...I can't believe it, really. I started using my current disposable two-bladed razor over nine months ago. The very same one I wrote about in a previous telecommuter's article that I was contemplating retiring at seven months solely based on it's age. What was I thinking! I was then on the threshold of a two week vacation and thought I was walking the shaver's edge by taking that very selfsame razor with me for fear it would finally burn out in a locale where I would have to pay tourist's prices for a replacement...in short, get scalped. That was almost three months ago and this beauty is still going strong. I have grown so attached to this wondrous piece of post-millenial engineering that I am considering rather than disposing of it, sending it back to the manufacturer for blade rehoning. I hope that I don't jinx myself by confiding that I have never once, at least in the past 30 years, cut myself while shaving.

...I will state my my caveats before commencing my analysis. I use a small amount of hair conditioner rather than shaving cream. I shave my upper lip and chin with an electric before using my double edge on those same areas. I rinse the razor thoroughly and wipe the blades with a small amount of Vaseline on a tissue corner so my fingers don't get sliced. I clean between the blades weekly with a small piece of index card like paper stock.

...My cutting edge tale continues...

...Razors lose their sharpness in stages. There are five of these stages that I have rudimentary identified. It is near the end of the first, or Primal Stage that most people will chuck these valuable, yet delicate, tools into the world's already burgeoning trash supply. The primal stage is a happy one. A stage with it's glabrously smooth shaves, gliding blades, fresh tingly feelings. It produces the kind of shave a telecommuter needs to face the day's challenges. The masses throw their razors away after stage one because of subliminal programming done through commercials and ads. To put this into the businessperson's perspective: Advertising Works!

...Stage Two, the Slight Adjustment Downward Stage, is everything that stage one was...minus, say, about 19%. The shave is still more than acceptable. For me personally, this stage commences approximately six to ten days after the first use of the razor. If you were a razor and the corporation you worked for where a shave...this would be similar to turning 50 years old. You're still pretty sharp, but perhaps not in line for a corporate vice-presidency.

...Stage Three, the Getting-used-to-You Stage. It may help at this point to change mental perspective and the shaving angle of the blade where it makes contact with the skin. This will temporarily gives the effect of being back at stage two until such time as one can finally admit to oneself, without reservation, that the blade is, indeed, getting dull. This is the longest lasting of the five stages...a period of adjustment and acceptance. This is similar to being married for seven years. Everything is not as rosy as it once was but still perfectly workable.

...Four, the Steel Thyself stage. You've made the decision...you're going to play it out just a bit longer. You're challenged now. The weather, as well as your attitude, now plays an important part in your shaving routine. If the day has been dry you may have to keep you skin wet a tad longer after showering or washing to add moisture and soften those hairs. This is the stage from whence inventiveness is derived. You are probably a problem solver. Step four people know that the shave at this juncture is just as smooth as in Stage Two, but the method of achieving that smoothness has changed.

...And finally, Stage Five. That's it, just Stage Five...if you've made to this point, you are among the select, penurious few who would even venture this far out to save a half a buck. If companies adopted a Stage Five attitude and lived by the now primitive corporate credo of "maximizing profits and minimizing losses" ......well, I leave the allegorical interpolation to you, the reader.

...In finality I feel I have proven my theorem that telecomming is indeed an arduous process that has been delegated to the relegated, but that does not mean that a bad shave need play into the overall picture, and that, in general, working at home is as productive as it might be in any other ocular enclave.