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The Secret Benefits of the Work/Life Balance [REPOST]

Last month, I talked a lot about the grueling schedules we road warriors keep. Well, because my nickname is the “King of Positivity”, I thought I’d bring it around this month and focus on the home. More specifically: what can happen if you just happen to be home?

Due to the Memorial Day holiday, a lull in the client’s needs, and a plethora of other factors, I got to work off site for the last week of May. Seeing as how I have rarely slept in my new bed since I bought it in April, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to really give it a thorough test run. When I went to bed on Monday night, my only intention for the week was to stay productive and sleep in my own bed. Those seemed like rather attainable goals.

Early on Tuesday afternoon my doorbell rang. This took me by surprise because my doorbell is in the back of the house, which means someone knew where I was living and was not trying to sell me something through the front door I don’t have access to. I came downstairs and was greeted by a young man dressed in t-shirts and jeans. Since I live near a theatre, an art house, and several colleges, I thought this was just some local kid trying to raise a little money for his club or some such thing. Much to my shock, he really needed something from me… and was willing to pay for it.

You see, this fellow (Eric, actually, let’s give him his real name) was from Showtime’s Brotherhood. If you have never heard of the show, it is about a pair of brothers from Providence’s fictional neighborhood of the “Hill”, not to be confused with “Federal Hill” where I live. One brother is notorious gangster and the other is trying to better the world through public service. It is loosely based on two other similar brothers from the Boston area, where one served as chancellor for a school system while one went on the run from the FBI. But I’m not naming anyone here!

As it turned out, the show was filming in the funeral home next door and streets surrounding it. Eric wanted to know if they could have one of their production trucks block my driveway. Before I could even think about it, he then upped the ante with a little monetary compensation for being grossly inconvenienced. After talking it over with my upstairs neighbor and my landlord, we all decided to accept the offer and have our driveway blocked.

The following day the trucks were in early and I got a tour of the set. For the next fourteen hours, people were running about, blocking traffic, setting up, taking down, building, breaking, and everything else you could image. I think by the end of the day they got an amazing ten minutes of usable footage. At my desk, I was able to watch most of the action while working on a multi-dimensional planning system. Not having anywhere pressing to be, I was able to leisurely stroll about the neighborhood and visit all the other trucks that were parked there, whether for unloading equipment or housing a “star”.

All day and night long I was given free access to the set and its people. It was quite interesting to watch, but nothing I could be involved in. There is way too much downtime, and waiting at the airport several times a week has taught me that I do not have patience for that. A few short days later, a check showed up in the mail rewarding me for my “hard work” of having my driveway blocked.

The world can have some amazing chances. None of this would have happened if I had not been home! On any normal week, I would have been far away and missed all of the excitement and intrigue. The bottom line is: you never know what can happen in the moments you are home, so the important thing is to be able to take advantage of anything that may come your way.

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