Tag Archives: guilt

A Shorter Tale of the Tape (Nonfiction Version?)

Here is another variation on how procrastination can be manifested. Remember yesterday when I wrote about a practical joke played at work to provide some levity to lighten up the air a bit? Now, let me turn that on its head and be absolutely serious.

In my idealistic, almost romantic version, I obviously left a lot of important details out. Is that another danger of procrastination? We write and purposely put off describing the difficult aspects? We do everything, elaborate ad nauseum, within the comfort zone, and stop right before we get to truth?

I don’t mean to say that what I described yesterday wasn’t truthful. It just wasn’t the whole story. To refresh our memories of what happened yesterday, a quick summary of my ‘easy’ story goes like this: Someone asked to borrow the tape; I told them to look it up in the computer and search the online catalogue; those who played along searched for a book I referenced, and found the tape I placed beside the book; I then asked a staff member to please put the roll of tape in the catalogue, so people can search for it directly. All who played along got some laughs out of this.

I guess, in yesterday’s more vivid and fuller description of the story, I may have gone overboard with the potential health benefits for all. I also conveniently left out parts of the story that involved those people who didn’t play along too kindly. What about them?

While most customers played along with polite amusement, there was one patron who just shook his head. There were others who, even though silent, I can read from their faces and body language these messages: “I just want the tape! How hard could that be?” And “Stop wasting my time.”  Actually, you can kind of tell as a patron approaches who is in a rush, who is in a mood to play, and who just wants no nonsense.

The games we play in the process of procrastination, even though the delay was intended to instill a sense of mystery and curiosity rather than always providing the same old same old dry answers right away, these games can pop someone’ blood vessels if used inappropriately.

The tape is over there, beside the photocopier.

-Pat

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Silence Does Not Mean Assumed ‘Procrastination’

I am sorry. Since starting this “Procrastination Post” blog, in its current form, this has been the longest lag in between writings. I guess with the up front, obvious title of the blog, it already contains a ready made excuse for the gaps. Maybe it sets up the dismal expectation to expect many intervals of stunted growth, regression, stops and starts, and in inordinate number of apologies.

Sorry, I am not going to apologize, and I cannot accept our ‘Procrastination’ title as a motive to provide a convenient reason and acceptance of failure that is inevitable. I cannot. It’s as if we purposely put this label in bold font right out front, carrying placards to set the bar real low in order to minimize the impact from the fall when we trip.

No. I must insist that it is to the contrary of all these assumptions. It is to show, explore, consider what value can come out of digging ourselves out of the hideous hole we started with. And that we refuse to accept our predicament and struggle even more desperately to fight and climb. And that we will write to reflect light on another side of our world underneath. Our label is not something to trip over, step on, nor to foreshadow a message of upcoming weakness and disappointment.

And if I am, in fact, simply incriminating myself in this latest post and providing more evidence to fuel previous assumptions, then at least we can still be the prosecutors of our own guilt.

Thanks for your patience over past couple of weeks, knowing that even while we are silent, we are still writing and digging even more profusely than what can be sighted here.

-pat

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Illusion of Flexibility?

The cat just doesn’t complain. She doesn’t look depressed. Year after year, the time spent by the humans in the home with the cat diminishes, yet you’ll never notice this slight if you ask the cat. As time increasingly becomes tight, and more and more things get put off, quality time with the cat seems to be always a top candidate for something that can be done tomorrow, or the next day, or the next next day, or whenever.

Litter not done nightly; her teeth not brushed daily; Felaxin not given frequently enough; brushing not regular; and research on the psychology of cats has not been consistent or up-to-date with the latest literature.

Yet, after all this, the cat has yet to ignore me, or conduct revenge, or dig her claws into my back and twist. Instead, she’s more enthusiastic and joyful around me than ever. Though I’ve reduced my physical contact time with her, I can hear her loud acrobatics in the basement while I’m working upstairs.

While I believe that my procrastination habits have led me to cut short cat time, the cat seems to have interpreted it differently, at least from what I could read from her behavior. It’s as if the cat thinks I’m purposely reducing our play time in order to benefit her. Instead of not spending enough time, she sees it as focusing our time together and making it more intense. Do you notice how cats think that every change around the home is made with them in mind? You move a location of a chair, and the cat will sit on it thinking that was your intention.

In my case, the cat thinks this time change means she has to put more value into the resulting minimal time that is chosen, and she shows this in her attitude, play, and purposeful strides.

