Monday, August 9, 2010

Don't be the local doormat


Jeffrey Zaslow, WSJ, Aug 4, 2010, says if you work at home, are sending out resumes, telecommute, or whatever reason you are home, the neighbors will tend to use you.

Or try to.

PTAs, church groups, other housewives or househusbands, teachers—everyone thinks you have time because you are not in an office.

Could you pick up both kids tomorrow? Let in an installer or repairman? Bake the cupcakes. You know the drill.

Some shut-ins (as I ironically call us) are fighting back. Mommylogic.com and babycenter.com have had their threads about shut-ins who are fed up.

If someone puts them as an emergency contact at school, they may get a sick kid. But going to the store for people? Helping them move?

One woman said she felt like saying she could do it, but could they thrown down $20 for it?

Some people say OK to these requests just to get out of looking for work. They should keep looking.

Advice? Don’t say yes right away—say you’ll think about it. If you can’t or don’t want to, say no, don’t go into excuses or reasons.

Let people know your hours. Have hours.

Ask them to reciprocate.

And—if you need a favor from someone at home—be sure to reciprocate and be clear that you value the friendship too much to let a request ruin it.

I have worked at home 29 years. I still get a blank look from family members when I remark, “Today’s a work day.”

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