Throughout the years, my husband Evan has worked in many diverse environments, holding an array of interesting professions: he traveled to hockey arenas all over the world as a professional hockey player; he repelled down high rise buildings as a high-rise rescue firefighter; he ran intense crossfire workouts as a gym owner; and now he is working as a business consultant from our bedroom in Grand Cayman.
Although the latter certainly sounds the least interesting, let me tell you friends – it is not. There are many aspects of working from your bedroom on an island that most people would never consider.
I can’t speak for Evan, but I do notice some definite perks of working from your bedroom. First and foremost, the commute cannot be beat. I couldn’t help but laugh one morning as my husband carried his coffee from the kitchen to the bedroom boasting, “Looks like there’s no traffic today!” In addition, attire is never a concern for Evan. He typically sports a t-shirt and shorts daily. Occasionally, if he has an important Skype meeting, he will throw on a collared shirt, though he still pays absolutely no attention to what he is wearing down below. Genius.
On the other hand, working from home is not without its disadvantages. Evan occasionally gets cabin fever, seeking any opportunity to leave the house after the work day has finished. It can also be difficult to “turn off” the work day, as it’s more tempting to work longer hours if he knows he has a project to finish and it’s right there in front of him. But I would guess that the biggest disadvantage of working from home is controlling your environment so that it appears as professional as possible. Unfortunately, I have definitely interfered with Evan’s professionalism on a few occasions. I try to avoid “Evan’s office” while he is working, however, he works long hours and sometimes I need to get into the room and change or get something out of the bathroom. It’s inevitable… it’s where we live!
Evan’s desk is facing the window and his back faces our master bath. If he is on a Skype call with video, occasionally, at a particular angle, it is possible for the client to see into our bathroom. On one occasion, I had entered the bathroom, closed the door, and proceeded to do my business when my cat head-butted the door open, exposing me on the toilet. Luckily on that specific occasion, Evan’s camera was off. Nonetheless, Evan has had co-workers inquire from time to time after the noises they overhear: “Was that the toilet flushing?” Ummm… no?
One particular incident a few months ago currently ranks as the worst case of professionalism-hijacking that I have ever been responsible for…
Although I was celebrating “Remembrance Day” on island, Evan was not, as he works for an American company. Attempting to stay out of his way on my day off, I quietly snuck into the bedroom, err, I mean Evan’s office, to change into my bikini – it was pool time! I exited the bathroom in my bikini, taking the sneaky route around Evan’s computer camera, and began to leave the room. Dundee, my little white dog, was sleeping peacefully under Evan’s desk. Suddenly, Dundee jumped up and began running over to me. At the time, Dundee was on moving restrictions due to a recent back surgery. Panicking, I quickly bounded toward my little white dog, carefully picked him up, and put him back on his bed. About 10 minutes later, I re-entered the room to grab my sunscreen. Wouldn’t you know, Dundee jumped up AGAIN! I quietly picked him up and carefully put him back down in his bed, under Evan’s desk. The same event repeated itself an hour later when I returned from the pool.
I had no idea what Evan was doing at the time of the Dundee save – my focus was simply to be as quiet as possible so there weren’t any background noises. Sometimes he is on a call with a client or a coworker, sometimes he is working independently at a project, and sometimes he is running a training seminar for a large group of people who do not know that he works from his bedroom in the Cayman Islands. Mostly Evan works with the camera off and occasionally, he works with his camera on. When Evan’s work day ended on this particular day, he came out of our bedroom/his office and sat down on the couch next to me.
“So, today when you were in the bedroom, I was running a training seminar with my camera on.”
“And there were 22 gyms from all over the world on camera.”
“So… yeah. A LOT of people saw you wandering around the bedroom, carrying a little white dog… in your bikini.”
“Do you think they really noticed though? I was so quick…” I countered sheepishly.
“Um. Yeah. I could see clients pointing, looking at each other and mouthing, What the F#$% was that?”
“I actually got a Skype text message from a coworker that said, ‘I see your wife is going to the pool today.'”
“I finally decided to address it because people were distracted,” he continued.
“Oh… What did you say?”
“I told them that it was a holiday on the island, my wife was going to the pool, and I apologized for the distraction.”
Right. Oops. Well that sounded like a professional explanation.
Conclusion: turns out I was not quite as unobtrusive as I had thought. I wonder what these people – strangers to Evan – were thinking? Here’s a guy – supposedly the expert – presenting a training seminar with a bikini-clad blonde and little white dog galavanting around his office multiple times throughout his presentation. Perhaps I helped them to pay a little closer attention? Silver lining? I would argue that Evan’s clients would closely follow all of his recommendations so that they, too, could someday have such an exciting office, don’t you think?
But damn – talk about a screw up.
Does anyone else out there work from their home in the islands? Any similar rock-life office mishaps to share?