Coping with my OCD tendancies when freelancing

Following on from my previous post about Pro’s and Con’s of freelancing…. today I thought I would muse on the things that make my inner OCD go into overdrive.

Often when I’m working, I turn up and I am just directed to the nearest hot-desk or wherever a computer is free. That’s usually fine and you know where you stand if you are just there for a day or so. If I am working somewhere on a longer term basis and I actually manage to get a relatively permanent workspace, I like to have my desk set up as if I want it. Maybe I am weird but I believe if your working environment is set up as you want it, you actually work more efficiently. As a freelancer though, you have no say about certain things and it makes my OCD go into overdrive…

You get given the keyboard that could clone the DNA of every single person thats used it…

My previous post illustrated some of the disgusting keyboards I’ve been given to use.  As you look around the office as everyone is using their pristine new equipment, or fancy Wacom tablets, then you look down at your desk at either the ancient piano key keyboard circa 1998 that I.T. have unearthed from a cupboard. Or you get a keyboard that is utterly filthy. This is guaranteed to make my skin crawl and I actually consider learning to type with my elbows so I don’t have to touch it with my fingers. Even worse, is when you all you can find is one tiny screen wipe sachet to clean an entire keyboard that look likes this… I have it down to a fine art now! Elbow grease works wonders as does the alcohol hand rub stuff!

You get the chair that NOBODY in the office wants… 

You know the one… the chair with the gammy wheel, or wonky backrest, or no arms. It’s no co-incidence that since I started freelancing, my spine is now ‘S’ shaped and my hips no longer align properly. I blame these chairs. Everyone else in the office has the spanking new posture-pedic, Herman Miller-esque chairs from the million pound office refurb. But not you, noooo, you get the chair from the Office World basics range. No really, it’s fine. I like designing at a 45 degree angle and having a curved hump on my spine.

You get the desk right by the air con / printer / cutting area / radio playing the worst radio station

I appreciate space is tight some offices, but when you get the desk in the area where everyone dumps the crap that gets jammed in the printer, it does my nut in. Especially as they always put it right where your mouse is, leaving you with a postage stamp area to work in. Or if you’re at the desk which doubles as a cutting mat area and you have to dodge the scalpel. I like my fingers thanks.

Alternatively you get the seat under the air con which is set to ‘Lapland’. Guaranteed this will always be the days when it’s about 28 degrees outside, I’ve got a T-shirt on and I’ve forgot my cardigan. It’s a great look when you are the same colour as a Smurf.

And finally I know I am old, but Kiss FM/Radio 1 just causes the worst ear worms ever. *starts rocking back and forth at the yoof DJ’s*

Everything gets pilfered from ‘the freelancers desk’

After enduring the battle of cleaning said keyboard, swapping the 90’s rollerball mouse for a Magic Mouse that has full batteries, finding a chair and monitor riser so you don’t get chronic Osteoporosis, finding a pen that works, you leave work and have 1 day off…

… Then you return, and EVERYTHING IS GONE!! You have no mouse/keyboard/extra monitor on your desk as they’ve all been pillaged. All you can find is the the 90’s rollerball mouse (except I swear it’s even dirtier than it was before). The chair with a wheel missing is back and your riser has disappeared or been replaced with packs of photocopier paper. And who the hell has signed you out of Adobe CC and added a gazillion icons of files to your Mac desktop. And so the process begins again… *sigh*. I think I need to get out more!

Does anyone else feel like this or is it just me going slightly insane?

*Disclaimer: Most places I work are perfectly fine but I have experienced all of the above in various guises at various agencies. Come on people, be nice to your freelancers and they will make you tea!! 



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