I work freelance as a marketing consultant so most of the time I work from home. This means I can sit and work in my pants if I so choose. I do not do this as I have to do the school run first and doing that in your pants is generally frowned upon (though I have spotted several doing it in their PJs). Anyhow, if I wanted to I could and knowing I could pleases me.
I may not work in my pants but I do take advantage of being free of the tyranny and restrictions of regular office working. I have heard of some people who work from home and in order to feel business-like they still get up and put the power suit on before retiring to their spare bedroom. These people need to get a grip, I mean really? I do not do this.
Recently though I had a request from a client that sent me into a spiral of horror (no, not THAT kind of request). I was invited to….. Skype. The thought made me shudder; I’ll have to start wearing make -up; I’ll have to wash my hair; I’ll have to dress smart; I’ll have to *da da daaaaa*… tidy up!!!!
I was so comfortable in my private, closeted world of working from home of making my own rules – maintaining an illusion of perfect professionalism to clients while sat in my scruffs and masking the noises of arguing children, neighbours’ lawn mowers and the man from Asda trying to deliver my shopping. All of a sudden the real world was closing in on me and I didn’t like it.
Time to Face Facetime, Time to Step up to Skype?
Looking at it logically I could deal with thinking of a Skype call as a meeting; I can manage to get myself washed, dressed and looking smart for those; but what if people try and Skype me on a random basis, or arrange a call without giving me the due notice required to wash, apply slap, smarten up and tidy my office (approx. 2 days)?
I wondered whether I could get away with taking a photo of me looking smart and creating a mask that I can hold in front of my face for the duration. I then wondered if I could get away with creating a mask of somebody else’s face and doing that (Kate Middleton, Angelina Jolie, Anne Widdecombe?). In the end I made the excuse that I didn’t have a webcam (cop out I know!).
Since that time though I have started thinking I should bite the bullet and be brave so I’m easing myself in. I dabbled with Skype without pictures (yes I know, that’s basically the same as a phone call but one step at a time) and just this week I was invited to take part in a Google+ Hangout by my friend and uber-vlogger, Nadine Hill. I dug deep and I did it, I decided that at least I could see how goofy I looked on video without exposing myself to actual paying clients. The result is here on Nadine’s Juggle Mum blog. It wasn’t so bad but I’m such a newb that I had the webcam way too close to me so the name band went right over my mouth for the whole thing. Hey ho, you have to take the positives – my hair looked shiny and the name covered up my crooked teeth!
So will I take the plunge and start offering Skype conferences to clients? Probably not just yet, but I might move the webcam back and go get some braces in anticipation of 3 years hence when I feel ready to face the world. That should just about give me time to tidy up too.