Vacuum cleaner bags...The pitfalls of working at home as experienced by a seasoned telecommuter whose grasp on reality far exceeds the pituitary exuberance and can be defined and described herewith and hereafter in the never nullified parlance of the readee and thus more clearly exacerbated and comprehended.

Pitfall #1. The sound of the children as they awaken in the morning and commence their ordinary routine, which is anything but routine, right outside your office. Some days it can be good. Some days it can be bad. Some days they get along. Some days they don't. Each day is an adventure. Each day is unique. I try to pretend I am not at home but rather at some imaginary lushy appointed office on a tropical isle overlooking the majesty of some panoramic landscape. Sometimes this is successful. Sometimes it is not. Most times it is not. My daughter approaches and asks for an image of a Beany Baby to be downloaded from cyberspace. My son 'trips and falls over stones in his way' (An irresistible and almost direct quote from a song in the the resurgent film, "Sound of Music." I personally, don't go in big for resurgences, but that is not to say that they are not a viable conduit for the economy and can still be enjoyable to others. These children know exactly what they're doing and how to play the old man like a stratocaster. Their minds are sharp and goals focused. What would they ever do if I really had to leave the house in the morning and go off to a 'real' office that they could only try to visualize? Would they go through the same thespionics? I think too much.

Pitfall #2. Persons who have to be dealt with while you are on the clock: The person who delivers the mail. The person who delivers the oil. The person collecting for the fund to provide the parabolic with the necessary means for garnering the medium to construct a ductile protuberance and therewith produce a remedy for the cause and effect that has transgressionally evolved from the antimatter of times of yore. The person who calls to sell you something you have not ever ever remotely even been thinking about buying. The neighbor looking to get his car unstuck from burgeoning storm residue. The dentist. The barber. The mechanic. The doctor.

Pitfall #3. The sun...especially like in the late Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall and early Winter. Here I sit inside, looking out. So near yet so far. Do I trim an hour or so from my morning and go play, planning to add that hour back into the schedule in the afternoon or do I merely stare out and feel the small rivulets of tears facade obliquely down my cheeks as I reminisce in self pity about what might have been. I usually stay in and behave...after all, it's the corporation's dime.

Pitfall #4. The refuge for the insatiable, the kitchen is's like a free cafeteria that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and is always open.

The company I work for publishes a small manual to be read before an endeavor of this magnitude is undertaken in which it loosely states that work-at-home employees are in many ways under more stress than their "officed" counterparts. They tend to work more hours. They can be very sensitive about missing even one phone call (I know what I'd think if I called a telecommuter and they were not at home, "Hahahaha, I caught ya!"). They stated that work-at-homes also tended to be honest, upright, handsome solid citizens upon whom you could count come hell or high water. Possessors of high IQ's and great senses of humor. Reliable. Diligent. Forthright. Sensitive. I think those last parts might have been near the back of the manual in small type under, Caution: fantasy delusional syndrome.

I will here and now pass on a tidbit that was passed onto me under the heading of housecleaning/ frugality/telecommuting. The disposable bags in your vacuum cleaner do not necessarily have to be disposed of after their initial usage. Adroit cutting, emptying, sealing and retaping will oft times yield a new-like bag that will slash your disposable bag cost in half. I don't do this more than once for fear of possibly allowing dirt to enentually get into the motor...but saving 50% ain't half bad. my eight-yr-old daughter notices an automotive van commercial this past week in which a real sincere looking mom is talking to us, the observers, about how much she loves her children and cares for their safe being and therefore we are left to infer she knows the vehicle she has chosen is a safe one. She lovingly and dutifully straps her cherubs into their finely appointed safety seats. The next second it shows her quite obviously going much too fast on a narrow country road, in the rain, on a curve. My daughter was appalled. I, as a conscientious telecommuter, do not endorse this kind of reckless behavior.