Monday, August 2, 2010

Yiddish folklore and the freelancer

In my days at McMurry (an excellent custom magazine publisher and communications firm based here in Phoenix), a coworker of mine told me an old Yiddish folk tale that went something like this...
There was an office drone who ignored his inbox for a good period of time, and it stacked up halfway to the ceiling. At some point, he decided that it was a danger to his job, and maybe a fire hazard, so it was time to address the accumulated pile.
He started from the bottom. The issue in the first memo had already been solved. Reading the second piece of paper, he found that it was about a project that had been dropped. Same with the third, fourth and so on—every single problem had either been resolved, put on hold or abandoned entirely.
Upon returning from my vacation, my inbox isn't necessarily like that. But I am comforted by the fact that nothing blew up while I was away. I'd like to think it's because I planned well, gave all my clients plenty of notice, and left things in relatively good shape. The reality is, it's more likely because things always seem more emergent when you're available to work on them.

Now, gotta go. Back to my inbox.


  1. I kind of like it when things blow up in my absence. Or maybe not blow up, but some kind of episode that highlights my value is always nice. "Thank god you're back" is music to my ears. (Insecure, me? Nah...)

  2. Haha, Valerie, there *is* something to be said for that!