One Difficulty and One Weirdness

I’ve got so many things to do it’s not even funny so no detailed posts on my travels and SXSW for now but a couple of quick things.


The hardest thing about “travorking”? People seem to not believe and/or forget that I’m actually working from the places I traveled to. I wasn’t on vacation in Vancouver and San Francisco, I was working, just not in a foot of snow like you guys.

Clients keep alluding to vacations in emails and phone calls or flat out saying “you’re finally back”. Huhhh no. I’m back in town, I’m not back from vacation because I was never on vacation. I delivered things at midnight a couple of times, something I don’t often do here, just to fight against that mis-conception. I was late on a couple of things, not because I wasn’t working as hard but because a lot of clients don’t seem to understand that I’m not an employee, I don’t wait for your one project, I work on many things at once and I schedule them very well but when you are late 2 weeks or 2 months or 3-4 months, that messes with scheduling. Five week days in San Francisco doesn’t mess with the delivery, 32 week days late on a design I’m waiting for, that messes it up. Funny that I still manage to feel bad about 2-3-4 days late on my side of the delivery even though the timing of my part was completely not executed at the time it was supposed to, thanks to the delays at other stages.

Anyway, not the point of this post but of a possible future one. Point of this one is, it’s fun and motivating and helps creativity and morale to work from elsewhere but it’s hard has hell to convince people that you are actually there to work.

My people

I had that feeling last year at SXSW but even more this year, these are “my people” but huhh, yeah, I have “people”. I was at Tara’s panel and later spoke with Chris and Alex and others and, for example, we all use our blogs and networks and communities as “marketing”, that’s how we meet people and clients, get known and referred, it just goes without saying when talking with them. While here, even at Yulblog, people are still surprised that that works. So yeah, seeing the way everyone dresses, talks, what they read, think, the jokes only we get (and could find funny) it feels like I’m surrounded by my tribe.

The weirdness is there. Here I have a circle of friends and acquaintances who know a lot of the same things I do, who work in the same places, think the same things but they are my friends, I “chose” them. At SXSW it’s everyone, thousands of people I am so similar to it’s almost uncomfortable. I’m not doing something special, I’m just one of thousands. Comforting in some ways, utterly weird in others. I just spent 4 days in the echo chamber and they are me. Shudder. ;)


Gabriel March 16, 2007

You know what? I feel just the same!

I work from home and I’m organized (or, I try to be).

The things is that when I want to do something (like go out), most of the time, I can do it. It’s no big deal to move a couple of things in my schedule.

But sometimes, I feel bad, I feel like some people think I “never” work because I’m “always free”, while some others feel like I’m always working.

Anyway, good post :)

Chris Car March 16, 2007

“I’m just one of thousands” LOL! But honestly, I feel the same at conferences. It is a weird feeling. But I think the quality of work differs a lot. There are not many people who deliver “quality” work. IMHO, most of the people are good at “marketing” themselves, sometimes too good, so that you cannot see the person and craft behind this facade.

Lea March 16, 2007

Hi Patrick! So sorry I wasn’t able to chat more. These parties can be so distracting, but I’m glad I was able to meet you even at one party. Pretty crazy!

the milliner March 17, 2007

I feel your pain. It is hard to convince people that you really are working in Paris, or Venice or Vegas ;). And so often, I’m working 10-14 hour days when I’m travorking. But I’m no fool. I count my lucky stars every time I get to work in fun places. I know a lot of people don’t have that opportunity. Even better is that it’s not out of my pocket. I guess it’s more like all work, all play. You work really hard and a lot, but then you also try to take advantage of being in these great cities, so you also try to soak up the culture / restaurants / sights etc. as much as you can.

vieux bandit March 20, 2007

I work from home and everyone assumes I’m always available for them, no matter what. Ok, not my family, and friends are starting to get it, but… I can’t imagine telling them I’m away and working – I can only imagine the sound of a tennis ball rebounding gently, plop plop plop, in a big empty room, plop, plop, before they think “ok, so you’re available then!” and start with their requests. Of course I can do xyz in the middle of the day! Of course I won’t have to make up for that! Grrr.

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