Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Night Owls and Constipated Cavemen


In the interests of marital bliss I continually try and see the world through the eyes of an early bird like my wife, but sadly cohesive intelligent, even vaguely logical thought doesn't commence in my world until at least noon. Only after a decent luncheon will my faculties shift into a higher gear, only to stall a little just before afternoon coffee.

I used to think I was a lone owl, but I now realise there are others like me, other folk that hit their prime time around 9pm, when most wives, partners and employers are winding down their synaptic activity. It may or may not surprise you to know that most night owls work in IT/ Internet related vocations, a category I fall into myself.

This catatonic early morning zombfication is something that has dogged me throughout my professional life and is a part of the reason I now work for myself. Every job I ever had from paper boy, right up to the last time I had a job commuting to London I've had to get up early, and have failed spectacularly at even coming close to managing such a simple task. Most people that did paper rounds have fond memories of generous Christmas tips and the wonder of catching a glimpse of a world before others woke. My memories of my three years as a paperboy consist mostly of my poor father putting the boot into the end of my bed after yet another phone call from the owner of the newsagents, wanting to know why I had failed again to acquiesce to his request to deliver newspapers before 8am. Several times the manager of the newsagents would think he was belittling me by asking if I thought I was worth the £6 a week he paid me, I could always appear the bootlicker by agreeing that I was not. Nobody ever considers themselves well enough paid, and rising in the middle of the night to carry a sack of papers heavier than a pot bellied pig wasn't worth £6, it was worth more like £10,000!

One aspect of working for ones self that most people don't appreciate is that us homeworkers put in longer hours than office staff. While my friends consider me the epitome of sloth for laying in my filthy pit till around 10am I can guarantee you that none of them will still be toiling at their keyboards the many hours past 5pm I put in every day. While you're reading this I'm sure some of you are probably sniffing the air and quietly enquiring whether that strange odour is in fact the smell of burning martyr. You are quite wrong; I am happy I have found a way of keeping the wolves at bay that suits me perfectly. I may not answer my phone at 7am, I may have the telephone charisma of constipated caveman undergoing a self inflicted twig enema at any time up to lunch, but I can promise you I'll still be working at 7pm most nights, and the job will be done well. Unless I fancy making a short film of the cats, or taking photos of clouds or something else utterly unrelated to the office work, in which case I'll get back to you within an hour or so!