Friday, January 5, 2018

On Being Nibbled to Death by Mice

Is it something about going in to the office?

Seriously: the semester is going to start soon, and there are many small things to take care of. So you go to the office with a finite list of twelve- to twenty-minute tasks. But every time you start one, something happens: A student comes in, randomly; a data something or other doesn't work and needs to be reconfigured. The account information that took you two hours to track down and configure a month ago doesn't work, and three phone calls can't put it right.

Nothing really goes terribly wrong. But you have this feeling that you are leaving the office more behind than when you arrived. It's like there's some workload-related branch of physics, and when you step into the office it all folds and bends and goes through a wormhole and you look up and it's suddenly dark and you have no idea how or when that happened and you've still only checked one item off your to-do list, and a minor one at that. And once it's past six pm on a Friday in winter, you realize you've missed your yoga class and everyone else has been gone for two hours and you think "Well, In for a penny, in for a pound; might as well stay for another hour and a half and see about just one more twelve-minutes-from-finished-but-not-really item on that to-do list."

But at least you took time out to write a blog post about it.


Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Hey, that's my life you're living. Give it back!

No, on second thought, take it, and maybe I can get something done next time I go to campus!

Bardiac said...

Yes! This very thing happens all the time! You just hope to make enough progress not to start further behind the next morning...

EarthSciProf said...

Yes, this thing. All the time!! Sort of glad to know that this experience is widespread.

Also, enjoying that you're writing more regularly.