GROUPMIND QUESTION: Can help desk workers work from home?

I’ve got to go take my evening pills and get the laundry out of the dryer, so this will be quick. I just saw ‘s VERY HELPFUL and insightful comments on my opening chapter, and it gave me a grand idea. I’d like to “get there faster” and combine those first two scenes, in a sense. But. . . .

Okay, I know that sometimes when you call a mail-order catalog, you get a home worker who is taking those order calls from home. Or at least that used to be the case with Lane Bryant and The Paragon when I’d call late at night. *blush* Does that still ever happen?

Because I’d like Ariadne to be taking that “help with the aquarium” phone call from, say, her sister’s house, on the regular telephone. Maybe companies sometimes let you forward your phone to cover the help desk calls. My husband used to get help desk calls on his cell phone at night, REALLY late, because the system would forward them to him.

Maybe we can’t do this. I know some help desk stuff has been sent off to India and other faraway lands. Maybe it’s not done this way. If not, I’ll just condense that opening scene so we can get to the incensed sisterly reaction scene more quickly. Still . . . it would be pretty neat if this were possible.

I need to show Ari’s normal world and how it’s disrupted. Readers should know that she works at Aqualife (the aquarium company) because later on she gets to use the expertise to solve the mystery. However, is right to suggest that I don’t need to refer to Ari’s boss by name and give too many details. That was important in the first book–when Ari stayed there in town and the boss was a player in the plot–but heck, this time we don’t really need to know about it, except to know she has a job and she can’t stay in Marfa for more than a couple of weeks without messing up her present life. When she gets to Marfa and enters the monkey cage, she almost decides to stay there, but it’s a good thing she doesn’t, as things aren’t what they first seem.

ANYhow. Wonder what search terms I would use to find out about these kinds of support desk jobs? It stands to reason that you could have people working from home on the support desk after hours. Most of the time they’re sitting in a cubicle farm using a computer, but why couldn’t they use a laptop and log in to the work computer (for answering questions–info is in database) and have the calls come to the house? That makes sense to me. However, if it’s too difficult to explain so that readers grasp and accept it quickly, I won’t try to do it. . . .

Eep, supposed to have taken pills thirty minutes ago! Back later with a “thank you” post and more musings on editing/polishing.


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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