I’m an excellent procrastinator. I often amaze myself with the outlandish, complicated nonsense I’ll do, just to put off doing whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing.
Take this weekend, for instance. I’ve known since leaving work on Friday that I need to put some slides together for a talk on Tuesday afternoon. Now, normally, I wouldn’t even dream of procrastinating over those until Monday night. After all, anything worth not doing until the last minute is worth not doing until the very last minute. I’d probably spend Monday evening organizing my sock drawer or something, and finally whip a few half-assed crayon drawings together on Tuesday morning, and be done with it. Wing and a prayer stuff, you understand.
But for this talk, I’ve got partners. Other people counting on me, see. Where ‘counting on me’ seems to mean ‘stand in front of the whole group and bullshit for an hour like a Bavarian burghermeister on election day’. They’re nice people, but they’re a tad shy when it comes to public speaking. So whenever that metaphorical bus comes sqealing into the station, I’m the one who gets pushed under it. Occupational hazard of having standup comedy as a hobby, I suppose.
Anyway, the upshot is that the slides need to be ready tomorrow, so that everyone can complain about them beforehand. It’s not a proper shared presentation until one person’s put the pieces together exactly the way he or she likes them, and then everyone else has had a turn shredding those plans and ridiculing everything about the work so far. This time, it’s my turn. And I’m so looking forward to helpful, friendly advice like:
‘You can’t possibly talk about that first. Move those slides to the middle.‘
‘The titles have to be all caps. No one’s going to listen if the titles aren’t all caps.‘
‘Dude. Blue backgrounds? Please. You’ll have to redo all these slides.‘
‘Hey, why am I listed third on the acknowledgements? I’m the one who told you about all caps, dammit.‘
So, that’ll be fun. Not quite as enjoyable as flaming bamboo shoots poked under my eyelids, but close. Yay.
Meanwhile, I’m putting off doing anything at all. And making quite a good show of it, too. I’ve kept myself very busy not doing any actual work. On Friday night, I spent my time acting — rather convincingly, I might add — as though there were nothing to be done at all. I ate. I watched TV. I slept. “Presentation next week?” I might be heard to innocently ask. “What’s a presentationnextweek?” Brilliant.
Most of yesterday was spent at the stadium, watching the Patriots game. Or just outside the stadium, freezing my testiculars off during four hours of tailgating. But even before that, I got in some really good procrastinating: I sorted mail. I ripped a few CDs. I worked a crossword puzzle. Those slides weren’t needed for another two days — what kind of boobjob would be spending time on them then?
That brings us to today. And honestly, I feel — I don’t mean to brag here, but Ireally, really feel — that I’ve outdone myself here. Oh, no one distraction was a masterpiece, to be sure. Watching football, doing laundry, blogging, reading, volunteering — that’s right, volunteering — to take out the trash… but taken together, that’s a solid twelve hours of not-doing-what-I’m-supposed-to-be-doing. That’s some hard not-work there, people. I feel as though I’ve deserved a nap, or maybe a bowl of ice cream. Possibly a nice sock drawer rearranging; that should kill another hoer or two.
In truth, though, the inevitable is looming. It’s a quarter after eleven, and I know where my slides are. Which is nowhere, which means that I’ve a long night ahead of drawing the wrong-sized boxes and the wrong color backgrounds and getting the fonts just the way that no one besides me can stand. Ah, the joys of the corporate world.
I’ll be having my bamboo shoot treatment now, pleaes. Table for one, in the inflamed eyelid section. Thankssomuch.Permalink | 2 Comments