So, mostly for reasons I won't go into, this has not been my favorite week at work. It hasn't been my worst week, not by a long shot. It just hasn't been very good.
I know I mentioned before that I don't actually work near a lot of the people that I collaborate with. Some of them are in other offices, lots are in different states, and still others are in different countries. This leads to a certain amount of innovation when it comes to things that co-located coworkers take for granted. We use software called NetMeeting a lot, which, as I mentioned earlier, allows us to see live changes to a document we're working on. One friend used to tell me that he didn't ever close NetMeeting. "I don't call my grandma without NetMeeting. You want to know how I'm doing, Grandma? Here's a spreadsheet. See?"
Tonight a friend and I had one of the rarer remote collaboration experiences. We held a virtual happy hour. You see, her week has been particularly crappy too, for many of the same reasons mine has been crappy plus a few ultra-crappy extras. And we were both working from home. At 5 she announced that she was getting herself a glass of wine. I got myself a beer and we had ourselves a nice four-hour chat ranging over our project, our boss, marriage, divorce, religion and literature. (She likes Edith Wharton. I think I'll recommend the Rebecca Goldstein to her and see if my theory is correct.)
It was really refreshing. All virtual collaboration should go so smoothly. Yo, remote colleague! Cheers!