Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Quick Word... On Deadlines

Dear Lyndon,

Hi. It's Me. Well, it's not me really. It's you. I mean, I am you. Well, that's not quite right either. I am you now, but when you're reading this I WAS you but am not anymore. Now you're you, and I was me, but I'm pretty much dead now because I'm not you. It's all very simple really.

Anyway, obviously you know I wrote this, because you wrote it. But perhaps you don't remember precisely why you wrote it, or remember exactly what was running through your head at the time. Allow me to elaborate for you.

I'll be honest Lyndon, I'm not a hundred percent happy with you. This seems somewhat hypocritical I know, but unless I deal with this head on I don't think it's going to change any time soon. So I thought I better write a letter to remind you. It's not anything you've done exactly, just how you've done it that bugs me.

Ah... you remember now. The deadline thing. That's right. You're not really one for a due date are you Lyndon? They don't hugely bother you do they? I mean, sure, things can get a bit tense when its getting close to the hammer falling on the deadline, but you always pull through right?

This is our problem Lyndon. This inner conviction that a deadline is like firing a bullet, and should be surprising, sharp and efficient. In actuality a deadline is much more like giving birth, sure, all the action happens pretty quickly, but the lead-up is long, arduous and perhaps even a little bit fun and magical. For the initial and afterwards stages at least.

You see, you've got another assignment coming up. You've ALWAYS got another assignment coming up, but this time I don't want you to forget the one you just experienced. There you are sitting at home watching various garbage force fed to you from Hollywood, and all the while you seem to have forgotten how you felt back when you were me. How I feel now.

You see Lyndon, I've just finished an assignment. Monster it was too. And you didn't exactly make it easy for me. I can still feel my guts churning from the fifth cup of that hideously artificial coffee that you poured down my throat. You know, the one that comes in those tiny shiny sachets that you like so much. I can still feel my eyes buzzing from the monotonous glare of the computer monitor, my head churning with words and phrases from the masses of textbooks that were strewn around the room. I can still feel my hands locking up from the tapping of keys and the turning of pages. And my neck... Dear God, it's like someone tried to jam it in a doorframe.

And it's your fault! I know what you're thinking, surely I am as much to blame as you, right? No! Because I'm 'Lyndon The Worker'. I'm the one who gets things done. And you don't get me out enough. There you are, 'Lazy Smug Lyndon', resting on the laurels that I so graciously earnt us. And when I come out it's nothing but frantic, and before you know it you are driving yourself crazy, only to repeat the cycle again.

So do me a favour will you? Next assignment, get me out a little bit early. I'm thinking we write the introduction a week or two in advance, work out some of our major points, do some research, and fill in the blanks as we go along rather than cramming it all into one weekend? What do you say?

I know what you'll say. I can hear you saying it even as I type this:

"Yeah sure. Just one more chapter and I'll get started."
"Yeah sure. I've just got to get to a save point and then I'll fix it up."
"Yeah sure. I'll just watch this episode of Entourage and I'll be right on it."

And then before you know it, it's the night before and you need me to come and clean up the dregs. And I know it'll always be like this Lyndon, because it's the way you've always been, and probably always will be. But you needed to know how I feel, so that one day, when you don't get away with it, you won't be able to blame me.

But until then... turn up the TV. I can't hear.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, now that is what I call a head ache.
    But it does make sense when you think about it.
    Keep up the awesome posts! Love em!