Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Telecommuting and Proud of It!

Wednesday March 20, 10:52 a.m.

Monday night was apparently a hellish one for TTC least, more so than usual. Satan must've been stoking the fires a little harder. It seemed to be a perfect storm of emergency buzzers (one for a fight that broke out on a subway...odd, it's not even the weekend) and one dangerous incident in which the doors suddenly opened on a moving packed subway. The response from the TTC was interesting, though. The top brass, including a pale-looking CEO Andy Byford, went on video to publicly apologize for the lousy service. That struck me as a very Japanese thing to do....mind you, he didn't bow deeply, but still, it was a good thing. Commuters were understandably only fairly charitable to the apology....after decades of lousy service, it's gonna take more than a mea culpa to fix things between The Better Way and the unhappy customers.

When I saw that transportation disaster happen on TV, I just thanked my circumstances that I now work from home. Yup, I'm a grateful telecommuter. Since I tap on my computer all day as a translator, I now just leave my home only to either take that needed walk or go downtown because I want to, not because I have to. There was that big news in business in which some of the large companies such as Yahoo or Google (not sure which) recently rescinded the telecommuting policy and forced all employees to return to the ship and batten down the hatches...perhaps nervous that some of those formerly far-flung employees were taking advantage of working at home or at the nearest Starbucks.

To be honest, there are some people who are just not made out to be telecommuters. The temptations are too great: easy access to regular TV and no access by the powers-that-be to look over your shoulder. It's like being back at university. Some students study better by being at the campus library. Some workers are more productive being in the cubicles. As for me, I seem to be able to exercise far more discipline when it comes to my translating work than when it comes to my weight. If I get an assignment, I get at it until it's done. Mind you, my interest in TV has waned down to a nub and frankly I like my job.

Still, it seems as if this sudden switch in the trend of telecommuting is very localized. According to a newspaper article, people being given sanction to work in the comfort of their homes is still alive and well and probably will not be reversed unless the economy really tanks.