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Donald Trump, the master of working from home

So now we know what really makes people angry about Donald Trump. He drinks too much Diet Coke.Of all the deta...

Posted: Dec. 11, 2017 7:14 PM
Updated: Dec. 11, 2017 7:14 PM

So now we know what really makes people angry about Donald Trump. He drinks too much Diet Coke.

Of all the details in The New York Times weekend profile of the President's working style, it is his soft drink habit that has dominated headlines, spawned internet memes and attracted ridicule.

President Trump reportedly sometimes begins making and receiving calls while still in his pajamas

The sneering at his workday habits smacks of jealousy dressed up as principle

You can picture it now. He sets down the Sharpie he was using to circle articles about himself in the daily newspapers and presses the button on the Resolute Desk to summon a butler with an ice cold drink -- 12 times a day, if the latest insider gossip is to be believed.

Then there is the TV habit, up to eight hours, we learn from the Times, augmented by a transcription service to keep up to date with "Fox & Friends" when he is doing other things, such as running the country.

But the detail that catches my eye -- as a freelancer whose desk is in his spare room -- is that Trump sometimes begins making and receiving calls while still in his pajamas.

This resonated because it is one of the perks of working from home, whether your home is a lowly, outer-borough New York apartment or the most famous address in the land.

Who wouldn't want to start work in their jim jams?

It is the way we are all going, as "jobs for life" and the regular 9-to-5 become a part of history, replaced by flexible hours and the gig economy.

Would it be lifting too much of a curtain on my daily routine to say that I too have one eye on CNN for about eight hours a day?

Or that the commission for this column was finalized as I dropped off a load of washing at the laundromat?

Or that the echo-y sound in phone calls about which editors sometimes complain is the result of talking while seated on the lavatory?

Too much information? OK.

The sneering about President Trump's workday habits smack of the sort of snobbery that is often jealousy dressed up as principle.

No one would raise an eyebrow if the button on his desk summoned a cup of green tea. Of if he sent his assistant out to fetch dinner from a Washington steakhouse rather than McDonald's (you may recall that Trump reportedly sent his assistant on a McDonald's run when the White House kitchen burger did not quite measure up).

Who wouldn't want to leverage the position of most powerful person in the world to choose your own dinner and drinks and set your own workday start time? At a minimum?

The difference, I suspect, between Mr. Trump and me is that he actually does it.

Although I can start my work in pajamas, I generally don't.

I wash my oatmeal-encrusted breakfast bowl and make sure the bed is made before I answer emails. When I turn up to a meeting I make sure my shoes have been shined. I'm almost always early, a manifestation of my deep-seated unease that I'll be found out as a pretend journalist (or "so-called correspondent" as a Pakistani newspaper once labeled me after an unfortunate misunderstanding with the authorities), who doesn't even have a proper office.

So while my time is theoretically my own, I never turn down work or a meeting.

There's that nagging feeling that if I don't timetable myself to match the rest of the world I will be found in a year's time eating beans from a can while watching reruns of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles (instead of just once a week).

My notebook and suit are a defense against the doubt -- mostly my own.

And when a work contact interrupts my afternoon nap, I explain away the foggy voice as a cold.

Mr. Trump has no such doubts.

He's an overweight man who celebrates eating junk food. His quarters are above the shop but he'll start late whenever he damn well pleases, and if it's a nice day he'll hit the golf course.

He is the boss.

And that makes him the master of working from home.

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