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To not answer the phone (working from home)

(39 Posts)
LittleLionMansMummy Fri 03-Nov-17 09:47:59

To be clear, I mean not answer the phone to family members - I always answer it to colleagues!

I work from home 4 days a week (on leave today!) Despite repeatedly asking family to limit their calls when I'm working to lunchtime, or to text and I'll call back when free, they (notably my dad) repeatedly call me mid morning, mid afternoon etc. They seem to think that 'working from home' means I can be contacted at any time, just for a chat. Additionally I'm just back from maternity leave and am trying very hard to prove myself to colleagues that despite having two dc I am capable of doing my work well. I'm so annoyed by it.

Recently I was on a conference call. Luckily I had my work phone muted as there were 20 participants on the call. My dad called the house phone. He then called my personal mobile (he's very persistent too). I've begun cancelling calls during work hours. It's never anything urgent and it's not like I haven't explained to him a thousand times!

I don't think IABU am I? I expect he'll complain that I've started ignoring his calls.

PollytheDolly Fri 03-Nov-17 09:50:00

YANBU at all! Keep those boundaries.

FiddleWiddiRiddim Fri 03-Nov-17 09:50:55


I work from home. It's incredibly annoying. I also have the thing of people thinking it's okay to "pop" round for a coffee.

I think it's absolutely fine to say you won't be answering the phone during work hours and then don't.

It might take time for them to get used it but they'll get the message.

Can you turn your phone off and unplug your house phone during work hours?

Shoxfordian Fri 03-Nov-17 09:51:31

Yanbu at all, that sounds really annoying

FiddleWiddiRiddim Fri 03-Nov-17 09:52:31

Sorry, I meant to say, a friend of mine got herself a cheap mobile and only gave the number to schools/nurseries/DH. When she was working at home, she turned off her other mobile and unplugged her landline. So she knew the important people (school, nursery etc.) could get in touch with her in an emergency but she wouldn't receive any non-emergency calls.

Would that be an option?

LuckyBitches Fri 03-Nov-17 09:54:10

YANBU. You have no obligation to answer the phone to anyone. that's what i tell myself, anyway. I have needy family members that frankly take the piss. Would they expect you to chat if you were sat in an office?

Ifailed Fri 03-Nov-17 09:54:29

When I worked from home, I used my landline for work related stuff and turned my mobile to silent - people soon got the message.

afrikat Fri 03-Nov-17 09:56:19

Wow how annoying! What does your dad say when you ask him not to call?

Butteredparsn1ps Fri 03-Nov-17 09:56:34


I work from home too. I’m not available for personal phone calls, sales chats, random errands, coffee, lunch, changing my religion, altering my utility provider or providing a taxi service. Because I’m at at WORK.

redavocado Fri 03-Nov-17 10:01:32

YANBU! I hate this. I've had neighbours hammering on the door before because they know I'm home. I'm also on a call FFS!

LittleLionMansMummy Fri 03-Nov-17 10:08:05

afrikat it's like he has a mental block. When I do call him back at a better time he's always 'oh sorry love, I know you're busy' etc but does exactly the same again. It's always on a complete whim too, just because he has a spare half hour. My mum even tells him not to (on the rare occasion she calls me it's first thing before work or lunchtime - she totally gets it). Tbh it gets quite suffocating. He doesn't just ring once either - he tries all phones, sometimes twice in succession. I won't give him my work number and agree I should silence the mobile (can't do that with the home phone in case my ds's school call).

Fishfingersandwichnocheese Fri 03-Nov-17 10:12:42


If you keep ignoring him he will eventually get the message.

Fishfingersandwichnocheese Fri 03-Nov-17 10:13:23

When he says "Sorry love I know you're busy"

Ask him why he keeps doing it then ?

SisterhoodisPowerful Fri 03-Nov-17 10:16:23

If he just tried one phone during your work hours, that would be simple to fix. That he calls you multiple times on every phone despite knowing you’re at work is pretty controlling behaviour. He’s telling you that nothing in your life is as important as he is. It’s not a sign of a respectful and loving parent. I’d be blocking him on every phone but your personal mobile. And do not return his calls. Ignore every single call he makes during your work hours. And tell him you’re doing this because his behaviour is rude and demanding.

clarabellski Fri 03-Nov-17 10:21:27


I have this same problem but with my office phone! I gave the number out for emergencies but I get calls to ask me if I want a pair shoes my mum found in the M&S outlet


Thank Dog for caller ID...

