About me

Thursday, January 10, 2013

And so I forgot one

My short-term memory has never been something I'd brag about, and when it comes to schedules and those activities I have to do, my memory is useless. I keep a calendar. I keep to-do lists. I have a variety of accommodations that, usually, keep me on schedule and on task.

And then there was today. My work permits flex time and telecommuting, and this means I can get a lot more done with far less grumpiness (and blood pressure medication) than would be possible by being in the office 9 to 5. (I also eat better.) Besides, the requirements of an office schedule are pretty much the kiss of death to my productivity. Fortunately, my current boss recognizes this, and he puts up with my schedule that I'm sure looks somewhat erratic on the surface. Not many bosses are so reasonable, and in my nigh on 60 years, I've had my share of bosses.

So I'm working at home today, and I'm seeing the end of one reporting project, which means the next can start soon. I also know I have a conference call at 4 to finish another project that's been hanging around for a few months now. Seeing this schedule before me, I realized I'd be working a bit into the evening, which is not a problem, and I knew this would permit me to get in a run during the daylight hours.

Yesterday, I stayed in the office too long, and it pushed my run into the evening. I don't mind running in the dark, but I do mind being a target for distracted drivers, and so yesterday while lit up like a Christmas tree, I ran three miles in the evening instead of the planned six miles in the light of day. No big loss, and I knew I'd have some time the next day, today, to get in the six miles.

No problems.

Boom! At 2, I'm off and running. I love it when a plan comes together. I also knew that I'd be back home by 3:15, and that'd be all the time in the world to prep for the conference call.

As I began the last mile, I noticed a penny on the road, and I paused to pick it up. In doing so, I also noticed the phone was ringing. Now, I usually ignore the phone when I'm running, but for some unknown reason, I pulled it from my back pocket and looked at the screen. I lost my collection of attaboys with the ensuing “ah shit!” as I gazed upon the list of missed calls from work and accompanying text messages.

So I called The Man.

Instead of screaming, he was calm and glad to hear I was all right as I apologized for being an idiot, and we rescheduled the call for 3:30, leaving me to double-time the remaining piece of a mile. (I even hit 10 mph for a brief period. Yeah me!) The call went off without another hitch, and all is well.

What led to this problem was that I'd gotten lazy, and I was depending on my memory instead of my calendar and lists. I'll make the necessary adjustments, but we all know I'll get lazy again in a few months, and we'll do it all over again, just in some other manner.

Of course, I'm me, and I need to over-analyze the situation. In particular, The Man had every right to be upset, but he wasn't. Instead, he was worried that something had happened to me, and he thought that because it was out of character for me to miss something on the schedule, at least without notice of compelling reason.

Yeah, I'll take that ego stroke, though I'm somewhat surprised to have earned it.

If you've dealt with me in my personal life, you know that planning and scheduling are not something I do much of. I do those things at work because it's unrealistic to expect my colleagues to have antennae that divine my intentions. The only instances of that mess in my personal life occur when other people are involved and it'd be good if we all arrived someplace at about the same time. Needless to say, we don't have many instances of that. I go at the going time; I arrive at the arriving time; and I leave at the leaving time. It's very simple.

Regardless, maybe all this telecommuting and flex-time are working out. I hope so because it's non-trivial keeping the many office people up-to-date, but if The Man was more worried about my situation than my missing an appointment, I'll take that as, mostly, getting it right. We'll see how long it continues.

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