I work/study at home most days, and most of the time it’s fine. Apart from what seems to be an at least once daily interruption to try market something to me. These interruptions come in two forms – by phone and in person.
The telephone version usually runs something like this: couple of rings of the phone before it finally penetrates my conscious that the phone is actually ringing; debate about whether to answer the phone or not, seeing as it will probably be a computer trying to sell me something; mad and perilous dash down our slightly steep stairs; burst through the living room door and leap at the phone; answer, usually saying, “Hello” at least twice before hearing a click and a “Hello” or a “Do not hang up. This is an important/free message…”; I hang up. The alternate version is fairly similar but slightly more frustrating as I don’t get to actually hang up on the computer – in that version the phone usually stops ringing as I’m making the final lunge for it.
The person version can be a more positive experience, like when its the postman with a newly ordered book from Amazon. But most often it is a young man, often early to mid-twenties, trying to look dapper in varying degrees of smart clothes and gelled-hair (not that I’ve got a problem with smart clothes and gelled hair) who is either going to try sell me something or get me to give just £2 a month to the disabled goldfish in need of new castles for their fishbowls, or other such charity. Now I’ve got no problem with giving money to charity, but here’s the thing – I want to choose which charities. I do not want to be disturbed and made to feel like a really bad person on my own doorstep for refusing to support whichever charity is currently being offered. I’ve taken to checking who’s at the door from the upstairs window (about a 75% success rate of being able to actually see the person) before deciding whether to answer the door or not and quite often it’s not.
The funny thing is – I feel a bit guilty when I don’t answer the phone or the door (which is probably why I risk breaking my neck rushing downstairs to answer the phone a number of times a week). It must be a deeply-ingrained thing that says to not do so is socially unacceptable. Well, I’m throwing that rule out. Until such marketing ploys are banned, apologies in advance if you try to phone or visit and get no response. I love to see/hear from people I know, but I’m obviously having a particularly interruptive day (why do marketing people think such tactics will put their target audience in a good and receptive mood – it has the opposite effect on me). Try my mobile or stand closer to the door so I can’t see you from the upstairs window (though that’s still no guarantee I’ll answer). Or come back in the evening when J (my husband) is home. He is much nicer than me and he is quite likely to respond.
Rant over. Well done if you made it to the end of this post. And if you did, I’m curious to know how others deal with these types of interruptions – would you/do you ever ignore them, or is it just me?