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Working from home

August 11, 2008

I work for a company whose clients are police departments, district attorney’s offices and public safety agencies. I am an “account manager”. I am actually the account manager since we are a small company.

I work from home on Fridays. I don’t have daycare that day. When I first took the job and school was just getting out for the summer it was my plan to have my 15 year old watch the 5 year old on Fridays while I went into the office. We tried that for two weeks but after the dog was painted yellow and the 5 year old cut off her hair I realized it just wasn’t going to work and I started working from home.

This past Friday I was up and at work by 6am. Which is much sooner than when I have to shower, dry my hair, get dressed to work downtown, make lunches (yes I know I can do this the night before but it never works out that way), tell the child to get dressed at least three times, make her change her clothes since we can’t wear tights and a wool sweater to school in the summer no matter how much you don’t care that you might be a little warm, and drop the 5 year old off at daycare and talk to the teacher for 20 minutes because we tend to chat too much.

I started calling clients early since we have many on the east coast. When I call clients and I get their voice mail I leave a message to call my office number since most don’t bother to call me back anyway.

At about noon I made lunch for the 5 year old and let the dogs out. The dogs have not taken to my new work schedule and have let me know by peeing on the carpet in front of my home office. I found a present and was in the midst of cleaning it up when the phone rang. My home phone. I answered like I do when it is a call to my house which usually means I am shouting at someone in the background as I answer the phone. In this case I was grumbling about the big dumb dog for peeing on the carpet and how he is too old for this kind of thing and ought to know better.

On the phone is a client. A relatively new client from a large east coast district attorney’s office. It took me a second to change hats and remember why I had called her. I was not at my computer at the moment and mentioned as much. And then I couldn’t shut up. I explained that I worked from home on Fridays, I went into the why of it including the yellow dog and then to make matters worse I mentioned that I was in the middle of cleaning up the pee from the big dumb dog. I could not stop making myself out to be the most unprofessional account manager in history.

She was polite enough but obviously does not have children and dumb dogs. I think I made her a little nervous. At the end of the conversation I asked if my boss had given her my phone number since I couldn’t imagine how else she might have called me at home. Evidently I left my home number when I called her. My home number is not that different from my office number but I was holding my business card when I left her the voice mail for that very reason, and I haven’t remembered my office number with extension completely.

This is definitely a case of less is more. I would make a horrible attorney.

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