More on Naked Telecommuting
Warning: 10 Percent of Telecommuters Are Naked
By Gene Weingarten – The Washington Post
April 9, 2006
You probably want to know why I am writing this column naked. So do my co-workers, who seem a little upset.
Ha-ha. Nope, no co-workers. I am home, "tele-commuting," a practice that has become popular in recent years, particularly among federal workers. According to a recent government survey, almost half the federal workforce telecommutes at least occasionally. According to another survey, by industry groups, about 10 percent of American telecommuters acknowledge that they work naked. To extrapolate, right now as many as 150,000 federal workers might be naked, including, statistically speaking, Condoleezza Rice.
So, ah . . .
Sorry, lost my train of thought.
Because telecommuting involves working without direct supervision, it relies on one's innate sense of integrity and industriousness. In terms of federal government productivity and competence, this might explain, say, the Medicare prescription drug benefits, which, in a mysterious oversight, appear to be available only upon death.
The nakedness factor seems to add yet another wrinkle. As it were.
So I've been researching this subject for an entire day from an empirical scientific standpoint, and am now ready to issue my report.
Federal Study on the Policy of Working Naked
By Gene Weingarten
1. According to the surveys, naked men in the workforce outnumber naked women by almost 2 to 1. This is a shame, since, in the opinion of this researcher, the female body is better equipped for this demanding enterprise. Researcher learned this when peeling himself up from a leather chair. This sentence is replacing a sentence that this researcher's editor deleted, for reasons of taste and propriety, which explains why this sentence is not funny. The other sentence definitely was funny, inasmuch as it contained the word "thwuck."
2. There is a physical phenomenon called "thermal conductivity," which explains why some substances feel colder than other substances even if both are the same temperature. Wooden floors and carpeting, for example, have low thermal conductivity, meaning they don't pull all the heat from your skin, so they feel pretty warm to the touch. Other substances have much higher thermal conductivity. Among these is stone, which is the material on the floor of researcher's basement office, which explains why, before sitting down to work, researcher did an awkward little naked dance that could have brought a laugh to the lips of a corpse. Naked means naked, however, so in the interests of science, no socks were procured.
3. When working naked, one tends to close all blinds and shutters, and generally transform oneself into a working wombat. However, during such stressful, high-stakes times one discovers that some areas of one's home cannot be adequately shielded from outside view. In the instant case, this involved a front door with a glass panel that permits an unobstructed view of an area roughly two feet square at the top of the stairs to the basement. So if one is in the kitchen, naked, and the mailman rings the bell, and one's bathrobe is downstairs, there is some peril in retrieving it, no matter how quickly one scampers. Researcher intuited this when he arrived at the door and observed the polite but oddly complacent _expression on the mailman's face, which resembled the sort of look Monica Lewinsky must get, all the time.
4. Telecommuting naked can be an important weight-loss aid. Noshing is nearly impossible. This is because all reflective surfaces prove dispiriting, in particular the stainless steel refrigerator door.
5. The state of working naked is so foreign that one is constantly aware of it, and of its silliness and inappropriateness. This can be a crippling awareness, particularly when someone telephones. It is no problem with a call from one's wife, but it does become a problem with a call from one's daughter, who will want to know why one is giggling. It is bad to lie to one's daughter, but sometimes it is imperative. Also, giggling produces jiggling, which is not good.
6. Smoking a cigar is a bad idea.
Gene Weingarten's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.