My job is very flexible – it’s one of the reasons I enjoy working where I do. I get, within reason, accommodations to work from home if I need to be lending an extra hand, and my schedule itself can be shifted around to allow for running carpools and the like.
One thing that isn’t flexible sometimes, though, is travel.
I don’t travel much for my job. (Nor did I at the prior one – perhaps once a quarter then – though the job before that had me going more often than that.) This business trip I’m currently on is my second one since I joined my current employer, and is the second trip in the last year, as well as the first since the Monster was firmly diagnosed with autism. But these trips do take a toll – I’m quite literally across the continent from the family, leaving the wife with both children while I’m gone for five full days.
Last time, I don’t know that the Monster even really noticed that I was gone until mid-week. The fact that he has language delay somewhat complicates asking him if he misses me, or if he’s sad, or things like that. Perhaps the fact that I am actually gone all day affects his recognizing that I’m not around, in that perhaps he doesn’t worry about whether or not I’m coming back. I don’t know, and until we can get him to a point where he can communicate better what he’s feeling, we won’t know.
This trip, we’ve set up a web-cam on a computer so that the family can call and we can video conference for a little bit. I’m going to be curious to see how he responds to seeing me on the computer.