30 October 2008

Frank talk from chair

Jeff Darcy was amused by the idea of Jane (at See Jane Compute) having a frank talk with her chair.
I think my chair needs to have a frank talk with me.

"Eleanor," it says, and I can tell it means business because it has neglected my title (it knows I prefer to be called Dame), "I need you to sit on me. 'Apply seat of pants to seat of chair' does not mean 'Pile yesterday's clothing on me.' Sit down. Turn on your computer. Unplug the internet connection. Open the documents you're working on. And start typing. That's your job. Can you agree to do it?"

"I'm sorry, I'm tired," I say. "And I spent all day yesterday on campus, and I have a lot of errands I need to do today, and the *&^%$#@!!! cats are driving me crazy. The morning got away from me and I work better in the mornings. Can't I get back to you tomorrow?"

"I'm sorry you're having these problems," says my chair, "but your job is to sit on me and type things. If you can't agree to do that, I will have to start disciplinary proceedings."

"What are you going to do, report me?"

"I can become un-ergonomic. Or I can break."

"Oh, yeah, that'll get me to work. Then I'll have to take time to get a new chair."

"We're getting away from the point, here," says the chair. "Can you agree to do your job? I want you to unplug the internet connection and sit on me for about an hour, or 500 words, whichever comes first. At the end of that time, you're free to either do an errand or go to the gym. We'll review your progress after that. Also, before the end of the day, we need to talk about what you'll be doing tomorrow. Right now, just give me your word that you'll sit on me and produce 500 words on something scholarly."

"Oh, all right," I say. "I can do 500 words."

"Thank you, Dame Eleanor," says my chair. "I know you can do it, and I always enjoy having you sit on me. I look forward to putting this little problem behind us and seeing what you'll produce in the next hour."

Try to avoid acquiring mouthy furniture with delusions of grandeur. You may not get as much writing done, but you will have more fun and a better-stocked refrigerator.

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