Today’s story is brought to you by the letter “B” for “barf”.

(The second in a, presumably, 26-part series that began with this post.)

As many of you know, I have been working from home for a little over a year. I no longer have an office with a nameplate over the door or a big desk upon which to scatter my dozens of toys. However, I also don’t have a twice-daily, long-ass drive filled with psychopathic maniacs who were given a license merely because they had $48 and the stamp of approval from a bored DMV worker.

I have my little desk along a wall in my bedroom. It’s got just enough room for my monitors and keyboard and some other little things like a cup of coffee, my Nook, a notepad and pen, and my sonic screwdriver and Harry Potter wand.

During the day, our four cats take turns hopping up on the bed and sleeping in the sunny spot under the window. It’s a rare day that I don’t sit back and contentedly take a sip of coffee whilst scratching the ears of a kitty to hear him or her purr. Others may have their problems with working from home, but I love it.

There are days like today, however, that would never happen in a “real” office.

As I said, my little desk doesn’t have room for much, and since my business phone service works just as well through software, I use a headset to communicate with the outside world. No handset required. I tried setting up a bluetooth headset, but it didn’t work. So, my headphones are wired to the PC. Most of the time, this is fine. I don’t have to move around during phone calls, so the tethered approach isn’t a bother.

Today, as I participated in a conference call with one of our software partners and a mutual client, I heard the slow building “urp urp” of a cat preparing to spew a steamy mass of hair and spittle. (Let me stop you here in case you don’t have experience with cats. Google “hairball” and skip the reference to the 80’s metal cover band.)

To my horror, there was Smudge, the slimy, brown spit already drizzling from her “omg I’m a gaggin” kitty face. Just having stripped the bed and washed the comforter and sheets and replaced them, I was in no mood for a repeat performance. Somehow, I managed to leap from my chair, grab her by a leg and drag her off the bed…but I fear at the expense of my headset and the listeners on the other end of the phone. I’m pretty sure what they heard was: “urp urp gack NOOO! Get off! crash!! rowr!”

To make matters worse, the door was closed. So, as I settled back in my chair and replaced the headset, I realized that this was only barfus interruptus. There was still a hairball that needed its freedom from my cat’s inner workings. So, yet another round of “urp urp gack AW CRAP! crash! open door, slam door” greeted my conversation mates.

I didn’t hear anything from either one of them. So, it might not have been as painfully embarrassing as I thought. Still…sorry about that guys!

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2 Responses to Today’s story is brought to you by the letter “B” for “barf”.

  1. Karan says:

    There are so many more of these business -interuptus in your future! I’ve been “telecommuting” since 1997 and believe me, cat barf is only one of the background bits of noise that will interrupt the most sedate of business calls. Now that I have a grandson here, I’ve said on live air, did you eat your yogurt, don’t pee in the corner and where’s your diaper. ANd just so you feel better, I have also screamed at the cat to stop barfing. This just doesn’t happen often enough for the stay at home professional!

  2. ChariD says:

    This is why I always have my mic muted when I’m wearing my headset at home while teleworking. It’s easier for me to apologize for not appearing to answer because I’d forgotten I was muted than to have everyone hear the dog in my lap farting.

    I also make sure my hair is at least brushed and I have a decent shirt on, thanks to impromptu emergency vtel meetings over webcam. I can sit in my jammy bottoms or shorts all day. Business up top, party down below… or something.

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