DEAR MISS MANNERS: As people are now telecommuting to work, as I do, how does one avoid unwanted people at one’s door?
In my job, I have to use extreme concentration and I feel that I should not be interrupted in the privacy of my own home. I had a custom sign made and posted on my door that says, “By Appointment Only; Absolutely No Soliciting.” That was the most polite thing I could come up with.
However, I find that people still ring my doorbell asking things like, “Would you like to sell your car?” (If I did, there would have been a “For Sale” sign on it.)
In my job, I can lose many thousands of dollars if an important call is interrupted by the door, so I get quite stressed. “No trespassing” signs don’t help, either. I can’t ignore the doorbell for wondering if it’s an emergency. I would enclose the entire yard with a locked fence, except I have to have deliveries made, and I could not carry them up my steps. How would you handle this?
GENTLE READER: By first taking a deep breath.
As a longtime telecommuter (so long that the term did not exist when she began), Miss Manners is sympathetic to your problem. But if you commonly have emergencies that show up at your doorstep, she wonders what you did before you worked at home.
Now, at least, you can smell or hear when the house catches fire, something that was probably not possible in the office. A workspace out of visual sight of the front door, and a quiet doorbell, should solve your problem.