How well I know the scenario. Just get set up and “ring, beep, tada or whatever” ring tone is set up interrupts an idyllic shop hour. Screen the calls. If it’s the pita bored neighbor looking to be entertained, don’t answer, keep the shop door locked. Tell them you’re working on an invention and want to keep the details secret. Yes, they’re white lies. Hard to do, yes, but you’ve got to put yourself first “some” of the time. Everyone knows how important my shop time is to me and pretty much respects it. If they don’t, they soon do. I’m not bashful, not a p…k, but I drop some heavy hints that this is not hang out time. I have to stay focused on my work and conversation is a real distraction. They get the message after a half hour of silence, lol. I, uh, well, uh will see ya later, Pepe. Huh, OK, whoever, see you later. Invite them to the flare or engine start later, so they don’t take it too personally. Family calls get answered asap, of course. Sometimes I think I’m too much of a hard ass, but that goes away as soon as I strike an arc. At 72 my time is sacred. I often wondered why my grandfathers got grumpy sometimes, now I know, lol. I hope you see some humor here.
This just reminded me of my brother’s encounter with a customer when he first started his small engine business. A guy brings in an old non running camp lawn mower. After a bit of discussion about costs to repair an “old” lawn mower that “I only use on occasional weekends”, my brother counters with,“oh, so you only need it to start part of the time”. Enuff said, lmao!
The guy took his junk and left. My brother didn’t lose a “customer”.
A Colombo moment: Oh, one more thing readers, I worked QA in receiving at Bombardier in Plattsburgh, NY for 2 years. The sign next to my desk read, “if you don’t have anything to do, don’t do it here”. The inspector from Montreal liked it and told me so. No, it’s not brown.