October 8, 2013

The Zen Art of Working from Bed

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Congratulations! You have found yourself in a line of work that allows for working from home! Pat yourself on the back and go grab another yoghurt cup out of the fridge, because you don’t have to see a human today! But why stop there? Why merely work from home, with all of its “rooms” and “desk” and “potential for mobility”? Why not kick working at home into high gear by not even getting out of bed?

But my bed is for sleeping and farting and sexy times only, you silly girl! Perhaps you cry in protest. Open your minds, sheeple! That’s just what the powerful chair lobbies want you to think! Working from bed isn’t a hobby, it’s a lifestyle: staying in bed should be as important a goal as actually getting work done. It helps to think in the same terms you did when you were five: the floor is lava, and if you touch it you die. You can only call time-out for emergencies like a full bladder or a depleted stockpile of individually wrapped string cheese. But working from bed isn’t kiddy-time amateur hour (despite the SpongeBob SquarePants throw blanket at the foot of your bed); it takes a certain level of dedication, and there are a few things, both good and bad, you should expect:

1. A jacked up spine

Just as with any professional goal, a few personal sacrifices will need to be made in order to succeed. In this case, you should just go ahead and expect a fucked up back for the rest of your life. Jam all the pillows and ergonomic stuffed recliners behind you that you want, you’re still going to end up slouched into a twisted-up half-comma with your comforter wedged between your knees and your laptop on your pelvis, slowly boiling away any hope you had of conceiving children.

2. You’ll have clothes on for about four of the twenty-four hours in a day

“Blankets aren’t clothes, Katie!” My mother always used to tell me when I’d come trotting down the stairs wrapped in my bright green comforter. Also, “breakfast meats are meant for sharing!” And sometimes “It’s ok, Katie! Lots of little girls at school get pennies stuck in their noses!” Well I BEG TO DIFFER, MOTHER. Breakfast meats can’t be shared if you live alone, so checkmate! Also, nobody else had ever gotten a penny stuck in their nose; I asked! And I can wear my blankets as clothes! Who besides the Jimmy John’s guy when he knocks on the door is going to stop me?! You have an entire bed full of cloth garments with which to cover your sinful naked form, just so long as you don’t get out of bed. Problem is, day after day of your processed food-filled pores rubbing all up in your sheets and whatnot can make things a little…grimy.

3. Your “work space” will soon become a gross pile of sweaty foody greasy grossness

Our body temperatures naturally rise when we’re asleep; that’s why we often like sleeping in cooler rooms (I don’t mean “cooler” as in “has a ping pong table”). Personally, I often find myself waking up sweaty and hot as balls in the morning. Then I get up, go pee, make four scrambled eggs and a big ol’ glass of milk, and squat myself right back in a cushy pool of my own sweat for another eight hours. Eew. Not to mention the mountain of crumbs and foodstuffs that surrounds your form while you try to eat a ham sandwich with no hands and type at the same time. So unless you like it when your fitted sheet becomes a diorama of a beach, with the crumblies as the sand and the pools of sweat as the ocean, you might want to consider popping the sheets in the wash more often than once every birthday/half-birthday.

4. Your level of productiveness in work will be inversely proportional to your desired physical output

Just hammered out a particularly troubling paragraph, did you? Well pat yourself on the back, partner! You’re getting shit done! But oooooh, you need to flip the overhead light on, and the light switch is a full THREE FEET from the edge of your bed! You strain and strain and even attempt to will the light switch on with your as-yet unhoned Jedi mind powers, but alas. Well grab a pen, MacGyver! Still can’t reach? Go ahead and put one hand on the ground, arch your back and stretch like a wonky shrimp. Got it? Well done! Edison himself would be proud of your innovativeness. Pretty soon you’re going to get pissy that you actually have to type things, using your fingers and movement, and start yelling commands at your laptop that doesn’t recognize voice commands.

5. Napping output will be up 150%

You’re already in bed, head propped up by a cushy pillow full of angel feathers and dreams. There’s just a 45° rotation between you and a quick snooze in the fetal position. Rolling onto your side and making sure the laptop doesn’t go crashing to the ground sound like too much work for you? Fine! Just nap as you are! Your head will probably loll to the side and you’ll start drooling onto your own chest, but you’re going to have to hose down the whole disgusting operation once you finally get out of bed anyway. TC mark

This post originally appeared on The Tangential.

Katie Sisneros

I am a PhD candidate in English Literature at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. I am a co-founder of The …

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