I conduct a lot of phone surveys for insurance industry clients. My office is a room in my home, but it’s often subject to the sounds of the home, especially in the summer! Summertime means the windows are open for that wonderful cool Minnesota morning breeze, which means there’s people walking outside, which means the dog will bark. (have you met Dozer?) It also means my daughter doesn’t have school and needs some direction on activities she can do while I’m on the phone.
Work-life balance is totally a thing, right? And I’m totally living it, right?
Some days I feel pretty balanced, others are tough.
Last Friday was one of the tough days. I was on a call I had worked very hard to schedule and reschedule. It would only take 30 minutes, tops, but that was my challenge – complete this call in 30 minutes or less while muting in anticipation of a huge dog bark, unmuting in time so the client knows I’m still in the conversation, and muting to quickly respond to my daughter’s questions, rinse and repeat. During the call, she bumped her knee and started crying. She came to my office door telling me she got hurt, and there was no way to mute in time or quickly “shh” her with that universal “shh” gesture. I had to stop. I chose to tell the 4 people on the other end of the phone that I had to mute for a minute and take care of my daughter.
While I was muted, the 4 people said things like:
“I bet this isn’t what you expected today!”
“this is the modern world of parenting…”
And then someone said it was “like that one reporter when his kids barged in on his news interview…” I came back into the call at that moment and said “this is why I don’t do video calls!”
We finished the call and everything was OK.
Thanks for sharing, Abby. I was taught “if you don’t have anything nice to say, than don’t say anything at all”. Your post is a great reminder that we ALL have to manage work life balance.
I felt their comments were still in the nice territory, being that they were all Canadian too… I have felt more comfortable with the dog bark here and there and kid whining when talking to Canadians than fellow Americans. The Americans give me anxiety unless I already know them!