My name is Andy, and I am a telecommuter.
Today's New York Times has a story about telecommuniting, a subject near and dear to my heart. You see, I've been telecommuting since before there even was the term. It began back in 1976 when at the end of every night my home office - it was really a desk in my bedroom complete with a Bell of Pennsylvania supplied answering machine (call it Voicemail minus -1.0). Five or six nights a week calls from up to a dozen high school hockey games would be called in by the scorekeepers (email wasn't even in existance as we know it). I would transcribe the scores and the highlights taking down the details from people who I had barely known at first. I then would spend the next hour or so calling in the scores to no less than 12 media outlets around the Philadelphia area talking to the desk editors, writers and copy clerks as well as radio news readers and producers. That was telecommuting and I was doing it from the start.
Some of the media outlets would simply take the scores, others took the scores and the highlights. Some even wanted a quote. Then there were the nights where I often spent a few hours freezing at some hockey rink watching a game or two, taking notes on a reporters notepad.
Between the calls and my first hand notes, I then composed the summary of the night for a few reporters. When I could, I used the office phone belonging to the rink manage at the hockey rinks, worst case from some pay phone. That was telecommuting.
But my favorite story involved negotiating a two sponsor sponsorship into a three way deal. I never left my home office, spending hours on two phones (my office and home phone) wheeling and dealing in sweats, a bathrobe and my t-shirt. It was classic telecommuting. I made outgoing calls on one phone line, had people call me back on the other. Thankfully we already had call waiting, plus the answering machine and by the end of the day, the deals were all done, the early committed sponsor felt good, and the two who came in at almost the same moment, felt thrilled that we had worked things out. It was really a win-win-win for them all.
Over that 13 year period when I worked for the Philadelphia Flyers my office moved four times, and really seven if one counts the four different locations in the now departed Spectrum. And, other than one year in an apartment in downtown Philadelohia, my real office was that desk, phone and bed at the house I grew up in. You see, I telecommuted long before the term was even in use and today, I still telecommute.