Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Feast or famine

You ever get the feeling that work is almost always really boring and not much to do or it's incredibly hectic and stressful?

There you are sitting at your computer and you're doing your best to look like you're busy but in reality you have nothing to do (or if you do have something, you're either putting it off or don't feel like doing it). Whether you're tweaking your fantasy football team or looking up sexual positions on Wikipedia you eventually find yourself getting lulled to sleep and then BLAM!!! The phone starts ringing, orders are pouring in, problems pop up, you only have 20 minutes til the UPS man arrives to pick up and then the chairman (aka Dad) comes in and starts making more work for you and also yells at you because you used 6 extra cents of postage by accident.

When I sold cars, we would refer to this phenomena as "feast or famine". Meaning you could go 3 weeks without selling very many cars and at not very high profits and then have a bonzer week where you sell 3 used cars at asking price and get paid handsomely. There was no real balance as to when customers came calling.

For me the long stretches of ennui are far worse than the whirlwind of harried activity and juggling you had to do when you were busy. At least when you're all over the place trying to get things done in an expedient manner, time flies by and before you know you're at home relaxing (albeit tired) or doing something you really want to do. Besides, my ego needs to feel like I've accomplished something, even if it's that I put together 143 packages to go out by UPS that day. I can at least say to myself that something was done.

There's something to be said for consistency. But ultimately, life needs variety and surprises in order to function better. So I guess a little feast or famine is a good thing for your character.

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