Technically sick
Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 16:11
martian77 in Geek, General

I've picked up a cold, which (as seems to be normal with me) is not actually turning into a streaming nose and sneezing but is sitting quietly on my lungs and behind my eyes. Makes it less obvious, which is a pain, because all I want to do is sleep. 

Anyway, I've not made it into work today or yesterday. I know, I don't talk about work for several very good reasons actually, but I will say that this job is extremely busy. There is no slack, tasks cannot be delayed by even a day in some cases, and no-one else can (currently) take on many of the things that I am needed to do. This makes being ill a pain. 

One thing this company does make full use of is remote working. We use WebEx, or Adobe Connect, or DimDim for online conferences with screensharing, we use Skype to stay in touch with people out of the office. We have documentation on SharePoint, and webmail all set up and ready to go as standard. This (and our multi-national client base) has meant that in the last two days while I've been ill, I've managed to answer enough emails to get by, take a conference call with the States leading them through a site we put together for them, be demoed a piece of functionality by a contractor in New Zealand and check up on the specifications written. 

I'm not totally sure that's a good thing. It makes it simultaneously easier and harder to be ill. Easier, because when I go in I will not be totally swamped with urgent and overdue things (partially, but not totally). But harder, because I don't get the slack for being ill. The urgent things still need doing, and am I really doing them properly? And unless I tell people, they don't know I'm ill over Skype chat. There is no way for them to tell that I am not functioning properly. 

It's interesting, both working remotely and working in an office with remote employees. Strange what technology has made simple and what remains difficult. What is missed. I think what it comes down to is missing the huge number of clues that a visual provides. We have technical solutions to bring people as close as the next room, but it is still not quite close enough. 

And even more importantly to me right now, why can't we even make a decent-tasting cold cure?!

Article originally appeared on Life on Mars (
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