Thursday, March 22, 2012

The perils of working from home

For 15 years I have telecommuted, which is a fancy word for sitting at my desk in my home office, working against odds to make sales calls while fending off children searching for socks and dogs barking in the background.

My neighbors and freinds forget on a daily basis that I do indeed work from home, so the doorbell rings as I'm making an important call or meeting an administrative deadline.  They've seen me wheeling out the trash which feeds this perception that I'm on my day off, or I have a "fun" job that really doesn't require much.

You might say "well just don't answer your door or your home phone when people are calling."  I say to you, "been there, done that!"  The temptation is too great.  I so, however, open the window to my office and shout toward the front of the house, "I'm working here!  What do you need?"  It has helped these unsolocited visits wane.  I have less good freinds on the block and my phonecallers have gotten the message by know.  I do have one freind that has taken to texting me.  I simply put  my phone on vibrate and roll my eyes.  Only one caller will get my attention:  my 13 year old son's school.

There is one person who I'm glad to see.  My bassethound, however, is not.  The FedEx man comes to my house on a regular basis to deliver or drop company shipments.  Some days he is the only person I see between the hours of 8am and 3pm.  We talk about the Red Sox as the dog growls just inside the door.  He puts up with this because he is probably just as isolated in his job and I'm one of the few - I choose to believe - that offer him a cold ice tea in the summer.  This probably frightens him because he always says "no thanks ma'am."  He probably thinks I'm Mrs. Robinson, looking for company.  No, I'm not THAT lonely.

In the words of Willy Lohman in "Death of a Salesman," "it's a lonely profession, sales."  There are, however, huge perks.  On sunny days I can take a coffee break and sit outside letting the sun kiss my weary face.  I can take conference calls with my feet on an ottoman while filing my nails. It also goes without saying that I can work all day in my pajamas.  A word to the wise however:  avoid looking around you because inevitably you will notice dust and laundry that needs to be done.  Be forewarned that if you leave that computer, you may not be able to get the momentum back once you throw that pile of laundry in.

With all of this said,  working from home is a great deal and I am thankful for my job.  There is one item I'd like to purchase with these excess funds if I could find one:  an "On the Air" light that you used to see on radio station studio doors.  Nothing short of a deadbolt and sound proof office can keep my family out while I'm trying to work.  They are the biggest culprits.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice article, Kate, and one that shares several aspects of working from home that I am all too familiar with. We must be careful to dress like we are at work (even casual dress) because of the imminent danger of an attack Skype caller. I am keeping a pair of Groucho Marx glasses near my computer for the next occasion when my sister-in-law calls me. I may not have my makeup on, but thanks to my disguise I WILL have some eyebrows on! I expect to crack up my six year old nephew with them, but if a client calls I just may pull them out: You have to create your own office fun when you work from home!