This morning, my husband was delighted to hear that today was Bring Your Pet to Work Day. It began when I noticed our two fluffy boy-cats, Andy and Louie, lurking around the back door looking wistful. I decided I was not in the mood put up with their whining and laziness one more Monday.
Hence, I fabricated this special day and obtained buy-in from my equally silly husband. In fact, he suggested that our other three pets: Adele, a small turquoise fish named after the vocal great, Professor Foo Boo , a beautiful orange and black parrot fish, and Hoover, our stealthy Plecostamus- all go to work with me today. “You are going to work today, aren’t you?” he asked me with a gleam in his eye.
Like most entrepreneurs, I started my two-year old language school here at home. It was fun to hold classes at my spacious dining room table. As enrollment, grew I moved all those enthusiastic mini-linguists to our covered patio. Dancing around the outdoor classroom, Jose Luis Orozco serenading us with “Guantanamera” from the purple metallic boom box in the corner I believed my budding language school was on its way to greatness.
Then, the season changed and we had to move classes back into the house. That meant keeping the kitchen counters clean, having enough plastic glasses and ice to appease squirrely students with ‘agua fresco’ and, of course, preparing our family’s bathroom for public use. Those days of having a sparkly new home-based business are long gone. Between the home-preparation factor and the family invasion factor I fantasize daily about hanging my multicultural language school shingle anywhere but here.
I have the cleanest desk in the family which works great for me. Unfortunately it also works well for my husband, 12-year old daughter and the two aforementioned cats. I’ll admit, I don’t spend hours and hours in my office like some entrepreneurs, because A) After 40 minutes on the computer, the screen gives me a headache and B) I become antsy staying in one room for two long. (A case of adult ADD? Probably.) I do like my office setting tidy, however, whether I am on premises or not.
During the times I am not working at my desk, there might as well be a large neon sign hanging above it, shouting “Desk Free to Use! Mom Not Here!” Nine times out of ten when I swing by to check email or compose a quick lesson plan, I am unable to do so.
The cats have sprawled across my immaculate work-space to take their afternoon naps, the husband has left his eBAY notes, travel itineraries, photo print outs, etc., all over my desk, and/or my daughter is sitting at my computer getting her pre-teen electronic fix.
When I move my business out, and it won’t be long now, I can begin life anew. Dirty dishes in the sink, laundry baskets back on top of the washer (instead of in the hall closet) and cats sleeping on someone else’s desk. My self-created cubicle and I will finally be free.