Wednesday, August 26, 2009

590 Why Nothing Gets Done

590 Why Nothing Gets Done

First you have to accept that nothing gets done, or at least not much gets done. If you're hearing this while waiting in a supermarket line, or if you're reading it while on hold for a "customer" "service" rep., you know the story. If you've ever tried a building project (see Wessays #589) in a house full of people, you know the story. Nothing gets done.

Here's why: Zigzags have taken over the world. Oh, they don't know they're that... and they don't know to call it that. But that's what they are. You want to make lunch? Great. Start to make lunch and see if something doesn't happen to stop you well before you're finished, to end your momentum, your inertia. "Honey, please water the plants..." is one good interruption. Or "I have to sweep the kitchen floor right now and right where you're standing." There's another.

Zigzags. You can't go directly from point "a," in this case the "crafting" of a peanut butter sandwich or two (nothing gets "made" anymore. It gets "crafted." Even beer. How the hell do you "craft" a beer?) You get zigzagged at every turn, sometimes literally.

You're on the road. All of a sudden there's a road crew that sends you on a detour. You're in the doctor's office, in the exam room, and he or she pops in and says "I'm sorry. I'll be a few minutes. Something's come up. That "something" may be a patient in dire need of help. But more likely, it's time to set up an appointment for a haircut or a home repair. The doc is not exempt from zigzagging.

So, it seems you can't get from A to B in a straight line anymore. Some people call this multitasking. It ain't. THIS: is multitasking: Bill Clinton at his desk. He's doing the Sunday Times crossword puzzle, having a phone conversation with the Prime Minister of Russia and Monica's under the desk.

Needing to "throw in the laundry" in between spreading the peanut butter on the slices of bread, that's zigzagging.

And there is no cure. You can't, for example, say "Honey, I'll do the laundry as soon as I'm finished making lunch" -- heaven forbid you sit down and eat before heading for the Maytag.

Polite explanations don't work. Intentional deafness doesn't work. Snapping angrily CERTAINLY doesn't work.

Those of us not inclined to zigzag are conquered. Face it. Accept it. Live with it. Learn -- if possible -- to love it.

Shrapnel:

--Congrats to my former colleagues at Bloomberg News for filing a freedom of information act suit to find out who the Fed actually bailed out, and winning it. We now know who got the largess. And we now know why Obama re-nominated Bernanke as fed head. A brazen political move from an administration that claims to eschew brazen political moves.

--Is McCain in trouble? All of a sudden he's talking like an arch-conservative while campaigning for re-election. He's railing against the kind of health care reform that makes normal people think of him as an independent and real independents think he's a hard right Republican which he never used to be.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2009

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