I hate unexpected company. I always have. I hate when someone just stops by for a “visit” or shows up because they were in the neighborhood. I feel imposed upon like it is required now for me to drop everything I was doing or had planned to do in the next hour or so and entertain them. It’s not that I don’t like people to visit, it’s just that we need to discuss when beforehand. I have my days scheduled out and it is hard for me to get back on track when two hours of my time has been wasted.

People often feel that since I work from home that 1) I am always available for “visiting” and have infinite time to just chit chat or 2 )I am available 24/7 for work-related activities. Neither of which is true. It is a delicate balance working from home. You have to set boundaries so that you do not let work take over but you also have to make sure you don’t let home life interfere and prevent you from completing your work.

If you want to visit me you need to call ahead and I don’t mean 10 minutes, I mean a few days and see if I am available. This gives me time to work it into my schedule or to come up with a valid excuse if I just don’t want you to visit. Often, people who “visit” or stop by only do it because they want something from you. They need a drink or something to eat or a place to just chill for a couple of hours. They haven’t found their passion in life so they are bored and therefore feel the need for you to entertain them as if you have nothing better to do. They love to show up at dinner time because they know that like any good Appalachian girl you will offer them to eat. Damn my manners.

Not only will you drop everything you are doing to entertain them because as the hostess it is your duty, you will also feed them the dinner you were making even if it means you go hungry. But of course, you will not let them know because you were raised better than that. No, you will simply say “I’m not hungry, I’m still full from lunch”. Then after dinner, you will clean up the kitchen while they lounge around the table or in the front room watching your TV. By the time they leave, you have wasted your entire evening and you are now a day behind which means the long lunch you had scheduled with your friend for tomorrow afternoon will have to be canceled. Not to mention you are now so frustrated and hungry that you gorge on a whole box of jalapeno poppers right before going to bed and wake up with indigestion at 3 am. This makes the next day a waste because you are way too tired to think. This little visit has now cost you a day and a half of work, lunch with a real friend, and a sleepless night.

These people pretend to be your friend but if they were actually your friend they would respect your boundaries and they would know that you hate when people just “stop by”. The least they could do is offer to do the dishes.