It would be easy, a bit sappy, to just conclude with how I can learn so much from the cat and that I should be more like my cat. But, I can’t help but think, with my cat’s unequivocal forgiveness and flexibility, does this actually make me more complacent as I continue to lie in the tanning bed of procrastination procuring potential benefits?

At the other extreme, I could try making it all up to her, rather absurdly, by going jogging with the cat tomorrow morning.

-pat

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Workout Injury: Danger with Internal Weights

Hello. My name is Pierce. I have been away, as usual. This time, working out. If I am going to procrastinate, I may as well use that time to expand my gluteal muscles and make a claim to the title of strongest procrastinator in the world. Olympic dreams.

The workout wasn’t that good at all. In fact, when all was said and done, my head and mind seemed to be pumping more than my lower body. Why? The locker room cameras preoccupied my thoughts. It made me think, yet again. Not again.

I’m sure we have heard of the expression “he was conspicuous by his absence.” This led me to think that it’s also possible to be conspicuous by trying to be inconspicuous. These are my exact feelings every time I enter into the gym locker room that have surveillance cameras installed. By looking around to see if anybody is looking at me, I think this draws attention and makes me look suspicious. Worse still, when I glance frantically around my surroundings trying to spot those cameras, and make eye contact with the lens, those eyes on the other side suddenly get aroused, focused, thinking that I am about to do something?

What did I do? All I am really doing on these occasions is trying to find the most opportune time to slip my valuable possessions, such as my keys and wallet, into the locker without anyone noticing. I simply do not want anyone to see that I am potentially leaving worthwhile items while I work out. In practicing prevention, I look like a suspect. Those eyes in the sky must really be wondering why I am sitting and waiting in the locker room for such a long period of time? And why I keep looking around? And why I only spring into action when the crowds are gone? Gosh, I feel guilty just thinking about it.

As for my workouts that I had, during my time away from here, when I finally got to them, and started lifting, I just couldn’t do much. Didn’t really add any plates, because I contantly kept collapsing under my own body weight.

How come being not guilty feels so horrible?

-Pierce

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Sorry, I’m Late. Traffic Congestion. Where? (Points and clicks at temple)

Oh my God! Late for work! What time is it? It’s just late! Simply late! What to do? Oh please, please, please run into a traffic jam. Yes! Yes! I am stuck in traffic! Never mind the fact that I woke up before the alarm, as usual, and stayed in bed thinking after stopping the alarm. And then some. Never mind that. Because now, it’s all irrelevant because I have a new cause outside my control. Traffic!

Wait, this may not cut it anymore. Maybe 5-10 years ago? But, not today. Not in today’s Calgary. Booming, growing, exploding city. I’m going to have to do better than that to satisfy my boss. Being stuck in normal rush hour traffic is not an acceptable excuse in the Calgary of today. Those at work will just tell me to leave earlier, wake up earlier. (Little do they know that I wake up real early but just have so much to do, so much to think about, so much to attempt to squeeze in before work erases my fantasies; don’t get me wrong, work is pretty good and not a tyrant, but it just happens to fall immeasurably short of my dreams)

Come on, now! Think creatively! I need an out. Why is it so backed up? Come on! Yes…turn on the radio! Oh yes! Oh, please, please, please God, let there be some kind of accident. Shoot, sorry, I apologize. That didn’t come out too kindly. I don’t mean to wish there be a major accident for my selfish purposes. Just…just..just..well…do you know those situations when traffic is backed up and you stretch and elongate your neck to try to see far into the distance expecting some kind of incident?

Okay, how about this? Oh God, oh please, please, please God, I wish there to be a stalled vehicle blocking the turning lane, causing an insurmountable delay. So, I listen intently on the radio with unwavering focus trying to find evidence for my late arrival to work. Nothing yet. Nothing still. Still nothing! What! I need something to be reported on my route that everyone at work is familiar with. Please! Please?

If coworkers hear about an accident or a stall on my route on their radio at work, then they’ll collectively nod in agreement and understanding as to why my chair remains empty. The irony is obviously not lost on me about how I’m ridiculously praying for an accident to save my life. What would God think about this? Again, as if to alleviate some of the guilt within me, I emphasize that by accident, I mean stall, or flat tire, or a truck losing its load – no bodily injuries!

