23 September 2010

Temp for Hire

I do the home office thing. In fact, I haven’t been to my company’s offices (any of them—we have two in Chicago’s Loop and nearly two hundred around the globe) in nearly three years. I’m not complaining, believe me. 

But sometimes it’s hard to really feel connected with my colleagues. We talk on the phone frequently. We instant message each other and exchange emails 24 hours a day, depending on where in the world everyone is. (For the record, when we’re all at our home bases we have one senior manager in Florida, one part-timer in the UK, two plus design team members in South Africa and me in Chicago.) When someone new joins our team, we share PowerPoint introductions of ourselves to put some personality behind the voices on the phone.

Of course, in addition to the rest of my life (and I do have one, I swear) some of the things I talk about besides work are the antics and activities of T2. I tend to refer to T2 as my officemates. They do actually fill a role similar to that of work friends, minus rehashing the latest television show—which I’m never up to date on anyway. When I need to step away from my computer for a breather, instead of going for coffee, we go for a walk. If I have to run one of them to the vet, I book it into my calendar just like I would any other meeting. When the weather is nice, we even “go to lunch” together, which essentially consists of me eating outside with a book while they work on their tans or their squirrel alert program.

When we brought Téa home, I introduced her to the team as our new temporary assistant. Later I upgraded her to a temp-to-perm position and finally sent out the official note welcoming her to the home team on a permanent basis. Last winter, we had an emergency foster situation with a sweet little pit we named Georgia. She was the fill-in while T2 were on PTO (paid time off, for those of you outside of the corporate, acronym-laden world). They spent their PTO at sleepover camp (as we like to call our boarding facility); three large females in one small condo is akin to too many cooks in the kitchen…on steroids. Most recently, we had little Scooby on the home office team—our intern.

I thought T2 weren’t really listening, and that even if they were listening it didn’t much matter since I am certain they only speak a little English (“dinner,” “walkies,” “sit,” “off,” to name a few). However, I’m starting to think that maybe they’re paying more attention than I realized….

Téa learns about social networking.

Isn't it break time yet? Coffee? Chicken jerky?

Management supervises.


  1. I love how they're your co-workers. I actually have a problem where our pooches are like the co-worker who hangs out in your cubicle too much...I can never get any work done at home because I am always too distracted and I want to sit and play with the dogs all day.

  2. I would love to work from home some, to be around the dogs more. Or bring one to work with me. It actually could work becuase I have my own office away from City Hall. But the powers that be would never go for it.

  3. i work for a family business so on good days motley(my pit) gets to go to work at the shop with me. he enjoys going to work more than me ha