ASH AMBIRGE

Author, CEO & Founder

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Dear Friends: I Work From Home. (And Yes, It’s a Real Job.)

In: Business Pet Peeves

Dear Friends,

I work from home.

You know this, because you regularly:

  1. Ask me to get Little Billy off the bus. (Little Billy needs some god damn Ritalin.)
  2. Exclaim, “must be nice!” at least once a week.
  3. Roll your eyes when I tell you I'm tired. (How dare I have the right to be tired when all I do is stay home and watch TV and nap?)
  4. Ask me over and over what I do for a living, because you're either never listening, or you can't understand the internet. (Pro tip: Angrily pounding the keyboard does not make you type faster.)

Because somehow, you seem to think that “work from home” means “click things on Facebook while absentmindedly staring out window in an existential puddle of regret and disgust—and maybe even week-old urine.

Because even though I now make approximately 40 bazillion dollars more than I did as an employee (rough estimate), you still regularly suggest ways I could “pick up some extra work,” or tell me “you know some places that are hiring”—usually accompanied by a set of pity eyes and a there-there pat on the head—before going back to talking about yourself.

Maybe you haven't noticed, but while your rapidly declining derrière has been vacuum-sealed in between two black plastic armrests, I've been traveling to these things called countries, meeting these creatures called humans, having these things called experiences, making these miracles called memories, doing those things you gasped at in 50 Shades of Grey, and building these assets called companies—all of which take an incredible amount of money and energy. (Especially the 50 Shades of Grey thing). So no, I'm not actually interested in walking the neighborhood dogs, thanks, but I'll be sure to pass the riveting opportunity along to the next 14 year old I see.

Then again, I guess I don't see many 14 year olds these days, or anybody, for that matter, since I'm “all cooped up in there” and “really need to get out.” You know what I need? A pair of pliers. Then, every time you try to guilt me into leaving so you can use me as your drinking buddy, your wingwoman, your babysitter or your psychiatrist, I can slowly pry off my fingernails, one by one, just for fun.

Then again, you probably wouldn't notice, given that the last time I saw you, you looked at me mid-conversation and said,

“Wait, so I'm confused. You make websites, right? Like a web designer?”

You made that comment 6 years after I started my writing company, so I can only think that you were texting during every single conversation we've had over the last half-decade.

It's ironic, really, when you tell me I'm “in my own little world.”

While I certainly don't expect you to know which 3-D shapes I carve into my cha-cha, I would assume that, as my friend, you might want to know how I'm paying for your dinner tonight, since inevitably I'll end up offering.

What I want to know is this: When did you stop caring? Was it when smart phones replaced real conversations? When “friends” became anyone who sent you a request? Or when the neverending barrage of dings and pop-ups and streams slowly chipped away at your ability to pay attention to anything for more than a solid 3 seconds?

I know you don't get it, or any of “that online stuff I do,” but that doesn't give you the right to blatantly disrespect my hard work, or worse, act like I don't work at all.

I had the spine to go after the life I wanted, the career I wanted, and the experiences I wanted, and it's paid off. I didn't do it to spite you, or to make you angry with yourself, or to make you suffer as you realize your own life is slowly ticking on by like a time bomb, and you're still sitting there [extra title=”Except knitting. You're good at knitting.” info=”tooltip” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]doing nothing. [/extra]

I did it because this is who I am, and anything less would have been a pathetic imitation.

So maybe instead of trying to constantly bring me back to your level, you should consider stepping up to mine.

Because I do work from home. And unlike everything you're hoping?

It was the best decision I've ever made.

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