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My Furry Children and Work

We have four dogs in our family right now. There have only been two instances where they were not lifelong family members. Those two instances were not long enough to have a detrimental effect on neither me or the dog. No worries there, folks. I was watching a program on television this morning where a Chihuahua was rehomed to a lady who had a stroke and didn’t want a service dog. She wanted a companion and it was a good show. It made me think about the relationships I have had with my furry children over the years. Each one was special and different in it’s own way. The same is with the furry children we currently have.

Of course each one has their own story. Our Roxie, for example. She is officially our “old girl.” She was brought to us at 3 months old already housebroken and with all the accessories. Cal had wanted a Jack Russell and a friend of mine knew someone who had purchased one and didn’t think she was a good fit with their toddler. So we took her in and she has been amazing. Now nearly blind and half deaf, she is still spunky and prefers to lean on you compared to most lapdog or other touchy feely stuff. It works for us and her favorite person in the house is the 9 year old. He is the only one she doesn’t randomly warn about invading her space. (Yes, we are the invisibubble type of people here. Ah, but I digress… a story for another day. Our next oldest is Mollie. Mollie was a neighbors dog and I asked to have her when they became too busy to give her the attention her bold spirit required. She is about 5 or 6 years old (I forget) and is what I would like to call our hippie. Mollie likes to chill on the other side of the room watching the entire activity of the room from afar. If it suits her, she will come and join us. Otherwise, she won’t bother you unless she wants a brain massage or to go out. One of those “if I don’t have anything to say, I will keep my yap shut.” Those are our girls.

Our boys are relatively newer additions to the family and while both are still learning, I have never had a dog with such personalities as these two. Luchador was chosen from a litter of Chihuahuas that a family member had. Born with blue eyes, his eyes are a beautiful hazel and you cannot help but notice them in stark contrast to his labrador yellow fur. He is a sweet, snuggly dog and quite smart. He is one of those dogs that has so much love he fills the room with it upon entry. Luchador is daddy to our Courage. Appropriately named, Courage is quite the chicken and has some strange behaviors like the dog from the cartoon show. He is learning what his place is and it is quite helpful that he tries to mimic his daddy’s behavior. It is appropriate to note that Mollie is the mamma dog.

Thinking about our little pack, they are all important to my sanity during my workday. Working from home can make one feel quite isolated. From a professional point of view, the dogs post no security threat as they are not able to understand any thing I am saying to customers while working and certainly cannot write down any company secrets. Further, they have been taught that my office is a no bark zone. I like this because they can alert me when someone is near the house without making any noise. It makes me feel quite safe. I also refer to them as “my assistants.” Sometimes I tend to get so drawn into my work that I will forget that it is time to get up and take a stretch or that it is lunch time.

Let me stop for a minute. Luchador wants a head pat. Pat Pat pat. 🙂

Ok. Yes, they remind me to get up and stretch. Remember, it is not healthy to sit at your desk for hours and hours. I am a big advocate of taking full advantage of those breaks and lunches. If you work at home, you should too. My furry children help me get through my day and, to be honest, help me keep my sanity.

What saving grace do your furry children provide for you? Are they chock full of personality?  Let me know!

What do YOU think?

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My Assistants: Working From Home

When you work from home, having someone to be your personal assistant is not a luxury that many are afforded. I am fortunate enough to have a good support system and, on school holidays, the children take turns being my “assistant” for the day. What this means is that I won’t have to get my own coffee, let the dogs in our out, check the mail,  or anything else (besides going pee) that requires me to get up and leave my desk. This does take some careful orchestration. Because I work in a call center, my office must have a quiet, distraction free area and there needs to be zero background noise. Fortunately for me, my company allows for me to have my phone in the office with me so long as it remains silent. This means I can text one of the kiddos in another part of the house and request a reheat of my coffee or for them to bring me a lunch.

I try to give them leeway in somethings. Surprise me with what you are bringing me for lunch. Come and check on me every now and then. What they do is quietly open the door, give me a thumbs up and if I do the same in return, they will go away satisfied. If I don’t, I will wave them in and write down whatever it is I need for them to do. This is something that works for our household and is not easy to accomplish for everyone. It enables me to teach them a value of a good day’s work and it allows me to ensure they are OK while working. Obviously you cannot do this with a child under the age of 8. However, for older kids, it is a great way to teach valuable lessons, while ensuring they are OK throughout the day as well as getting your work done.

Of course the kiddos go back to school. Most days that I work, they are doing their job of earning an education. My job makes us money and their job ensures they are able to get a job better than I what I have and to help them become productive citizens after being on this planet for a couple of decades. It works for us to think of it this way.  When they are out doing their “jobs.” I still have assistants. The dogs. 🙂

On their own, the dogs we have understand that Mommy’s office is a no bark zone. I am not entirely sure if that is anything that I taught them. But, when they are quarantined in the office with me, should someone knock on the door or they hear something, they whisper bark. It is something more of a bark that is mumbled under the breath. They are great at letting me know if they hear something. They are also considerate of the noise they make if I am able to leave my office door open. That doesn’t happen much but I do that to allow them to come and go instead of being locked up in a stifling server room. They also remind me that it is time to take a break and rest my eyes for a few minutes. When you work in an office setting, whether it is work at home, or if it is in a brick and mortar office, breaks and lunches are important. They give you the opportunity to get up, stretch, rest your eyes and decompress for a few minutes. Depending on how long my lunch is, I am afforded the opportunity to play fetch in the yard or even take them for a walk.

