Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for office

I work in horrible conditions.

My office is a tiny cramped space, shared with several other objects (ironing board, sewing machine, Xena's books, Viv's gym equipment, a closet full of Viv's cricket clothes, an old computer table that we need to trash, random objects that Xena has decided to decorate the floor with). There is no air-conditioning, no ceiling fan, and the only source of moving air is this EuropAce standing ventilation system, which has many fancy buttons - evaporator, ion, timer, oscillate and speed - none of which are functional anymore. Except the on/off button. There is no point buying a new one now, since our home renovation will start in two weeks, and an air-conditioner and a ceiling fan will be installed. (The fact that after it's all nice and fancy, it will cease to be my office and become Xena's room is another thing.)

So yes, as I was saying I work in horrible conditions in a rundown office. I can, of course, walk to the 'pantry' to 'grab a tea' any time I want, except that when I walk into the pantry, I'm greeted by the sight of a pile of dishes that need immediate attention, and an empty tea jar because the useless pantry lady (aka me) forgot to buy tea.

Like many offices, April is a crazy month for my office too. Not because of the financial year-end work though, but because I'm the only employee doing everything. And it doesn't help at all when my khadoos boss walks in when I've just settled down to do some tedious work, breathes down my neck and says, "Mama, come let's PLAY!"

Usually, due to Viv's annual trip, I plan my work for April really really meticulously. But Uncle Murphy always visits around this time of the year. Isn't that the best time ever, especially this year, with Viv travelling, and my 298472398423894 commitments (Xena, work, play dates, daily blogging, cooking, cleaning, selling furniture, donating stuff, packing to move in two weeks, organising a neighbour's baby shower, etc.)? Grrrr.

I can plan and schedule as much as I want, but I can't control the delays on the publishers' side and because, in their words, "the final publication date is, of course, immovable", I've been finding myself working crazy hours. And sometimes they change their mind and the concept itself undergoes a change because Marketing wants something else. And it's always in April that I find myself going mad. MAD.

It's also around this time that Xena, the usually super sweet angelic Xena, goes all ballistic on me. Refuses to eat, refuses to drink milk, refuses to sleep, refuses to wake up for school. And of course, refuses to let me work. Her motto is "As long as I'm awake, not an iota of Mama's work, whether it is cooking or the dishes or her writing work, shall be done."

In stark contrast, she lets Viv work all he wants. Of course, his work can all be done on his laptop and there's not much for her to pull, tear or scribble on, compared to the A2-sized hard copy proofs that I work on. So on the rare weekends that he doesn't have cricket, I lock myself in my office and let no one in. Surprisingly, if he wants to work on his laptop, she lets him. If he wants to vacuum and mop, she lets him. Grrrr again. Grrrenvy, in fact.

A few weeks ago, in the run-up leading to his trip, he said he needed to go to his office during the weekend.

"Sorry. No can do." I said. I had a big deadline that weekend.

"I'll take her with me." He said.

I laughed. I guffawed. I rolled on the floor. Then I rolled my eyes.

"You will take her to work?? To your office? You will take THIS child to your OFFICE for a whole DAY and you will get WORK done? HA HA HA."

But he said he will figure out a way to keep her occupied and so they went. I wished him good luck.

Of course, I was hoping to hear about how he couldn't get ANYTHING done, and had to get back home in two hours. And as you guessed it, that didn't happen. He sent me pictures. Pictures that made me almost fall off my desk.

Here she is, happily eating her snack at his desk. While he works.

Here she is, happily colouring. While he works. 

Here she is, posing with her afternoon milk. While he works.

Here she is, ACTUALLY DRINKING IT! BY HERSELF! While he works.

And this one just takes the cake and the icing and the whole cake box. Here she is, napping. NAPPING. IN HIS OFFICE. While he works. 

Why, Lord, why? Why him? Why not me??



Visitlife said...

I am a work from home mom too and exactly the same thing happens with me. When I am working, my 3 year old needs all the attention. He even persists that I shut down my laptop. Right NOW!

But when my husband works, he says, Papa kaam kar rahe hain mamma..

It is probably due to the fact that they are used to their dad's absence but not to mamma's. Lucky we. Isn't it?

Nikita said...

you have my complete sympathy. :) atleast she is letting one of you work. my daughter doesnt do anything without constant one on one attention and shes older than xena :)

Keirthana said...

Ha ha, I feel sorry for you. Maybe she is so used to see you doing things at home that she doesn't mind bugging you but Viv's office is a different place. But that's just the consolation I can offer you :)

Arun said...

I agree, it does not seem fair!

Sayesha said...

It's the same everywhere then! :O

My sympathies... :)

Thanks anyway. :)

This mommy portfolio ain't easy, man!