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Why I Work From My Home...

I've been thinking lately about working in an office with other folks as a wage slave vs. working out of my home for the biggest slave driver in the world, me. At Arthur Andersen, we saw so many different tax issues that chances were someone had seen the issue you had a question about and was willing to share knowledge (while billing the time to your client, of course). I liked being a contractor at one company because I could just go to my office and work through tax returns. I didn't have to attend meetings and birthday parties (though I was usually invited). I didn't have to ask my coworkers how they were feeling and actually listen. Don't get me wrong. I like listening to people describe their lives. But during tax season, what I want to do is crunch tax returns. We'll catch up after the deadline, ok?

What I like about the type of tax work I do is that it does involve talking to people and finding things out about their lives. My ability to listen is how I figure out what should go on their tax return and why. And then my head goes down and I crunch numbers. So once a year, I'm very interested in people's lives and doings. Four times a year if I do estimated taxes. When I prepare returns I see patterns in how our tax system works and how the economy is affecting my clients. For example, the people who get to deduct medical expenses are usually senior citizens on limited incomes, especially if they went to the dentist last year. Dentistry gets wickedly expensive.

I like not having a commute. Here in this area, commutes can be an hour each way. Such a waste of time! I get up at 5:30 and I'm in my office checking email before 6AM. And at about 7:30PM, I shut the computer down. Though I have days when it's more intense than that. And somewhere in there, I check on my daughter's homework. And sometimes run to the grocery store for those much needed food items. Personal hygiene can sometimes go hang for a day...no one is going to see me when I didn't shower. And not wearing stockings or a suit? Priceless.

So I find this an efficient way to work. I get a lot done in those 12+ hours (which will probably increase to 16 shortly). I get to play my music at full blast for much of that time without worrying whether anyone else likes my taste in music. But most of all, I have office cats.

I don't know how I ever lived without them. At first they kept crawling in my lap or behind me in the chair. But now we've worked out a compromise. Benny has been given his own chair and I have to give Phineas my flannel shirt to keep him from harassing Benny. If Benny leaves, Phineas takes over the chair. These are the primary two office cats, the ones who seem to have taken on the wearisome burden of keeping an eye on me to make sure I'm really working.

Note the multiple computers in use...three of 'em.

So that's why I don't post much to the blog at this time of year. Not only does no one want to hear about my life when they're so busy, but my clients would say, "hey, where's my tax return if you have time to blog?"

Oh wait. Never mind. This entry was posted by felines. Really.

Frog Out



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 31st, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
Ok. Talk about confluence - just this morning Miss Mew said she thought she might like to come to work with me :) (quite seriously!). (I work out of the house by choice - the office environment is better for me, by and large).
Apr. 2nd, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
cybernetic office cats would seem to be the answer (see below) to having a cat in one of them office environments. Doesn't quite solve the music issue, though. Sometimes one needs to get away. One needs that contact and interaction. But for what I'm doing right now, focus is key.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 31st, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
And on April 16th, the Mighty Oz goeth Splat.

What do the cats do when they no longer have to do taxes?
Apr. 2nd, 2011 02:51 pm (UTC)
They pine because I'm more likely to be out and about and not sitting where they can keep an eye on me. Phineas especially seems to pine when I'm gone for a day or two.
Apr. 2nd, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
Ack! But all is input now, so it's onward to reviewing and asking questions.
Mar. 31st, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
I prefer all my hired professionals to have office cats at hand.
Apr. 2nd, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
And so you should. I now have two chairs in here. It's getting crowded.
Mar. 31st, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC)
Great bookshelves, and gorgeous cats! (I know, I have tunnel vision.) I think my boy Cairo may be a long-lost cousin to your kitties.
Apr. 2nd, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
No, Cairo is unusual and very beautiful. Benny is a Pixie Bob and has nice markings, but Phineas is pure alley cat, rescued from a feral colony as a kitten. He's a total doodlehead, but a really companionable office cat. I'm watching him now...I've put two chairs side by side and he's the first office cat to arrive and he can't make up his mind which chair he should settle into. Doodlehead, going back and forth between them. (At least he's not trying to insist on my lap or my desktop.)
Mar. 31st, 2011 11:36 pm (UTC)
Hard working office cats! In my neck of the woods, Pif has to do the work of two or three.
Apr. 2nd, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)
Pif is very busy. These guys can take a lot of coffee breaks. Which reminds me...Miss E recently learned that Garfield had a thing for coffee. I'd forgotten that about him. She was reading a cat magazine that said to never give your cats coffee, despite Garfield's taste for it. Phineas is so wired he needs playtime several times a day, not coffee.
Apr. 1st, 2011 01:23 pm (UTC)
I've recently started working from home, too. Love the commute! And of our four kitties, Toonces and Koushka split office cat duties fairly evenly. (Except for days where there is an "office party" - a.k.a. 'Wendy has tuna for lunch.')
Apr. 2nd, 2011 02:57 pm (UTC)
Isn't the commute heavenly? Bedroom to office by way of the coffee maker. Some days there's quite a traffic jam, cats underfoot, and it can take all of two minutes instead of one!
Apr. 1st, 2011 03:14 pm (UTC)
If only you could have cybernetic cats, who are also computers.
Apr. 2nd, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC)
despite the lack of cybernetics, they seem to be doing a fairly good job of calculating your meal per diems. Benny has that extra 'thumb' to count on, so he can do the really long trips.
Apr. 2nd, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
Your office and my office are not that dissimilar -- books and cats and bookcases! But I have a bigger desk. My desk is the size of the bow of the Titanic.
Apr. 2nd, 2011 03:01 pm (UTC)
The desk with the desktop mac (old, old, old) is out of sight toward the window. That's just my typing table that used to be Miss E's feeding station as a baby. Handy thing. I have to have the desk clean to spread the tax input and last year's stuff and my lists and lists. Usually the laptops are flipped and the mac is in front. The dell is just for tax time.
Apr. 13th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
Love your site man keep up the good work

Apr. 13th, 2011 04:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for posting, I like this blog!

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )