Dear Readers: Lots of us are working from home now; this is a new phenomenon with COVID-19. Here are some hints for a workable, efficient home office space.
A distraction-free spot in your home is necessary. You’ll need lots of outlets nearby, with a bright, well-lit desk. Experts suggest not only overhead lighting, but also a table lamp for focused lighting. A sunny window can boost spirits, too.
A proper office chair is necessary. Although it may be tempting to sit on the couch or a bed to work, good posture is critical. The monitor of your computer should be at eye level, and you should be able to type with your elbows right at your side.
Too much clutter is a distraction, but a small plant or family photo should bring in a touch of hominess and a reminder of why we are all working so hard. — Heloise
Dear Readers: It may be easier for not-so-nimble fingers to use a touch-screen phone, tablet or computer instead of a traditional computer that uses only a keyboard. Keep this in mind for your next purchase. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: Warn your readers about after-warranty vehicle service plans. They may get a call where the caller will say that you “qualify for their highest-valued package of services.” I was curious, so I asked her what the offer was.
After detailing the monthly payments and deductible, she asked, “Will you be paying with a credit card?” I asked her what the name of the company was. First, she said, that would come with my information packet in the mail. When I pushed her for the name of the company, she said National Dealer Services. I told her to hang on while I searched online for that. She disconnected the phone. — Susan in Texas
Susan, we checked with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and they said that unscrupulous people will use a name similar to a legitimate business to try to get your money. If you receive a call from a questionable company, the BBB would like to hear from you. — Heloise
Dear Heloise: I’ve heard that if I flush the toilet without closing the lid, microscopic particles can spray out and land on a toothbrush, countertop or myself. Should I be worried? — Edna in Florida
Edna, controlling the spread of germs, bacteria and viruses is important, especially in our new normal of COVID-19. So close the lid before flushing; it’s better to be safe.
FYI: Bacteria are single-celled microscopic organisms that may cause disease, but many are harmless and may even be beneficial (like bacteria in your digestive system). Viruses are smaller than bacteria and need a host to survive. “Germ” is a catch-all term for bacteria, viruses and other nasty, microscopic particles that cause illnesses. — Heloise
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.