Man, sometimes I really don’t want to go to work. I’m in my comfort zone right here. I’m writing. I’m getting shit done. But I have to leave this house in about an hour and a half. Which means I have to get up off the computer in like an hour. But I’m always pushing my luck. It’s a really bad habit. I’m constantly aware of what time it is, of how many minutes I have left to myself, but despite that knowledge, I’ll always just kind of willfully ignore it.
So say I commit to getting off the computer at three forty five with the end goal of heading out the door at four fifteen. I don’t have to be at work until four forty five, which, considering that I have to get there and change into my waiter’s uniform, that really means four forty. I ride my bike to work every day so I know exactly how long this whole thing is going to take.
But that’s like four steps, four different time deadlines, plus the present moment, which is all that really exists anyway, but I’m not about to get all philosophical. I have right now, then three forty five, then four fifteen, four forty, and finally, four forty five, the moment when I give up any semblance of freedom and commit to following somebody else’s rules for the next eight hours or so.
I never get going exactly when I’m supposed to. I’ll always push it. Five minutes. Ten minutes. And each step along the way, each deadline invites multiple opportunities to keep pushing it even more. So I might not get up from the computer until three fifty, or three fifty five. That’s OK, I’ll just haul ass and rush through the getting ready for work phase. Maybe I’ll make up the lost time. Maybe I’ll just run around the house extra fast and I won’t be running late anymore.
But all of that hustling, I’m frazzled, I’m frantic. I don’t want to hurry out the door just yet. I’ve got to calm down some. So I sit in front of the computer for a second, or pick up a magazine. And then my brain is calming down, and I’m getting engaged in something else, an article, a web site, whatever. And I’m still constantly looking at the clock. It’s four ten. It’s four fifteen. And now, OK, it’s four twenty. I’ve got to get going, I’m late.
And now I’m riding my bike, I’m really pushing it. This part of the commute is the most difficult to make up lost time, because while I’m always feeling up to the bike ride, sometimes I’m just not capable of really giving it my all for the entire duration. Maybe it’s really windy. Maybe it’s raining, or I’m tired, or I’m hitting a bunch of red lights.
But I could still get there on time. Maybe be exactly on time. Maybe only five minutes late. Everybody else will be lining up for the pre-shift staff meeting, and I’ll show up with them. I won’t be dressed, and so I’ll say that I’m technically not late, but my boss might disagree, seeing as how I’m not ready to go, that I am technically late. But I always punch in right away, as soon as I’m in the door, so that way if, months from now, the higher ups all decide to come at me with a list of recorded tardiness, I’ll be able to be like, what are you guys talking about? I’ve always been on time.
And say I make it all dressed, ready to go at four forty five. There’s still time to fuck around. I’ll think, well, I’m pretty good on time here, let’s get a cup of coffee. And then I’ll get a drink. And a snack. It doesn’t stop.
I think I’ve said all I can say here. But it’s just that, I have to deal with this every day. I’m always looking for two, three extra minutes, time that isn’t there that I insist on having anyway. I just need to stop working, that’s the problem. Anybody want to start donating to the Rob Doesn’t Have to Work Fund? It’s going to cost you, I’m not going to lie. I don’t have expensive tastes, but I eat a lot, all the time, and I drink a lot of coffee. So yeah, that’s going to add up. Bills, utilities. But just, everybody give me a dollar, please, and then get your friends to give me a dollar too. Come on.