January 24, 2006

Telecommutation Tango


P1000371
Originally uploaded by billyjoebob.
It's all very well, punkin, to decide that one is going to become a teleworker.

It's a remarkably refreshing experience to awaken in the AM and think "I have no meetings today, I don't think I'll go into the office". To decide, punkin, on a whim, that one will wear pyjamas ALL DAY.

But there are substantial barriers to entry for this lifestyle choice. First and foremost, one has to be able to undertake one's professional role in locations other than one's office. Obviously, with your dad's job, that involves having ready access to the interwebtron and a computer capable of undertaking common document design tasks.

Unfortunately, punkin, your incredibly clever mother is simultaneously undertaking the same kind of seismic employment status shift, and keyboard and bandwidth real estate issues have begun to appear.

Your father, being the resourceful and technically proficient individual that he is, investigated the ways around this problem and set about fixing them (and here, punkin, is the rub) for as little money as possible.

So when your uncle harry's wireless modem/router kicked the bucket, I rejoiced. Because, you see, only the modem part had died. Thinking that I already had a dsl modem, I thought that it might be possible for me to use the routery bits for my own nefarious purposes.

Whoops.

With some help from your uncle harry, we got the router plugged in and installed, and then found the wireless network from my laptop. All well and good, I was getting 11mbps throughput, I could see the other computer and everything was rosy.

But I couldn't get on the internet.

So we looked at some settings and figured out that, because the two computers belonged to different domains, I needed to swap the workgroup of my laptop to match that of the PC. So I did. Without adding any users to that workgroup. Not knowing the administrator password for my laptop (because it's a work laptop).

So when I rebooted, punkin, I couldn't log on. Which is a bit of a problem when you're planning to spend all day at home working on a document that you have already sitting on your hard drive.

So your mother drew the short straw today, and got to be the person who spent all day in her pyjamas because I had to go into the office and tell the guys in the IT department how I'd broken my computer. Luckily I chanced into a meeting that I'd missed out on being invited to, but the upshot of this incredibly long-winded preamble is that I was the one who took you to daycare this morning.

I had so far managed to avoid being the person who dropped you off. I've been there with your mum when she's dropped you off, but I've never actually done it myself before.

So I wasn't prepared.

I wasn't prepared for putting you down among all the toys and turning around to talk to Gina and having you crawl up to me and put your arms around my leg.

I wasn't prepared for putting you back in with all the toys, and watching the realisation that I was going to leave you there steal across your face like a thundercloud scudding across an otherwise sunny sky.

I wasn't prepared when you burst into tears.

I wasn't prepared for how I felt when I turned my back on you, for the sharp flush of shame that ran over my body and through my hair, and my shoulders dropped and I walked back down that corridor and it was the longest walk of my life.

I wasn't prepared for trying to drive to work, blinking away the tears while I wrestled with the morning commuter traffic.

I wasn't prepared for how it made me feel - to make YOU feel like I was letting you down, abandoning you, leaving you behind.

I need to write this now, to the future you, to the boy, to the man that I know you'll become. I'll never let you down, Bramble. I'll never abandon you. I'll never leave you behind.

They say that boys spend their whole lives trying to make their dads proud of them.

People who say that, punkling,

aren't Dads.



Love you.

1 comment:

Pol said...

damn your eyes Bill, I'm at work here, trying to disguise my trears.

You bastard, I was totally unprepared for that.

You are a good man.