Thoughts on the Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Subject: Thoughts on the Mad Hatter's Tea Party
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l digest recipients <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000 12:10:09 -0700

A couple of weeks ago, I asked for advice about telecommuting
long distances. Now that I've had my first commute, I'm very glad
I asked. Knowing what to expect made the whole experience much
more enjoyable and efficient, so my thanks again to everyone who

I don't know if my experience is typical, but here's what I would
add to the summary I posted a week ago:

1. Expect long work days. Marathon sessions that would seem
impossible in the daily office may be a necessity when you (and
several other members of the team) are telecommuting. One point
will lead to another, and twelve hour days will seem like
nothing. Develop a high capacity for coffee and other forms of
caffeine to help you through.

2. Because of the long work days, make sure you get a quiet place
to stay. You won't appreciate delegates to the World Pork Expo
making pigs of themselves in the evening outside your hotel

3. Take very thorough notes. As somebody else mentioned, take
some time in the evening (or first thing in the morning) to
organize them.

4. Campaign for the company to invest in some sort of groupware,
so that everyone can keep track of each other.

5. Make a connection with one of the local employees so that you
can get your daily cat fix (in my case, parrot), spend a few
minutes going mushy over a baby, or whatever else you're missing
about home. Similarly, get a map and get to know the city where
the head office is located. You'll feel less of an outsider.

6. In your last meeting of the trip, make a To Do list and
discuss it with the people you're working with. You should go
away with a clear sense of what you're going to do in the next
few days at home.

Other points, unrelated to tech-writing and telecommuting, but
worth mentioning:

1.) Don't try counting the number of quarter section farms in the
northern United States or the Canadian prairies. Other passengers
on the plane won't appreciate you taking off your shoes, and,
anyway, you don't have enough toes.

2.) Chicago's O'Hare airport is the best place in North America
(at least that I know about) for experiencing existential angst
on a stopover.

3.) In the American mid-West, chicken is a vegetable. Order child
portions unless you're interested in getting your weekly meat
ration in a single meal.

Bottom line? The commute gets old very fast, but it's a small
price for working in the comforts of home most of the month. And
if several of you are telecommuting, the days that you're all at
the office have a way of being high-energy and a bit of a

All in all, there are far worse things than travelling on
somebody else's money. I recommend the experience with few
reservations (so long as they're made three weeks in advance, and
include a Saturday stopover).
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"But for just one time, I would take a Northwest Passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea,
Tracing one warm line through a land so wide and savage,
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea."
- Stan Rogers, "Northwest Passage"

Previous by Author: Other Clients from Hell
Next by Author: RE: Trip Reports re: presentations
Previous by Thread: Re: Client from Hell redux (Long)
Next by Thread: RE. Why duplicate efforts? (Because it ain't duplication.)

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads