How Do They Know I am Sitting in Front of My Computer 12 Hours a Day?

When I was growing up, our telephone rang almost every week night as soon as my mother put the dinner on the table.  My father was an insurance agent and had his own small business.  He went to work, where he spent the usual business day, and after the day was done, he came home. These were the days before cell phones and computers and most people left their work behind them when they closed the office door.  Not like today, where most people carry their Blackberries and iPhones and are at the beck and call of their bosses 24/7.

However, back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, our telephone always rang at dinner time.  I used to think our house had a secret camera in the kitchen and my father’s clients just waited until my mother’s delicious dinners hit the table to dial the phone (yes, the phone actually had dials, not push buttons!).  My father always took the calls and let his dinner get cold, because his clients came first.

Maybe I get my work ethic from my father. Today, I sit at the computer from about 7am-7pm and then go back to check it every so often before I go to sleep.  The questions never end, and I try to answer them as soon as possible.

I actually enjoy watching our auctions go off – most bidding comes at the end and it gets exciting when the numbers jump up.  But just like the hidden cameras I envisioned in my kitchen wall as a child, I sometimes think these faceless eBay bidders somehow know that I am sitting at my computer at auction time.  With  just minutes to go before the final bell, the questions suddenly start appearing in my email.  Sometimes the questions are easy to answer, but often the questions entail a great deal of work – like taking a watch apart or checking out historical facts about the treasurer of the state of Connecticut in 1790 (that one was an actual question) .

As auctions are going off, I am actually multi-tasking.  I am uploading new auctions.  I am emailing my clients the final bid so they can keep track of their own auctions.  I am updating our Excel spreadsheet with the closing bids, eBay final fees and PayPal fees in those rare cases when the buyers pay immediately.  I have a lot to do during auction time.  I don’t have time to tell a potential bidder if there are fingerprints on the dinnerware auction going off in 2 minutes.  You know, I really wouldn’t mind, if the person asking the question was a serious bidder, as I want the auctions to go as high as possible.  But it really irks me when the person for whom I answered all their  questions doesn’t even bid, even though I know the answers I gave them where what they were looking for.

There should be a rule – serious inquiries only with less than a hour to go for all auctions!  And turn those secret cameras off!

Published in: on July 23, 2010 at 8:38 am  Leave a Comment  

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