New Rule - No Phone Calls From Work

September 01, 2005

In May 2000, Michele got a phone call at home from my employer looking for me. I had taken the day off in celebration of my birthday. She took a message and called me on my cell phone. The sordid details aside, I was "downsized" that day.

In March 2004 after coming home from work for the day I received a call from my project manager asking me to come back to work, and when pressed about the reason he wouldn't say. This time I was fired; my contract terminated.

So this evening, when we were just sitting down to dinner and my cell phone rang, and the caller was my project manager at work, both of us had a heart-in-the-throat moment. I actually interrupted the guy to tell him that the last two times work had called me at home "after hours" it was to let me go. I point blank asked him if this call had anything to do with getting let go. He assured me that it didn't. He merely wanted to go over some task he wanted me to work on exclusively in the morning. Details that could have, and should have, been expressed in an email.

Sure, I'm a little gun shy, but when the only calls you get from work precede bad news, I think you are allowed to overreact. From here on out, no more calls from work. Please.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.