Anatidae Fri 03-Nov-17 10:24:10

Turn the phone off. Get a cheap mobile if you need to. Put a message on the answerphone - “you’ve reached xxx. I am working and unable to respond to your call.”

MrsArchchancellorRidcully Fri 03-Nov-17 10:25:49

God no YANBU. I work from home full time and I have a work landline and home landline. If I’m working I’m ‘not at Home’ and put the Home phone on answerphone. My mobile is on silent and no one but DH and work knows my work landline. DH always phones my voicemail number and leaves a message or if urgent he texts. If an emergency he’d call the work landline. School have my work landline too but that would also only be called in an emergency.
Tell your family you’ve changed your work number but can’t give it out and if they need to, call your home landline and leave a message. You’ll call back when you can. You’re being paid to work. It just happens to be at home.

LittleLionMansMummy Fri 03-Nov-17 10:28:46

I know how it seems Sisterhood but he's definitely got worse (more needy and forgetful) with age. He has always been a little on the manipulative side though, so you do have a point. Basically though, he's a good man. Age and semi retirement has not helped.

BarbaraofSevillle Fri 03-Nov-17 10:31:13

YANBU. They can't ring 'for a chat' morning, noon and night when you are working.

Unplugged landline and personal mobile on silent in another room sounds like a good idea if you have a work mobile that you can use for work.

But you need to sort this with them. The situation at the moment is that they call all the time, so you have to ignore them because they are disturbing your work with triviality.

But the problem with that is, that if something happens to either of them, and they need you urgently, you will probably ignore that call too, because experience shows that it's just chit chat they want. Remind them of the 'boy who cried wolf'. Repeated calls to several numbers is behaviour that is only justified in urgent circumstances, not when someone wants a chat that could take place later that day.

(Sorry, that's a bit morbid and assumes they are elderly, which they might not be, but it sounds like they are retired if they have a lot of time on their hands).

TheSnorkMaidenReturns Fri 03-Nov-17 10:32:54

Very annoying. I'm a home worker too.

You can ask the school to phone your mobile first - it'll just be a simple tick on their database. Explain why (vaguely) and I'm sure they'll be sympathetic.

I have favourites on my iPhone and set it to 'do not disturb'. School is a favourite. It also means I don't get side tracked by Facebook, what's app, snapchat etc notifications all day. I choose when I have a cup of coffee and a break, not the phone.

LittleLionMansMummy Fri 03-Nov-17 10:36:40

You're absolutely right Barbara and that does worry me. But I have stressed that if it's urgent they should text and I'll call. Dad is almost 70 so not 'elderly' as such, although beginning to show and feel his age I suspect. I think the other problem is that I generally make more time for my parents than either of my sisters. So I end up being asked to be a go between on a lot of things when my sisters aren't responsive. To be fair to them, they probably just have a lower patience threshold than me!

littlemissneela Fri 03-Nov-17 10:38:33

My dh hears your problem loud and clear. He gets, or rather, used to get this from his mum. All the time. She would talk for hours if she could, but the same thing over and over. She passed away last month but I still expect her voice on the phone. His dad is just as bad and waffles on. I expect this to get worse now.
Would it be an idea to give your kids schools your work number, and then you can mute the home and private number during working hours, but still feel reassured they can get hold of you should they need to?

LittleLionMansMummy Fri 03-Nov-17 10:39:16

My personal mobile is with a network provider that is absolutely rubbish where I love TheSnorkMaiden so I always ask school to call the landline in the first instance. Having said that, my contract is up so I think I need to make switching my provider a priority...!

mindutopia Fri 03-Nov-17 10:42:09

You aren't being unreasonable. I work from home too and I don't take personal calls (though obvs I do waste time on mumsnet). I take like calls from the GP or school or things like that, but my mum calls after work if we're going to have an hour long chat. I just keep my phone on silent when I think I might get interrupted.

Greyponcho Fri 03-Nov-17 10:42:53

Would it work to have a schedule you can give your dad to keep by his phone so he knows when not to call you’re at work?
My dad had a phase of calling me late at night for ‘chit chat’, I’d answer, worried like hell why he’d need to call me so late, it just didn’t occur to him that I didn’t have time to chat at 11pm and I needed my sleep to function for an early start in the morning. He got it after a while

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