Monday, December 5, 2011

Office Hours

For the second time this year, I've had to post office hours on my front door. Is this a problem for anyone else? I mean, my friends (writers and non) know that I keep my hours sacred. I start working when I get up for the kids and I don't stop until they come home from school.

Sometimes that means I forget to eat. Sometimes it means that I don't shower until 2:30p if I have a good run going. It always means I work when I'm sick unless the computer screen is blurry or I can't sit upright. This pattern of work never changes. It has improved though. THIS is the improvement.

Before, I worked until midnight or two in the morning and all weekend long. I've gotten to a point now where my health and spending active time with my kids is more important. I'm also a helluva lot more productive if I keep my hours from 6-3p, and go to bed at 10:30p every night. You wouldn't think so, but it's true. I'm more focused. My writing is faster and better. My day job work is done quickly and well. I also cook better meals when I'm not distractedly stepping away from a scene to toss something in the oven, and my kids and I spend more time talking. That's critical at this age.

If I can, I make appointments and run errands after they come home and we do them together. It's a good schedule for us.

So why, people who are doing work for me outside my house, do you never ever call to tell me you're coming so I can move my car, or talk to you, or discuss deck snow blocking methods? Why do you come willy-nilly and expect me to drop what I'm doing for the next several hours to come chat whenever you knock on the door? Do you KNOW how disruptive that is to my process? You take me out of my book every single time and I have to hope and pray I recapture the sentiments in it.

Why neighbors, do you knock on my door to chat? Why other handyman do you show up at my house to work, with your three year old and five year old in tow who now suddenly need me to babysit them? Feed them? Water them? Offer them my toilet? Keep them out of my kids' rooms? Want to talk, play, run through my house?

It's so annoying to me that just because I work from home, the entire world thinks that means I'm available to them whenever they want something. Yes, teachers too. This is my job. I'm feeding people. Go away. Pardon my moment of rudeness and accept that this is an office, as distant to you as if I were currently in a suit, in a high rise downtown.

So. The note is back on the door. I'm not answering the door or the phone to unexpected individuals. Rant over. The End.


Amber Skyze said...

I'm with you on this one. My mom and MIL just don't get the concept of working from home. They think I'm free all the time. If I don't answer call waiting because I'm on a conference call they get an attitude.'s my job. I can't say "oh wait, my mommy wants to talk to me."
Good Luck.

Mia Watts said...

@Amber, I have been tempted to put a chain across the bottom steps of my front deck, with a plasticized note about office hours and not trespassing. I haven't yet, but there IS a sign on my storm door.

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