Remote working isn’t for everyone, but it sure beats the alternative.
When you work from home, the only dickhead blasting out EDM music or microwaving offensive-smelling food is you. There’s no middle-manager to accost you about your TPS reports as you’re trying to leave the building. Nobody is going to interrupt you while you’re ‘in the zone’ with some boring story about their boring weekend and their boring fucking kids.
But I accept that this idyllic life – where underwear is optional and there’s no commute – isn’t available to everyone. Which is why I have to admire anyone who tries to make office life less shit.
Enter the Nope Button. This simple Chrome extension allows you to dodge conversations that you’d rather not have.
Here’s how it works. When you see a particularly irritating co-worker saunter up to your desk, you press an innocuous-looking button. Your phone will then ring, giving you an excuse to dodge that particular social interaction, as you’ve got a “totally important call”.
The call itself is the same every time. It’s essentially a series of cues to act shocked, as well as a plug for Breather.com, which is the company behind this plugin:
“Hello, on the count of 3 put your hand to your mouth in alarm as if you’re hearing bad news. Don’t look sad just look concerned. 1, 2, 3.
At this point, your colleagues may be staring at you. Wave them off and point at the phone so they look away. They’re still looking? Okay. Fake some laughter, roll your eyes and shrug at them with a smile. They’ll get the hint.
Still looking? Fine. Repeat these works after me in a serious, concerned tone:
“Yes, of course I can talk now. What’s the matter?” Works every time.
Now it appears you’re having trouble focusing at work. If this is true then I have a place for you. But first I have to ask, is that what you really want? A Breather is safe quiet space away from all the madness of open office plans and daily distractions.
I have a code so you can use it. Whether you use it is up to you. The code is N-O-P-E. You can use it for a discount at Breather.com. Good luck.”
As a fortunate remote worker, I’ve got no use for this. The only interruption I have to deal with is Ripple – my irritating, anxiety-afflicted Yorkshire Terrier.
But if you work in an office, and you’ve got clueless or inconsiderate officemates, you need this. Godspeed.
Note: Several people have got in touch and said the plugin doesn’t work for them. What I neglected to mention in the article is if you’re outside of the United States, you’ll have to put in your country code, preceded with a ‘+’. So, if you’ve got a UK cell phone, put ‘+44’. Any further issues, please do get in touch.