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A Profane Rant About Remote Work and Why Nobody Will Let Me Do It

I wrote a much more nuanced version of what I'm about to say last year when I was on the job hunt, but now that all the jobs are gone and my patience has gone with them, I'm going to be a little more blunt.

Why is resisting remote work the hill employers are determined to #$%-ing die on?

Because I had gotten into the habit of checking job listings every day, I've continued to do that during the pandemic, and while there aren't many people looking to hire, I've noticed a trend that is driving me up the #$%-ing wall.

Jobs that explain that the position they're hiring you for will be done from home until the crisis is over.  

Most of these listings go into detail about how the job can be done entirely from home, but then makes it a point to say that they will not let you continue to do the job from home any longer than they have to.

What.
The.
@#$%

Why...if a job can be done from home...would it...not be done from home?

There are not many good things about the @#$-ing time we're living through, but one of them is that the curtain has been pulled back on how many people could have been working from home if they're up-in-the-tower overlords didn't hate the idea of their employees being happy at home, working on a laptop, while enjoying homemade coffee and the comforts of a residential workspace.

I assumed that once all these goblins were forced to admit that their staff could get most of their work done without coming into an office, the jig would be up.  They'd have to give up the fight against remote work, a fight I've been following with terror and fascination, because it seems to me the strangest fight an employer could want to wage.

For example, last year, I was offered a position at a company and I reallyyyyy didn't like the work environment there, but I could also tell that everything they needed me to do could be done remotely.

I talked to the hiring manager and asked if--

And before the sentence could even leave my #$%-ing mouth, he came back with--

"We don't allow working remotely here."

It was as if he was saying "We don't allow worshiping Satan in the break room."

That was the disdain used to say the phrase "remote work."

It was #$%-ing wild.

Some part of me thought that would be a good time to do a little...experiment.

I offered to take a pay cut--a substantial one--aka saving the company money, if they would let me work remotely.

Nope.

I offered to take an even bigger cut if they would let me work remotely part-time.

NOPE.

Then, in a truly astounding twist, they came back and offered me a lot more money than was originally put on the table provided I took the job and agreed to never even bring up working remotely again.

Remember, this was a job that absolutely could be done from home.  The hiring manager even admitted as much, but told me that "the company doesn't believe in paying people to stay home."

I didn't bother to say "You're not paying me to stay home, you're paying me to WORK from home."

But at that point, I was already well-aware that for some reason, this is the last frontier when it comes to getting employers to act like rational #$%-ing human beings.

That's why I was so excited when I thought we had passed that frontier.  I thought that since it might not be totally safe for employees to work in an office for quite some time, employers would just throw in the towel and say, "Never mind. You win. Work from home and if we get the sense that you're slacking off, we'll do...exactly what we would @#$%-ing do if you were slacking off at the office."

But...no.

Not a chance.

The few places I have contacted about their open positions have actually been really transparent with me about why they want to get people back into an office again as soon as possible, and it all boils down to some variation of "The boss doesn't believe in it."

And what the @#$% does that mean exactly?

It's remote work, not Scientology.  Believing in it isn't really an option.

It's a thing.

It exists.

Some of the people I spoke to listed studies that show that people aren't as productive at home as they are in an office, but I've seen those studies, and while I don't dispute their findings, you can find the same number of studies that show the opposite, because that's how #$%^-ing studies work.

What we do know is some people don't want to work from home.  A surprising number of people like going into work, and to that I say, Bully for them.  Let them go in.

But why can't it be an option from this point on?

Especially now that going into work could actually @#$%-ing kill you.

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