Hard Spot

Dear J-

As much time as I spend at work you’d think I’d start to get something done, but the truth is I end up getting sucked into meeting after meeting and the paralysis of groupthink starts to set in: well, what if they don’t like the way this is phrased? theVet is driven bonkers by my need to parse words to their final meaning when I’m at home, but it’s all I do at work — write, edit, parse — that it inevitably spills over into the rest of my life. For instance, when we went to buy a new mattress a couple of weeks ago, she insisted on calling it a bed, which sounds like we’re getting a frame and boxspring too; by the time I was done with parsing the difference between mattress and bed, she was ready to tear my hair out.
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I suppose that’s the crux of the problem lately; the way that I can no longer keep things neatly compartmentalized between work and home, separated as they are by the long buffer of distance and commute time. I get email at home now, and email prompts me to write a few words or draft a response or … but then again, I often choose to ignore it and set my planes in motion on Pocket Planes instead while at home, hoping to get some kind of a refuge from that time at work, time at work, ticking away like a metronome in my head. Our boss has said that he wants us to wake up at night worried about the issues we have happening, and that much is true, but the worries I have are less technical and more managerial.

Deadlines, when they told us to take the time we need to make sure things are correct. Schedule dates. Legal aspects. Word choices, phrasing, careful summarization to show what you know and only what you know, not implying that you’ve got a speculative bone in your body. I suppose the enforced discipline is good for me, as I would otherwise write what I want off the top of my head with little concern to whether I’m right or not. Because, y’know, I’m always right. Does that even make sense? There is a lot left to do, and no time left to do it wrong, which means that time has become the most limitingly precious commodity once again. Such is the wonder of the world.

Mike

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