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Suburban Island

A Long Project Makes for a Long Day
Monday, Jan. 03, 2005, 11:49 p.m.

QUESTION: Who's calling?

WHAT I LEARNED: Begin earlier.

I wish I could say that I spent the last day of my vacation doing wonderful restful things but I did not. I spent every waking moment, and most of the moments I should have been sleeping, and most of today doing work stuff. The work stuff is really one big traumatizing project that is basically an annual evaluation document for 2004. We get to write it ourselves and the form is about as long and ponderous as the chain Marley's ghost bore 7 years ago that fateful Christmas Eve old Scrooge had his run in with those 3 Christmas ghosts. In the end it's really not that bad to have to take stock of oneself and write up your conclusions. However I would be lying if I told you if was a pleasure. Having to write this type of document up yourself does lead to introspection and a dose of amazement at the laundry list of the yearís accomplishments. Did I really get all that done? I was flat out tired just from piecing together my year in review. Writing it up really strains the brain and tires the fingers too. The self-evaluation concept is a good one but an exhausting one for the self-evaluator. It letís the manager off easy though - with just a read and a weigh-in. I wish I had thought of this when I was managing a staff.

My creative juices should be spent after such an enterprise and indeed I did languish on the sofa around 5:30 this afternoon for a Ĺ hour as the house was actually quiet. Does that seem like a small thing? Not in this house.

For instance, who would have thought that a phone call to our house phone at 3:00 in the morning would be my son calling from his cell phone? Well thatís late you say Ė but so what? He was calling from his bedroom upstairs so that I would pick up the phone in my office downstairs. I should note that we do not live in a grand mansion but a simple split level as is proper for someone living life on Suburban Island. It seemed he wanted me to come up and say goodnight. Should I give him points for thinking outside the box from a communications perspective? I donít think I will. Everyone in the house said goodnight to him then because the ringing of the house phone awakened everyone. I believe he was sorry in the end he placed that call as irate sleepy (or overstressed in my case) family members informed him of the error of his ways in no uncertain terms.

I wish that I had started the whole evaluation project much earlier. I believe that is the first of my New Yearís resolutions that is truly crystallized in my mind. Painful experiences have that effect. I feel a more organized year coming on already.

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