There’s a certain feeling that washes over the office as the weekend nears. A notion that while there might be another piddling thing or two you could accomplish, the saner thing to do is to wrap things up, call it a week and hit the keyboard fresh on Monday. For me, this feeling starts nagging in my ear around four o’clock.
(On Tuesdays. But that’s not important right now.)
I can fight it, for a while. The precise amount of willpower I can muster depends on a number of factors — the relative level of agony the next bit of work would entail, the weather I’d have to slog through to sneak home, whether there’s free beer on our office floor for a group happy hour.
(Or free beer on the next floor, at someone else’s happy hour. Or in the hospital next door, where I could probably blend in if I lifted a stethoscope or a spare rectal thermometer or something. Or maybe there’s a bottle of Thunderbird in the janitor’s closet.
Hey, it’s called ‘Happy Hour’. Not ‘Proud-of-Myself Hour‘. No judging.)
However diligent or desperate I feel at the beginning of the week, by the end there’s a little devil on my shoulder nudging me to get lost for a couple of days. Seeing as how he’s usually in his pajama slippers and sipping martinis, he makes a compelling case.
“The week has beaten me already like a surly kangaroo with brass toe knuckles. All I want is a beer, a couch, a sandwich and fifty-six hours of peace before going back to being a corporate kicking bag.”
That’s when the bargaining begins, where week-weary me haggles with post-weekend me, who’ll have to pick up the crumbling pieces of whatever mess I abandon on my dash out the door. Sadly for future me, he’s arguing in absentia, which is no way to win a court case. Or to avoid a mountain of half-finished work being dumped in your lap. So I make deals — with myself — where no one gets hurt — except myself, on Monday morning — and no one’s to blame — except myself, on Friday afternoon, but I’m also the judge in this case, so, you know — I’ll allow it.
And so, I wind up having ‘conversations’ like this:
‘Ah, I’ll just post myself a little note to take care of this. That can wait a couple of days.‘
‘Hey, if I stick a **GOT TO HERE** sign in the middle of this spreadsheet, I don’t have to finish looking at it now. I can totally pick up where I left off.‘
‘Everyone who doesn’t want me to shove these reports in a drawer and go home and watch 30 Rock reruns, raise your hand… … no one? … last chance… All right, sayonara!‘
For Friday-me — which is to say, me at this very moment — this is a wonderful little trick. The week has beaten me already like a surly kangaroo with brass toe knuckles. All I want is a beer, a couch, a sandwich and fifty-six hours of peace before going back to being a corporate kicking bag. It makes perfect sense to file my unfinished business away and write impossibly cryptic notes to ‘explain’ to future-self what it is I’m pawning off on me, like:
‘175 – uber complex / – should be T; stat for Gary!!‘
(That’s verbatim off a Post-It from three weeks ago I found today on my desk. I have no freaking clue what the hell that means. I don’t even know a Gary, for crissakes.
If someone said that to me on the street, I’d go long and expect to catch a pass over the middle. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that three-weeks-ago-Friday-me is just screwing with me. But even I’m not that evil.
Or was I?)
This week, I decided to try something different. When I just couldn’t take any more, and found myself — as usual — surrounded by half-finished projects and partial reports and Post-Its that might as well have been written in Swahili, I finally did the right thing. The rational thing. A new thing.
I grabbed it all, folded it up in as neat a wad as possible — and shoved it down the shredder. No muss, no fuss, and no ‘unfinished business’ hanging over my head all weekend. The bliss, she is beautiful. As is the happy weekend confetti I made, and tossed giddily around the office.
Sure sucks for Monday-me, though. Some of that shit was probably important. Hope the guy has the good sense to bring a magnifying glass and Scotch tape to work. Lots of Scotch tape. Sucker.Permalink | 2 Comments