Saturday, December 24, 2005

John Higgins's workday is filled with constant interruptions. That's because the packaging-company executive usually works from a home office, where his "co-workers" include his wife, Kelly, his four-year-old son, Jack, and his five-month-old black Labrador, Plato.

One recent morning, the pup got hold of a roll of toilet paper and minced it into many, many pieces. Mr. Higgins, who is his own workplace janitorial service, had to clean up the mess.

But that wasn't the last diversion during our 40-minute phone conversation. Mr. Higgins was interrupted a total of four times if you count the time he heard his son's voice coming closer and feared the boy would barge in, as he usually does, with his latest action figure. "Uh-oh, here we go," said Mr. Higgins in a hushed tone. "Here he comes." (False alarm: The boy went into the garage.)

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