My friend Joanne Basile posted about this last week.
On the whole, telecommuters are more productive than people in cube farms because there are fewer distractions. You'd be amazed how much of your day is eaten up in an office environment with chit chat, fire drills, people asking you to help them get the 30 page report with staples out of the copier and the endless parade of birthday lunches.
However, there are some things that happen at home that people don't think about.
For me, it's the endless stream of door to door solicitors that break up my day. My UPS man knocks softly and leaves my package. He gets it. However, the following people do not.
- Random hippies who care deeply about something that is on their clipboard. They ring the bell a minimum of three times. This is FANTASTIC when you're on a conference call.
- FedEx - FedEx likes to throw the package at the door from 200 yards away causing me to scream and weaponize. Also super if you're on a conference call or recording a training video.
- Flyerists - these are the worst. These are the creepy people prowling your neighborhood and leaving garbage on your porch. Sometimes, I hear something and go look out the peephole and there's some creeper just standing there. I don't think I should have to throw away anyone else's garbage. These should simply be outlawed. They apparently are not acquainted with the internet.
- Converters - people who think that I'm ready to sign up to worship Zolton at 2 PM between meetings and that it's just fate that I opened my door with my soul all laid bare for the taking.
Now mind you, I do NOT open my door. I've seen enough movies to know how that scenario ends. But still, I think it's disrespectful to ring the doorbell of a person you do not know or of a person who knows you but does not know you're coming, unless you're being chased by an axe murderer. Wait - that doesn't really work either. Girl scouts are the only known exception to this rule. Oh, and trick or treaters, which I'll get to in a second. Also, this rule is waived at Christmas when people are flinging cookies about like so much confetti.
So I have invented a system I believe will solve this issue for me and my fellow telecommuters.
It's a series of airlocks and consequences, leading to the front door. A person would enter the first airlock and be asked the following question: "Do we know you?" If the answer is no, they are asked "Are you with FedEx or UPS?" If the answer to that is yes, they proceed to the next airlock. If the answer is still no, they are asked if they are being chased by an axe murderer. If the answer to that is no, they are simply vaporized.
If they answer that they DO know us, but answer the question "Do we know you're coming?" in the negative, they are vaporized.
If they know us, we know they're coming, or they have a package, they can proceed to the door.
If they do not know us, but are being chased by an axe murderer, they may proceed to the door IF the axe murderer is NOT in the airlock with them. If he is, sadly, they will both be vaporized. It's for the best.
Girl Scouts and trick or treaters are automatically approved for immediate transport to the front door.
You have to agree this is for the best. This system will be available soon on Amazon.
Since Halloween is coming, the trick or treater exception is important. I love my little trick or treaters. I remember how excited I was to get my costume - usually hand made by my mom - every year and put it on. Mine were always princess-ish and I remember how I thought every one was the best one in the world.
Beate's Hope You Can Cling To challenge, which is called Rays of Hope. The challenge is to make a greyscale card with a pop of pink. It was the perfect way for this little girl to show off her sassy ballerina outfit, and most certainly exactly how she feels about her costume compared to the others.
My dad had bought me some Lyra watercolors for my birthday and that's what I used to watercolor the image with. But see how the paper is sort of transparent?
That's because I bought this CRAY-CRAY paper in Santa Fe - it's made of stone! I'm not kidding - it has no wood or fiber in it at all, and so if you roll it up, it will immediately go back to its shape. It's also water resistant, so it's good for camping or geocaching, and you can even write on it without a pen or pencil - just a stick or a piece of metal. I bought some small pads of it for geocaching. It's called TerraSkin and you can read about it here.
Anyhoo - these little peeps are welcome at my door.
For the rest of them? I say - answer carefully and beware the airlock! :)