The Creepy Side of Working from Home

RearWindowI’m in Month 10 of working from home, and as much as I like it, I’ve decided that it has made me much creepier than before (unintentionally).

When you work from home, you are privy to patterns and minutiae of the world outside that others are completely unaware of. It’s like having an ongoing conversation with other people who have no idea they’re part of the conversation:

“Heading off to work a little later than usual, Brown Hair?”

“Trying out the front exit for a change, Same Pants?”

“Backing the car into your parking space for a change, Volvo? What’s the occasion?”

Perhaps the worst part of this is that I’m genuinely curious about these people’s habits. Why does Straight Hair come home every day at noon for 15 minutes? If Soccer Shorts stays home all day watching TV, how does she afford her apartment? And what kind of a job does Messy Car have that goes from 7:30 in the morning to 8:00 at night?

It’s like the most mundane mystery novel ever.

Is it just me who does this? I hope not, but I’m willing to face judgment if so.

13 thoughts on “The Creepy Side of Working from Home”

  1. I became extremely curious that time the ice cream truck parked in the driveway of the guys across the street and stayed there for like 2 1/2 hours. Pretty sure he was selling more than ice cream.

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  2. This post reminds me of a conversation I’ve had with my step-dad, who is retired and home by himself everyday. My parents live on a street that only has a few houses, so added to the creepy factor is his situation is that he’s met each neighbor and know some basic details about their jobs/families. During the winter months when he’s stuck indoors instead of being able to stay outside and busy in his garden all day, he’s gotten to the point where he will recap the coming and goings of the various neighbors to my mom when she gets home for work, complete with speculations about any variance in people’s schedules that he’s observed for the day.

    Living in apartment building, it’s sometimes hard to not look out the window when you notice movement at the street level or in an apartment across the way out of the corner of your eye. A few times I’ve neglected to remember the rule of “if I can see them, they can also see me inside my apartment,” and have looked up from working out or having a solo dance party in my living room to discover that neighbors in the building next door are enjoying the free show because I’d forgotten to close the blinds.

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  3. Maybe they are wondering the same thing about you.

    “I see No Pants is up especially early this morning. I wonder why.” – Brown Hair

    “Let’s see what Loincloth is wearing today. Chaps. That’s a change.” – Volvo

    “That was one heck of party last night. Better get some coffee before the stocks open. Hey! Good morning, Rear in that 2nd floor Window!” – Soccer Shorts

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  4. I pretty much play this game I made up called “Guess What Cat Sweater Does” all of the time. I use what info I have available to make up stories about the lives of strangers. The intensity of the game scales with how much info is available to me. Usually, I just have appearance, so I will simply name a profession that suits their current attire.

    It started in the movie theater, waiting for opening credits. Also fun at airports. You have a rare opportunity here where you can gather a lot of Intel about the strangers around you. Like like 15 or something. I am so jealous.

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      • Twice now I’ve had retired neighbors who watch our home (and everyone else’s) like a hawk. I actually find it reassuring. I know that no one is burglarizing, vandalizing or otherwise messing with our place without our neighbor taking note. Not only that, if something actually happened to me, the car didn’t leave the driveway and I didn’t emerge all day, I’m pretty sure she’d come over and make sure I hadn’t fallen down the stairs.
        To be honest, I never noticed either of them watching us and only became aware of the fact when I introduced myself and conversation made it clear that we’d been being watched. “Hasn’t anyone told you recycling is only every other week?” “There was a strange car in your driveway for three days, a friend from out of town?” etc.
        Since you don’t have the excuse of being a 75 year old housebound grandmother, if it was me, I’d make a point of introducing myself to every neighbor I’ve observed. Then it’s Our Neighbor Jamey is looking out for us, as opposed to Creepy No Pants is watching again…Besides, you might start getting answers to your little mysteries, though I don’t suggest asking point blank like my neighbors have done!

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        • I think that’s a very good idea (to introduce myself to the neighbors). I don’t actually run into many of them very often, but the next time I do, I’ll let them know that Creepy No Pants is on their side.

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