point in my career where technology and my position enable me to work from anywhere.
The biggest downside to my job is that I have reached a point in my career where technology and my position require me to work from just about everywhere.
So when I read an email from a colleague with a more conventional work geography that on Friday he would “WFH,” i.e., “work from home,” naturally, that made me think of all of the places from which I find myself working. As a result, I have begun to use a much richer range of acronyms to describe where I work.
My current glossary is as follows, based on frequency:
WFH – Working from Home – I’m at home, but I’m working. Really.
WFHO – Working from Home Office – At home, at my desk, doors closed, head down, ass up; not just sitting in the kitchen reading email on my phone or sitting on the back porch thinking about a client while watching the seagulls argue.
WFC – Working from Car – Stuck in traffic, or somewhere between major cities, probably on a conference call. Or two. Or three. I spend so much time working from my car that my wife has taken to calling me The Traveling Salesman. I know: sounds like the set up for a dirty joke.
WFA – Working from Airport – Trying to get everything done before my flight because a) the space between rows on the plane is too small for me and my laptop to occupy simultaneously, and b) I like to look out of the window.
WFP – Working from Plane – Will happen just as soon as a) I can afford to fly first class and b) I get tired of looking out of the window.
WFL – Working from Lodging – Some kind of Marriott. Brewing coffee. Probably not fully clothed. “Do Not Disturb” sign on door.
WFLO – Working from Local Office – They’ve found me a cubby. I’m trying to fit.
WFS – Working from Starbucks – Strictly for the baked goods and the Wi-Fi. Probably in China
WFTX – Working from Taxi – Holding on with one hand because there are no seatbelts. Definitely in China.
WFT – Working from Train – Roomy seats. Easy pace. No hassles. Arriving on time. But no Wi-Fi (oh, darn!)
WFM – Working from Meeting – Probably should be paying attention, but shooting off some emails anyway.
WFCO – Working from Campout – In a folding chair just outside my tent. I probably should be whittling or something. Hold on while I remind this scout to ask his Senior Patrol Leader.
WFRV – Working from RV – Somewhere beautiful, friendly, and comfortable. I love the hum of generators in the morning. Folding chair, lap table, under the awning.
WFOB – Working from Onboard – I’m on a boat. I’m working. Yes, I’m insane.
WFSS – Working from Son’s School – Getting condescendingly indulgent looks from High School kids, appreciative glances from overworked librarian. Wearing a tweed coat. Pretending to be the new history teacher.
WFUL – Working from University Library – I can’t decide whether this is making me feel young again, or REALLY old.
WFPL – Working from Public Library – Watching a homeless guy read Kierkegaard’s Either/Or while talking to the ghost of Regine Olsen.
WFB – Working from the Bar – Email and Margaritas. Pathetic imitation of Hunter S. Thompson or Somerset Maugham, depending on part of the world I am in.