Last week I figured out I’ve been pretending to work from home. I found out that my 20 years of working from home has been a sham.
Thanks to my friend’s husband who claims her work-from-home job doesn’t really count because she doesn’t drive to an office every day, I realized I’ve been living a lie. Her husband hasn’t taken into account that she earns more working from home than he does in his corporate job. I guess income doesn’t matter…it’s where you work.
The truth hurts.
Who am I to think that I’m actually working with clients, earning more money than I did in my corporate job, and making a difference in people’s lives? Apparently, everything related to my business isn’t real.
I was so upset when I discovered this lie I’ve been living, I drove to another friend’s high-rise office to see a “real job” in action. My friend was supposed to meet me at 9:00, but she was stuck in traffic. She finally made it to the office at 9:20, grabbed a cup of coffee, and then showed me her office.
I looked at her desk. Interesting…it had a lap drawer and two file drawers on the side. My desk looks the same but I have to remind myself that I work at a pretend desk. Then I looked at her laptop. She uses a Dell while I use a MacBook Pro. Does having a Mac mean I don’t have a real business? Damn you, Steve Jobs! I counted on you to help me compete with the big guys.
During the short time I was in her office, three co-workers interrupted us to tell her about donuts in the conference room, to ask a question she had already answered the day before, and to find out where she wanted to go for lunch that day. Maybe her job is more real because there are other people working nearby.
As I ended my unscientific research project, I realized one major difference: she has a boss. There’s no boss in my pretend office, unless you count the family dog. At times he can be a bit demanding. I also realized that if pretending to work in my home office involves avoiding a commute, working without a boss and wearing comfortable clothes, I’m fine pretending to work every day.
It’s a good thing that the large check I just deposited from my major client cleared right away. I’m not good at pretending I don’t need the money.
So, I’m officially thanking my friend’s husband for helping me realize I’m actually pretending to work from home.
I only hope my clients understand.
Do you know anyone who thinks you’re not working because you work from home?