Things I’ve learned since leaving my job six weeks ago.

1. It’s cold in my apartment during the day. It’s winter, and the thermostat is set to come on for a short time in the morning and then again in the evening. I haven’t bothered to change it since I started spending most of my days at home. The thermostat is complicated, and I’m more apt to adapt to my surroundings than try to change them.
I was cold all day in my office, too, and it was one of the things I hated about work. Now I’m still cold, but it is better because I can put on snow boots, a wool hat, and a blanket when I’m sitting at the computer.

2. Our maids clean the apartment awfully quick. We have a team of maids come in once a month so we don’t have to worry about things like vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning the bathroom. This made a lot of sense when we were both working full time, and the apartment always looks great after they come.

Yesterday was the second time the maids have come since I left my job, and both times I left and tried to keep myself busy until they were finished. I gave them two hours the first time, and about an hour and a half the second time.

Both times, when I returned, they were gone without a trace. Now I wonder how long it actually takes them–an hour? 30 minutes? This makes me feel like I should start doing it myself instead of paying $120 every month.

3. There are a lot of homeless people at the library during the day. Really, I always knew this, but it was brought home to me yesterday while I was there hiding from the maids and taking advantage of the free wireless.

I am assuming that these people are homeless based on the way they smell, and I’m a bit self-conscious about that after reading an entertaining book called “The Dirt on Clean,” by Katherine Ashenburg, which makes some interesting points about the sociological aspects of ideas about cleanliness and hygiene. In particular, the book makes the point that at least since the 19th century, upper classes have held the belief that lower classes smell different (read worse).

But I think it is true that the library is full of homeless people and you can tell that they are homeless because they smell different than people who have daily access to oodles of hot water and clean clothes. And it is another thing I love about libraries, because it seems too good to be true to me that all of those books and other resources are truly free and available to all of the public.

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