Each of my assistant’s have their own style and affect my day positively in different ways. I would not be able to enjoy the lifestyle that is working from home without them.

What do YOU think?

Posted for work: Working In-Office vs. Working at Home

This post is originally found on my work place’s FB page ans was initially written for there. However, it is my creation and I would like to share it with you!

Working In-Office vs. Working at Home
 
We all have our validated reasons for working from home and what makes the lifestyle work for us. Once again, my decision to remain an at-home professional was validated by something simple as walking my son to the bus stop this morning. Here is my little tidbit as to why I am making working from home work for me.
 
Lets back up by saying I woke up before my alarm clock to start my day. Rarely this happens but it can be a glorious thing if you embrace it! Out of bed I sprung…getting some house hold things done prior to walking the kiddo to the bus and clocking in for my daily grind. Normally, I will have started on my coffee rations prior to walking to the bus. However, this morning, I was so busy that I failed to get that far. So, as I was on my way out the door, I grabbed a cup of that morning happy and took it with me to enjoy while chatting with the kids at the bus stop. Just as an aside here, everyone knows that a full cup of java and any article of clothing that happens to be white are not friends. Try as they might, it is just not a happy situation. Thankfully, I make it a habit to try and not wear much white because Murphy’s Law dictates that my coffee will find its way to the white article of clothing and make me look like I am a slob. Or at least like this:
 
 
Sure enough, as we walked to the end of the driveway, what did I do? I sloshed the coffee and there it was: coffee on my shirt. It never fails. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not very graceful when it comes to walking and I try to find ways to fall over things that are not there. (Ghosts! They are tripping!) Add to the long list of talents: The inability to walk and carry a full mug of joe. So yeah, while minor, that was a valid reason to add to my plethora of excuses (well, not really excuses but list was too…repetitive) as to why working from home is the lifestyle that works for me.
 
What is on your list validating that remaining an at-home professional is the right choice for you? What do YOU say?

Why are you so self inflated?

I have done tech support for a while now and it flabbergasts me to have people call in who like to THINK they know what they are doing. They start out by making it very clear that they have been working with technology since 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue. They then go on to tell you they did your job for just as long and are now retired for sixty years. O.o

Ok, well, my brain says it is not sure how that can be since you are calling in, but ok, lets go ahead and fix whatever is ailing your technology today. MMMMkay?

Now, while you fight with me to verify that I have YOUR account and no one that belongs to someone else, you tell me that you have done everything under the sun and to the moon to fix it and you just know that I am not going to be able to help you.

So I advise you that I have to see what happens when you unplug the thing. Wait….is that silence I hear???? I listen as you drop the phone and move all the furniture in the room to pull the plug out of the back of the device and you come back and tell me the deed is done. While we wait for the technology to wake back up, you then tell me that you didn’t think to do THAT! Lo and behold the technology is alive! Were it self aware like in the Wil Smith movie iRobot, it would have told you that was all you had to do Mr. Smarty Apple.

You know, I have a ten year old that would have told him the same and he is a self aware human.

I wonder if the customer was self aware to know that everything else outside of simplicity was unnecessary. Replanting those trees away from the house may be something you regretted doing in your technology troubleshooting just to get the calculator to work my friend.

What do YOU think?

Calling ‘home’ from work.

Sometimes I work on Saturdays. Most Saturdays, our teenager has some sort of thing she has to rush off to and blesses us with the lack of her teenagery presence. Well, maybe not a blessing because she is our gurl and we miss her when she is not here. Just don’t miss that ‘tude so much.

 

At any rate. Working from home, WAH Professionals know it is not as easy as going into the other room and waking said teenager then coming back to your office and return to work.  This is where I have to “call home” and make sure the teenager is up and getting ready so she wont be late to her activity. Anyone with teens knows for sure that if they miss something, no matter how trivial it is to YOU, tears will ensue.

 

So, here I sit tethered to my machine (work has a strict rule that thou shalt be ball and chained to your computer as wireless anything is a big NO NO) trying to get her attention.  She is only 2 rooms away and I know she has to be out the door by half the hour to arrive on time. Texting, texting, texting….no reply. Hrmmmm. It is slow. Maybe I can sneak in an actual call to her without a call coming in from work. Calling……..no answer. Figures, the teen keeps her phone on silent and unless she is looking at the physical phone itself, she is not going to see the thing blinking like a fire truck blaring down the street. Ugh! Time to call the house. Never mind I get lots of flashy lights and notifications in my office when the house phone rings and it annoys me greatly but here we go…..RING (as I hear it through the walls) RING…. RING…..

 

Sleepily, a voice answers. Ah, yes. Just the voice I am painfully searching for. “Are you up m’dear? Get up Daddy so you can go, go, go!!!”  She replies with an “OK Mom. Love ya.” Of course the teenager only says that because she is still SLEEPY!  But hey, it works. I accomplished getting them up and running from the comfort of my floppy bunny slippers.

 

What do YOU think?

 

Disclaimer: Author has several blog outlets and pages. This entry is reprinted on those for high level access.

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