One of the many cultural boundaries I seem to cross: sleeping in my office. Unfortunately, I’ve recently been told I can’t do it anymore. Why? Why? Why? Been doing it for years and now I can’t.

The latest episode began with a visiting scholar stint at the Australian National University in Canberra. I turned up, airbed and sleeping bag in hand, ready to make myself comfy for a few nights. Shower downstairs, well-equipped kitchen – what more could you want?

I’m completely open about it, but people began to give me strange looks and eventually I was told that due to security issues I couldn’t do it anymore. Security? Did they think I was going to be attacked, that unsavoury types would make life difficult? Ah no, I am the security issue – partying away, stealing paper from the photocopier and what have you.

Now, what is the difference between dozing off while you work all night and and bringing some gear with you to make your snooze comfortable? Security? I have a key that gives me 24 hour access anyway. Some invisible line is crossed, it seems, when you deliberately set out to sleep in your office. Beats me why. What’s the point of having one place where you work and another where you sleep – it’s stupid and a waste of resources. Why not make offices with beds in them, perhaps in a small loft? After all, I’ve seen it at the IIRE in Amsterdam, the research arm of the Fourth International.

This time I’m bringing my tent!

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