I know what God thinks. He’s not impressed because I’m not getting any answer. None. Sometimes God speaks through the voices of others. Nope, none. God’s not on the radio. The traffic reporter listed a lengthy Christmas list of stalls, flat tires, non-functioning traffic lights, but nothing on my side of the city. Damn!

I don’t need no official statistical census to tell me that Calgary is growing. Many years ago, a traffic jam like this would surely mean some accident or out of the ordinary incident somewhere, and it would be reported on the radio. These days, however, this kind of traffic is simply just volume – not worth a second of airtime.

My coworkers are not going to be impressed. What should I do, what should I do? I have a thought. Yes. I drive a standard. I am not coordinated. Whoops, I let go of the clutch too soon, and I stall. Yes. And then I shall put my hazard lights on and check under my hood acting all confused? No. No, I don’t. I will just continue to drive to work inch by inch.

I’m no sociopath; I’m just a blogger with fantasies…

-Patrick Law

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From ‘Dressing Scantily’ to ‘Washroom Timings’ to the ‘Second-Hand Smoker Guilt’

To prevent procrastination, two minutes maximum to write on each topic. Let’s go, go, go!

Spring Cleaning Fashion

With the start of spring being delayed because of prolonged snow and rain, when the sunshine finally arrives for brief stretches, are people more desperate to immerse into the season? I ask because, in Calgary, 2008, with warm weather days being few and far between, when we do get the sun, are there more people wearing less clothing than years before? Are we desperate to take advantage even if it’s not even that warm? Are we pretending, fantasizing? Or do we just wear less clothing because our genes have improved due to evolution? Regardless, it just appears that people are more eager to shed off layers this year than in the past.

Washroom Bargains: Three trips for the price of one!

You know you’ve been in the washroom a long time, perhaps losing track of time, when you get up, wipe, wash your hands and just as you are about to leave, turn back around because you notice that you have to go again. Pee, poo, and then pee again, all within one trip.

I’m a Healthy Weakling

I went to an establishment that had second-hand smoke last night. Today, I’ve been sneezing all day. The smoke must have kick started some kind of allergic reaction. This proves that my body and health systems are weak, unable to fend off a night of smoke. It also gives credence to people who argue that we shouldn’t hide ourselves from exposure to all potential harm and dangers. I have avoided smoke religiously for years and now my immune system gets shocked and is not ready for even a minor trespassing of the fumes. Okay, I’m just giving myself my own medical excuse and rationalization for revisiting the Grey Eagle Casino again, and often, to sample more of their excellent buffet while getting my body used to fighting second-hand smoke again. How do I explain to my mother and convince her that is true that I went to a smoking establishment not to smoke, and to a casino specifically not to gamble? I feel like I’m such a sinner, even though I cannot really pinpoint what I did wrong?

-Patrick Law

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How Laziness Caused An Environmentally-Friendly Accident

At work, posted on the wall, is a list of reminders of what to do each day before leaving for home too quickly. These are so mandatory, regardless of any twists and turns, that they must be done routinely and a check mark should be placed in a box beside the task.

This morning was the first day back after a 3 day long weekend, meaning our workplace was closed during that period. Therefore, the columns and tasks for Saturday and Sunday still had open and unmarked check boxes. Normally, at the start of each week, we replace the sheet with a new blank one, which is practically spotless, as if to remind us that we have done nothing yet this week.

I didn’t replace it. When asked, I presented my justification in this way. There were still two open days left, Saturday and Sunday, since we were closed. Today is Tuesday. Why don’t I substitute Saturday and Sunday with Tuesday and Wednesday? Or even draw lines in the middle of the squares to make one square become two? Then I can add a couple more days?

When onlookers tried to grapple with the congested mess I had made, I came up with a scorcher of a closing argument. I wanted to save paper – be environmentally friendly. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It must have, as people stopped bothering me and seemed to accept my reasoning. If so, why am I still dwelling on this well into the night? Normally, using such short cuts are meant to be a humorous release. Unfortunately, in this case, I am worried that I have sullied the environmental cause and borrowed their paradigm for my selfishness.

I was, in fact, lazy to print another task sheet of daily procedures with check boxes. I took a short cut and drew some in, made some substitutions, and saved some time in order to have more time to procrastinate at work and come up with this story. I often end up protecting the environment in round-about, indirect ways, but I am not a card carrying environmentalist. If my approach to religion is similar, would I make it to heaven?

-Patrick Law

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