The Mouse Jiggler: Working From Home

This morning I woke up and part of my tooth had fallen off in the night. This is clearly not something that happens to a young person, so I’m pretty certain that I must either be old or have some fatal enamel-related disease.

I immediately called the dentist to try to schedule an appointment, but they were fully booked today and tomorrow, out of the office Monday and Tuesday, and would have to call me back when they have an opening. This is disturbing to me. I’m not a vain person — really — but this is not okay. It’s a work-from-home day.

I love that we live in a time where working from home is an option for so many people. I sell headsets for a living, so I know that more and more companies are going with a computer-based telephone system like Skype for Business. This allows people to log into their virtual office in virtually any location with WiFi.

Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of benefits to working in our office. There’s a free fitness center downstairs (if you’re so inclined), a nice break room with free coffee and cold brew, and access to colleagues who have answers to any problems you encounter. It’s a 50-minute commute for me, though, and I’m loathe to do it on a daily basis. Additionally, there are numerous distractions in the office. My biggest distraction of late is Darrell. He’s like a little hyper puppy: really cute and sometimes really annoying.

So, working from home has a lot of advantages: no commute, no distractions, no Darrell. It does, however, come with its own set of challenges. First of all, the refrigerator is never more than 10 feet away. Secondly, I have a cat who loves to play fetch (for real), and he doesn’t like to be ignored when he drops his fake mouse at my feet. Finally, bed. Oh my… how nice it is to take an afternoon snooze. It just feels so decadent and delicious!

But how, you ask, could one get away with a little nigh-night mid workday? Mouse Jiggler. There are a bunch of apps that you can download that will continuously move your mouse, so it appears that you’re online and working furiously. (You can also buy a physical mouse jiggler on Amazon.)

My friend, Chad, told me about the mouse jiggler three years ago.

“Chad! What were you doing online at 6:00am?”

“I just threw my mouse jiggler on and hopped in the shower. Needed to get my full eight hours in before I leave the office at 2.”

I know. It’s not right. It’s like fraud or theft or espionage or something, but here’s how I see it. If I weren’t napping at home with my mouse jiggler on, I’d be walking to Dunkin’ Donuts with Darrell to buy scratch tickets. In the end, the nap is going to benefit me, my customers, my colleagues, my cat, and my world. I’m going to be a happier, healthier person because of it! The scratch ticket’s not getting me anywhere except maybe debtor’s prison.

I don’t often jeopardize my job…but when I do, I do it with Mouse Jiggler. (I think that’s an ad for something, but I can’t remember what.)

The dentist never returned my call, so it looks like tomorrow’s another work-from-home day!


No Air

I took my 17 year old for a methocholine challenge today. The kid’s had a cough for… I don’t know — 3 years? We’ve been to doctor after doctor. She was tested for allergies; and, even though everything (ev-er-y-thing) came back ┬ánegative, our primary care physician said, “Do you have horse-hair plaster in your apartment? Maybe it’s that.”

No, Dr… No horse-hair plaster…

I switched primary care physicians and am now seeing a very smart man who looks uncannily like Dexter. This is oddly reasurring, as I always thought Dexter was pretty freakin’ smart. Dr. Dexter is the one who suggested the methocholine challenge. ┬áIt’s a test where they give you enough poison to send your lungs into paralysis and then measure how long it takes you to recover.

In case you were thinking this is an easy thing to watch — your daughter unable to breathe — let me set you straight.

I kept asking her if she was okay. Finally she looked at me and asked, “Are YOU okay?”

The procedure was a success. By “success,” I mean she was unable to recover normally. She was getting less than 40% of the air that usually fills her lungs. That means she’s definitely asthmatic, which is a serious bummer, but at least we can finally treat her.

The pulmonology nurse gave her some Albuterol, and before long she recovered.

Meanwhile, her mom is sitting at her desk trying to fight back tears and wondering why there is so little air in this office…