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Don’t Try This At Home: Ten Tips to Save Your Butt When Working at Home

When the time comes to work at home, please follow these fool-proof tips. I can’t speak for Laurie, but this fool didn’t and now I wish I had a fairy god mama that would have pointed me in the right direction. Coaches on the Edge Fairy Dust is now available for $9.99 plus $0.09 S&H. Just send the checks to my house. Laurie doesn’t need to know.

Number One: With a Bullet.
For the love of God and everything we hold dear in this world, do not, I repeat, do not buy sweat pants for comfort while working. You can be just as brilliant in your own damn trousers! I fell under the spell of “well, they are kind of cool black sweats and I did not buy them at Wal-Mart and I could even go walking with them on” line of crap. I don’t care if Giorgio Armani designed sweats for his couture line. Do not wear them at home while working. They do have their place—putting laundry in, cleaning out a litter box or five but if you sit in front of your computer for eight to twelve hours a day, you will have develop a HUGE butt and don’t get me started on the land where small waistlines go. You need to feel the cold, hard metal of a zipper against your flesh each day of your life.

Number Two: Caller ID Is a Must. 
Tell people that you are working from home and suddenly you become the perfect candidate to wait for the cable guy, meet little Johnny after school because he got detention, take the car to the garage, the pants to the cleaners, and any other job that no one else wants to do. Don’t pick up the phone until you see who is calling. Unless it’s Publisher’s Clearing House telling you that you’ve won, let the answering machine get it.

Number Three: Get Outside Everyday.
Regardless of the weather, open the front door, crack open a window, and escape. Don’t put it off until later in the day because you know damn well you won’t do it. Don’t wait till the cops show up because the neighbors thought they smelled something funky coming from your house. You don’t need to read your obituary in the paper. They always put a picture of you with in your eyes closed. Take the cat for a walk.

Number Four: Make Sure Your Mute Button Works.
In case you didn’t follow advice in Tip Number Two and picked up the phone, you may as well use the time productively. You can wash dishes, empty garbage cans, shred documents, and take bathroom breaks while you’re on the phone getting your next assignment from those who think working at home = free time. Just make sure you ask a question that requires a long answer and then mute while you flush.

Number Five: Cleanliness Is Next to Impossible if You Don’t Bathe.
I could write a book, but I am in the shower.

Number Six: Remove All Computer Games from Your Desktop.
Yes, that includes Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, Free Cell, and any other mind-numbing, totally useless, and always addictive entertainment that makes you sit for hours in front of your screen manipulating your mouse (doesn’t that sound slightly dirty?).

Number Seven: If the Green Mold on the Bread Starts to Bubble …
Call the Hazardous Materials hotline number. These guys could use a good laugh and who knows maybe you’ll get invited out to lunch. I would just suggest that someone else taste the food first.

Number Eight: No Eating in Front of the Computer.
Jelly in the keyboard is impossible to remove, as is oatmeal, salad dressing, and powdered sugar from a doughnut. The plus side of this is you will have friend during what could be a solitary day—ant, roaches, and if you’r lucky, a mouse (we’re not talking digital here) or two.

Number Nine: Oprah’s 24th Season Started.
And try as you may, you can’t just unplug your computer and move it to the bedroom. Why don’t I have a lap top? Silly, I work at home now and my 401K just had last rites ... again. Plus it is good to see how Oprah makes her billions. So I will keep on working in heels with a fully made up face and two pairs of Spanx.

Number Ten and the Most Obvious of All:
DO NOT tell anyone, including your husband and kids, that you are working from home! It’s none of their business, and how are you ever supposed to get any work done if people know where you are?