Telecommutes save time -- and soap
IF DONALD TRUMP really wants to test the time-management mettle of his flunkeys on "The Apprentice," he should make them spend at least a few days of their 16-week job interview locked in a small room telecommuting in their skivvies.
If that sounds too degrading (what could be worse than taking heat from his daughter, Ivanka, in the boardroom?) you should keep in mind that millions of telecommuting Digital Slobs do this all the time.
Several years back, after I rolled snake eyes playing office politics, I found myself unemployed. But soon after, I managed to land a better gig over the phone. During the call, my soon-to-be boss said he was impressed with my poise and professionalism and hired me on the spot, but I've often wondered if he would have said the same thing if he'd seen me standing there in my Garfield boxers and pink fuzzy slippers.
But, as it turns out, I may have been overdressed.
According to a recent worldwide survey by SonicWALL, a computer network security firm, 10 percent of telecommuters work in the nude. Thirty-nine percent wear sweats. And only 44 percent of women and 30 percent of men reported taking a shower on their don't-bring-your-funky-body-odor-to-work days.
This means that if all remote and mobile workers suddenly materialized into their central downtown offices, they would make Casual Friday look like a regency ball from a Jane Austen novel.
Of course, SonicWALL was perhaps more interested in the responses about data security, and on that subject telecommuters were even more willing to let it all hang out.
Eighty-eight percent admitted to storing passwords in easy-to-access locations, which might seem surprising. But then again, if their knowledge about computer encryption is sparse, and a significant percentage work in the buff, one can only assume there's a limited number of nearby nooks and crannies where such things could be safely tucked away (and hardly any comfortable ones).
And, as any 2-year-old who's figured out he can run around the living room without his diapers chafing if he leaves them back in the hall will tell you, birthday suits can be very productive uniforms, assuming you're in the right state of mind.
After all, that fairy tale Emperor would have remained content in his New Clothes forever, if he hadn't been so eager to show them off.
Perhaps this is why 76 percent of telecommuters in the survey said working in solitary is an aid to productivity. We all know that our boss would frown upon us playing Final Fantasy XI on an Xbox 360 in our downtown office cubicle, even during a break -- but do the same thing while telecommuting, and no one cares (as long as we take care of business in between levels). And everybody knows gaming is almost as fun as streaking.
So, Mr. Trump, if you want me to oversee the construction of your next skyscraper, I'll get it done in record time and under budget, as long as you allow me to wash a load of whites and watch "America's Next Top Model" at the same time. Few can match my tenacity and my strategic thinking, Mr. Trump, and no one else has my lucky Garfield boxers and my pink fuzzy slippers.