I'm all about consistency, particularly when it comes to my daily routine.
To confirm my own biases, I found some research that agrees with the idea that consistency is good. For example, one study suggests that people with regular routines tend to sleep better, and another study of young children found that regular bedtimes contributed to less obesity and better "emotional self-regulation". I generally like the idea of sleeping well, being healthy, and having balanced emotions, so I do my best to be consistent.
At the same time though, I like to keep myself on my toes. I'm always trying to make sure my consistency isn't devolving into some sort of mindless rut. I want to be consistent for the sake of health and happiness, not just because it's what I'm comfortable with. So I try to keep an amicable tension between maintaining a consistent routine, and trying to switch things up. Every so often (usually once every month or two), I'll sit down and take a hard look at my routine, gauge how I feel about different parts of it, and make modifications as necessary. Usually they're pretty small, like going to bed earlier, swapping exercise routines, maintaining a list of books I want to read, or trying to write or bike more frequently. Sometimes, if something really feels amiss, the changes will be a bit bigger. Recently, I decided I wanted a pretty major change.
Ch-ch-ch-changes (turn and face the strange)
Two years (and a few months) ago, I started my first day of work at my first post-college job. Not so coincidentally, I slept in the truck for the first time that same night. Recently, I left that job for a new one.* I won't really delve into the nitty gritty details of why I left, but I wanted to try something more aligned with my interests, and I had stumbled across a job that fit the bill perfectly.
But what does that actually mean for me? Well, for one, it means I moved to a new office. That's nothing new though. On my last team, I moved with them through four different offices. That's one of the perks of the truck, my commute doesn't change even when I move a city or two over, I just bring my house with me. So this most recent move had very little effect on my routine, and everything else stayed pretty much the same. Changing jobs did present me with a choice I haven't had to think about in a while though.
Do I tell my new coworkers that I live in a truck?
The last time I discussed this was way back in 2015, and back then I came to the following conclusion:
These people are colleagues and coworkers first and foremost, I'm interacting with them on a daily basis exchanging ideas and sending code back and forth. For that to work smoothly and efficiently, my workplace peers need to see me as a competent, contributing member of the team who they feel comfortable collaborating with. Being the dude who lives out back like some sort of trailer park reject MacGyver-ing the workplace to suit his needs is not a great way to foster teamwork and cooperation. I'm sure they'd be more than accepting of the situation if I explained it to them; the vast majority of people I talk to about it are very receptive and understanding, but I'd hate for a personal detail to poison any coworker relationships in the event someone didn't approve.
Of course, as fate would have it, everyone eventually found out anyway. But that was two years ago, and I don't make many media appearances these days, so it stands to reason my new coworkers wouldn't know much of me or my questionable housing choices. I've been working on the new team for about two months now, and as far as I can tell, nobody is onto me. Which leads me back to my question: do I tell my new coworkers that I live in a truck?
Of course not.
No. Nah. Nope. I 100% do not tell them. I say n-o-t-h-i-n-g. Everything I said in 2015 is still valid: these people are my coworkers, they don't need to be privy to the weirder details of my personal life. That said, I do still want to be friendly with them, and topics around housing and commuting do still come up, so I have to be prepared for talking about such things. To that end, I've developed a small collection of conversational half-truths for use in these situations:
Do you live in the area?
Totally, I have a small place near campus.
With roommates, I take it.
Nope, just a one-bedroom.
Ooh, that sounds pricy.
You'd be surprised, I get a pretty good deal on rent.
Nice! Must be a short commute.
Yeah, I usually walk or bike in.
Oh cool, so you're really close by.
I practically live on campus.
So you don't have a car then?
Actually, I do. I have a two-seater Ford.
Nothing in that conversation is an outright lie, but it's certainly not entirely truthful. In any case, I'm under no illusion that my co-workers will never find out about my truckliness. I know as time goes on, the likelihood of someone on my team seeing me do some weird, truck-related thing goes way up. And I have no intention of trying to hide it, if people find out, then they find out. I'm proud of the life I'm building for myself. If I was really concerned, I probably wouldn't be maintaining a very public blog. I'm just not trying to evangelize to my coworkers.
*I guess technically, I work at a company owned by the same holding company as my previous company, but it's a new project, a new team, and a much smaller company.