Argh!.... When will people get it into their heads....


... that just because I'm not in my office I'm not 'taking a day off', and am not free for going to the cinema / going to lunch etc. And it's even people close to me that do it! This morning, phone rings, it's my girlfriend:

Her: 'So what time are you going in today?'

Me: 'I'm not going in, I took work home with me yesterday to do, and I've also taken home a dozen undergrad essays to mark.'

Her: 'Oh, so why don't you come round then?'

Me: 'Er.... well like I just said, I've got work to do, and essays to mark...'

Her: 'But you don't have to go in to the University...' - sounding annoyed!!!

Me: Trying to explain nicely, but being a man will probably still be wrong no matter what I say, and resigning myself to the fact with drooping shoulders - 'Even though I'm not going in, I still have a lot of work to do - approximately 3 years worth as it goes.... I'll see you then...'

*SIGH* just had to have a wee rant... :-)


I work a lot from home and get this to. I just got a message the other day asking me to come over to a friend's on Friday - as though whatever 'work' I have can just be squashed into a few evenings and I don't really need to work during the day.


Fatbob and Smilodon, your posts made me smile out of recognition of the situation! It did remind me of an experience I had the other way, of a dear friend who was very cognizant of the hard work...she lived a few houses up the street from the library where I did my study on evenings and weekends, and would check to see if she saw my car in the parking lot. If she did, she would come and find me, and ask if I wanted to take a break at some point to stop at her house for a meal and some coffee or beer/wine, and just to let her know when! Then I got a welcome break, some good food, and a nice chat with a friend who was eager to hear how things were going! Often times I went to the library straight from work, without having had anything to eat, and it was nice to get a bite to eat and then be able to carry on!


fatbob, just wondering - did your girlfriend maybe mean, why don't you go over to her's and work there? if you do not need to be anywhere specific for your work, why do you choose to be at home rather than at her's?

cause that's what i often nag my partner with - why does he go to uni when he could just as well work from home and we could have the companionship of working together.
the problem is then more about "can i really work when i'm at her place/at home" and if not, why not? rather than about "if you're at home you're obviously not busy".


No - she meant why don't I go round and sit and watch NCIS or CSI Miami that she had recorder on Sky+, or go out for lunch somewhere. As are simlar things when other friends or family phone and I happen to be studying or working at home. I wouldn't mind so much if it was the first time any of them have asked or raised the question - but I've probably gone over the same ground a dozen times with each of them in the past year! Ach, I know I'm just being narky - but I don't care, they never learn!


I'm a PT student and work two PT jobs to pay for it. People always seem to think if I'm not at my crappy job then I'm not doing anything else, despite the fact that I every second of my spare time is spent on the thesis. So fed up of people getting narky at me because a) they think I have all this free time and b) because I can't see them because I am actually working.

I know what you mean about the 'three years of work' comment. What work do I have to do? EVERYTHING that's what!


I work from home a lot (not PhD). I only have to be "in" for 10 hours per week. The rest of the time, when home, I put my phone on silent until 5-6pm (I even let my mother and my boyfriend leave a messsage - I only call back if important), and do not answer if someone rings the doorbell after 10 am. My housemates are cool: they always ask "are you working?" and if the answer is yes they go "ok, talk later". Works well


fatbob, i know you just wanted to rant and weren't looking for advice, but still - maybe sometime you could negotiate with your gf that you'll go over to hers IF she guarantees that she will let you work. in exchange you will spend your breaks with her (you must have occasional breaks, such as for a cup of coffee or something to eat).

that might make her happy, and actually seeing you work would drive the message home that you are not just hanging around...


it can be really annoying and frustrating when you have explained to people that you are working, and they still act like you have all the spare time in the world--and get narky if you do not drop your work to join their activities. When I was still working and studying, weekends were precious time to study--it gave me huge blocks of uninterrupted time to work on things, and was absolutely necessary. Work colleagues could not understand why I would not join them for lunch some 30 miles distant on a Saturday afternoon ( where they lived). I explained this was prime study time, but if they wanted to meet for lunch at any time during the week to let me know. Well, this conflicted with their daycare/commuting/whatever issues, and it annoyed me no end that they had inflexible barriers but thought I did not. I just left it, well, when you are free in the week, and can come to my work location for lunch, I would be glad to see you.


Then there were a few people who got annoyed with me when I did not answer my mobile phone or return their messages when I was at the library. I would explain that I did not even usually carry the mobile to the library, and if I did, it was turned to silent or off, and minus some kind of world ending emergency, I was inncommunicado while at the library. Some people never "got" it...but I just did not worry about responding in their time frames, and figured if they wanted to be stroppy about it, even after an explanation, they were not much of a friend to begin with.


Ah I know how this feels - even other PhD students do this to me!!! Like if I come back into college after working at home for a day, they'll say 'Did you have a nice day off?' Grrr... I'm convinced this is just an 'undermining' tactic - but that's a whole other thread

As for friends and family, they always ALWAYS ask - every Easter, every Christmas, every Summer - "Are you looking forward to your 2 weeks/1 month/entire summer off?" And I'm like "How many times do I have to tell you - we work ALL YEAR ROUND!!!!!!" I feel like I should get it tattooed on my head or something "I only get 2 weeks holidays a year - so stop asking me".

Anyway, rant over


Certainly not just a PhD thing.. when I started in the scary world of work, we were allowed to work at home on Fridays for certain projects - cue my unemployed friend 'Oh.. I'm bored, can I come round?' comments every Friday and the other friends 'I'm popping round for a cup of tea'

I personally WOULDN'T want to work at my partners house (if we didn't already live together ) as why? I mean, if you're there to work.. you work and then you see your partner in a more relaxed, chilled mood as you've done all your work...

If my partner was moaning about me working round at his.. I would think that was slightly needy - I mean, you're working during the day, regardless of where you are so I would continue saying 'no' .. as soon as you 'give in' you're doomed for another 3 years!


I have a home office and I can get pretty irritated if my husband wanders in while I'm working. I definitely wouldn't go over and work at my partner's house if I weren't actually living there.


hm... i guess it's just that i get lonely when i work too much from home. i would not think of going to someone's place, partner or not, to work if that other person were not working, too... but on those occasions when both me and my partner are at home and working, i do enjoy it a lot. small things like when i go to make myself a cup of tea, there is someone i can ask if he wants one too, or when suddenly said cup of tea appears at my desk because i completely forgot about it after asking... for me they can take the stress out of things. and when i'm struggling to start work due to being demotivated (as in other thread), it can help so much to have someone around who is also working. so sometimes i DO get disappointed when he leaves for uni when he could just as well work from home that day.


That's different if you're both working at home. My husband works at home many evenings - but I work on a Saturday and it works best if he and my daughter go out.

I do get cranky if I've been at home too much - especially when he's travelling a lot.