Wednesday, March 14, 2012

due time

I’m currently in the middle of one of those HR communications workshops. On the first day, we were all asked to come up with three words that describe us. What a loaded question to kick off this strange gathering of similarly employed yet vastly diverse humans! Who would I be? Work Jacquie? Couch Jacquie? Gym Jacquie? Mom Jacquie? Party Jacquie? I reread the prompt for clarification. It said:  “List three words that best describe your behavior in the primary role you play.”  Which primary role?? I agonized over my words for the duration of the 3 minute icebreaker, then I wrote: 1. Accepting, 2. Optimistic, 3. Late.

These descriptors pretty much cover the many faces of me. We went around and shared our words, there were lots of “friendly”, “goal oriented”, “happy”, “focused” people in the room. I received a hearty chuckle for my #3. Then we had to talk in small groups (gag) about our words, and how each of them could be misunderstood or perceived as negative by someone else. I offered that my acceptance might be perceived as passive, my optimism could be seen as naiveté, and my lateness would maybe be interpreted by others as ambivalence. When I got to that last part, someone in my group said: “when you said ‘late’, I immediately assumed that you were a procrastinator.” 


In my head – or should I say to my visible self, I was thinking of literal tardiness. It had been another one of those mornings at home and I had barely made it to this session on time. But might my invisible self have been surreptitiously outing me as a slacker? 

What’s wrong with procrastination, anyway? It’s a very effective time management tool. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve worked best under pressure. If you give me a deadline that’s six weeks away, I’ll mark my calendar for 40 days from now and then I’ll do it. If you give me a task and then tell me that you’ll remind me when the deadline is getting close, I’ll put it right out of my head until I get your reminder. 

I'd like to expand on this, I really would. But I just got a reminder that the workshop proposal I wrote last August needs to be presented on Friday.

Plenty of time.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Your invisible self is *such* an imp, surreptitiously outing you as a slacker. The noive!

And I hope you told the "goal oriented" friend that we *all* know she's totally pushy and bossy and always needs to have her own way.

But who cares?! You accept her! Happily!

Oh, hear. I think you're late for another meeting.....

Love you. Oodles.

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Love it, Jaquie! From the agonizing over your primary role (wtf?), to your impish invisible self(!), to your ability to pull things off at the last minute.

You are definitely no slacker if you pull it off, which you always do. Youi're just one of those people who spends the minimal time at your task but still gets the A+ or the promotion, or the prize. Hey, if it ain't broke....

I can't wait to hear what *else* you uncovered at your workshop ;-)