Where’s my cup of ambition?
This morning started well. The dog didn’t ask to go out until the recycling was collected, which was later than usual this week. At 8:07, I did my zombie walk to unlock the kitchen door, and was back in bed before I even had a chance to get cold.
I went back to sleep. Half an hour later, there was a horrendous noise running through the house. Just the radiators, we assumed (the valves are faulty and are meant to get replaced soon), so Adam went to do the fix. In bed, half awake, I thought about how I should call the plumber. They were meant to be fixed this week.
The noise carried on. Adam came back to bed and announced that the house next door, to which ours is attached, is having blown-in insulation put in. There’s a guy drilling a massive hole in their house, next to where it joins our kitchen. It was 8:47 and a relentless drilling noise filled our house.
Adam and I both have a pretty simple philosophy about noisy work. Wait until 9. This used to be normal, right? When did it become ok to start road works and boiler installations and insulation blowing before 9 am?
When our boiler was installed, though, we were woken up at 7:30 to the sound of the plumbers moving things up to our front door, past our bedroom window. Not only did they clang around with their tools, they talked to one another. In a failed effort to be polite (amongst other more egregious bits of dickwad behaviour over the three-day installation), they would be quiet until they were away from the front door. The problem? They’d pick up to a full volume when they were outside our bedroom window. By the time they rang the bell (7:59, but I’m sure 8 on the dot on one of their watches), we were already awake and grumpy.
The following days, we made adjustments to our schedule, which just put us into some limbo that was like having jet lag for a week.
Neither of us work normal schedules. Our work isn’t a 9 to 5. It’s a whenever we get up until around 2 the next morning. We work in the quiet hours when all the other businesses are closed. Our constraints are always due to the closing hours of post offices and various shops. We can take time out on a Thursday afternoon to play whist, but come home and carry on with work.
It’s not a normal lifestyle. I do know that. But it gets a bit old when people think either of the two following things:
1) We work from home, and have flexible schedules, therefore we have no reason to complain when we get woken up at 8 am because we can just go back to bed.
2) We work from home, and have flexible schedules, therefore we can drop everything at any time of the day and just go back to things whenever.
Back when I did work a 9 to whenever (almost never 5), I would get up around 6:30. If somebody had come drilling into my walls at 3:30, nobody would have any problem agreeing that the driller is an absolute douche. Now, though, I’m somehow out of line when the same thing happens.
Working as we do, there is a basic understanding that the world doesn’t work to our schedule. We are the unusual ones, and can’t expect the entire world to stay quiet until we get up. But when did the acceptable starting time get so early? When did it become ok for companies to call at 7 am?
We do live a good life. We are lucky to have the lifestyle we have. We also have sleep problems, and were probably up working much later than you were. Insulation blower probably finished work at 4:30, got home and didn’t blow a single flake of snowy insulation again before he went to bed. We didn’t completely stop until we went to bed. At most, we put things down an hour before we went to bed.
There’s always going to be disruptions because of our schedule. We know that. But just don’t expect us to be nice to you if you wake us up after 4 hours sleep.
If you didn’t already have the song in your head from either various mentions of the phrase or the title of this post, let me hand it over to YouTube.