On Workplace Culture

Murphy Grace, my nearly two-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix, is an early riser. Shortly before my 6 am alarm, she stirs and stretches—whimpering just loudly enough to get my attention. She’s polite that way, I guess. After a couple minutes of “I hear you, Murphy. Settle down. It’s too early,” I sigh, get up, feed her, and take her outside. And then? She goes back to sleep. For hours.

I’m self-employed, and my supervisor (me) is relatively hands-off; she doesn’t want to micromanage, you see. My HR department (also me) doesn’t offer much in the way of productivity incentives. My CEO (me again) seems unclear about our business goals and isn’t an especially good strategist anyway. And my only colleague—Murphy Grace—falls asleep at her desk every day.

For someone who, from time to time (ahem), lacks discipline and hustle (once again me) this can be problematic. And, really, it’s a matter of workplace justice, is it not? I mean, if Murphy gets to ignore her to-do list, shouldn’t I have the same benefit? I have seniority, after all. (If you know my dog, you know that’s debatable.)

Today, said to-do list is weighty, and although I’ve been up for more than two hours*, I’ve done nothing. Well, that’s not true. I’ve:

  • eaten a bowl of cereal
  • considered making coffee
  • scrolled through the socials
  • finished reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
  • and decided what book I’ll be reading next (The Best American Short Stories 2019).

I’m actually still in my pajamas, and because I have no Zoom calls scheduled today, I’m likely to stay that way until… well, we’ll see.

*I pushed pause on this post, and I’ve now been up for more than four hours. Other than finally making coffee and responding to some emails, I haven’t accomplished much (anything) on my actual task list.

Now, if you happen to be a client of mine, please don’t worry. I’ll get all the things done—and well. I’m just saying my workplace culture could use some improvement.

Maybe I should install a suggestion box in the break room.