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On a somewhat lighter note...

by anna at 06:44 PM on March 30, 2004

I had a post prepared about the so-called curious but maybe now isn't the time. Some other time perhaps.

The job market accurately determines the value of your time. Rest assured your employer won't pay you a dime more than it takes to keep you from jumping ship. In my case it comes out to fifty cents a minute.

Of course there are exceptions. You can't tell me a minute of some corporate bigwig's time is worth $40; any more than a minute of a burger-flipper's time is worth a mere 8 cents. Nonetheless that 50 cent figure does govern a lot of my decisions, such as whether to tackle a project myself or call in a workman. It also governs when and where I shop. (Okay, like many guys I don't so much shop as storm stores in search of specific items.)

This morning I was running late. Stopped at 7-11. Poured coffee, muttering under my breath about a line snaking halfway to hell. I go to the back and start scoping out the customers. I note that several have nothing in their hands. This means the cashier will have to do more than simply ring up their purchase. I figure this adds another minute or 50 cents to each transaction x 12 customers = $6.00. Then I spot this old geezer clutching a lottery pouch. I know he is going to make a series of highly specific requests about numbers, scratch tickets etc. no matter what he won't be satisfied. This will take a torturous eternity. Feeling a pang of guilt for having taken a couple sips of free coffee, I set it on the counter and bolt. I go to the Sunoco where that guy got shot. I know the items I want will cost about a dollar more but it's well worth it once you factor in the monetary value of my time.

So I scurry over there, push my way past the delivery guys flirting with Heidi the comely cashier and make my purchase in seconds flat. Hurray! A small victory for the perennially defeated.

I'm one of those a-holes who encounters a traffic jam and drives up to the very end of the merge lane and then forces his or her way into the mix. Once I am in it I get my car as close as possible to the one in front of me, lest anyone else push their way in. At 4-way stop signs my rule of thumb is that I always have the right of way.

At work I allot 90 seconds to each caller. At that point I launch into the old "Yup, yup, exactly. I will definitely look into that. Is there anything else?" routine. If that fails I claim I have to go to a meeting. Nobody gets an audience longer than two minutes. What am I saving all this time for? Damned if I know. I am like a time packrat.

Is anyone else this anal about time management? Or is a tinge of senility creeping in? Will I soon have an urge to play Lotto or worse, bingo?

comments (16)

Anna I am exactly the same...I have no patience for people who waste time. For a long while i was a waitress. Day after day I catered to people who would wait until i came to take their order then make me stand there for fifteen minutes while they decide to get a side salad. I believe that it is human nature to manage time, some people just do it MUCH worse than others. But hey, what's wrong with bingo?

by Katie at March 31, 2004 11:44 AM

God help you if you ever try to force your way in in front of me. I will so BOX YOU IN.

by Linz at March 31, 2004 12:48 PM

god help either of you should you cut me off on my bike.

i have a tiny steel bike lock in my back pocket for such occasions. though maybe if i saw a cute blonde with a guitar in the back seat or a mustashio'd lothario with a cd boombox on his lap i'd go easy on you and just knock-out a tail light.

by lajo at March 31, 2004 1:01 PM

I recall reading at some point in the past a series of articles on time management, etc. One of the points said something along the lines of - take your annual salary, divide by it by every hour of each day for the entire year, whether you are at work during that time or not. If you make 50k a year, that comes out to just less than $6 an hour every hour of every day (pre tax) - that means each hour of your time is worth $6. Is doing your laundry yourself, if it takes you an hour and a half - worth the cost of paying someone else (probably less than $9) to do it for you, especially if you can use that time to do something you actually enjoy, like spending time with friends or family? I'm not quite micromanaged my time to that point, but it might be a good way to live.

by mg at March 31, 2004 1:47 PM

Anna, you need to get back on drugs my man. Then time doesn't mean as much. See? Problem solved.

I used to get cut off all the time when I first moves to the D.C. area. Where I am from, courtesy dictates that you allow other drivers to merge in front of you or change lanes, traffic allowing, so they can get in. Well, the people here must have thought I was insane or kidding because they wouldn't just merge in but would look at me funny. As soon as I said "fuck it" and sped back up they would pull right in, effectively cutting me off and sending me on a tirade of cursing. I think this place has taken, at least, five years off my life. Untrusting bastards. I'm much better now. When in Rome.

by Ezy at March 31, 2004 4:21 PM

I used to be all into doing only high-yield activities. Need a sweater? Buy it. Need to write a letter? E-mail. Shoes are dirty? Buy new ones. I felt like my head was going to fall off. I believe in the value of manual labor now. Some of the most fulfilling things I've done lately were knitting my friend's 30th birthday present, scrubbing my track shoes in the kitchen sink, and buying fancy stationery and then drawing little flowers and hearts and sticking stickers on it. It's really soothing. It's almost Zen-- gives you time to calm down and live in the moment.

by jean at March 31, 2004 5:41 PM

What lively commentary, much appreciated here. Katie, I view bingo like golf. There'll be plenty of time for that when I'm dead. Linz, Lajo I hear your thinly veiled threats. MG, I guess that was kind of my point but you're always limited by total disposable funds available. Ezy I am back on drugs. I'm on a ginko biloba binge right now. And Jean, in real life, I kind of agree. Crosswords, one of the biggest wastes of time around, are one of my greatest comforts in life.

As for the whole regional traffic difference thing, I am shocked that when in queens, I wave for pedestrians to cross and they peer at me like it's some kind of trick. As if I'd run them over or something. Messy, messy.

Queens the city, that is.

by anna at March 31, 2004 6:01 PM

Oh, glad you cleared that up. I was gonna say that if you're driving around with Carson Kressley riding your junk while riding in your car, it might be that which is causing pedestrians to give you strange looks. So, glad you cleared that up.

by mg at March 31, 2004 6:09 PM

Who's he or she?

by anna at March 31, 2004 6:11 PM

Jeez Anna, you really do live under a rock. Carson Kressley is one of the fab five on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. I couldn't tell you which one though. I think he might be the one with the effeminate voice.

by mg at April 2, 2004 4:11 PM

I suspect that you could tell which guy Carson Kressley was by watching the show in a quiet room with MG, and checking his pants for reaction.

The tighter they get, the warmer you're getting.

by lajoie at April 2, 2004 4:17 PM

Lajo are you channeling Eviltom? i thought he was the only one to make innaproriate homosexual comments towards me. I never would have expected you to have Eviltom inside of you. Him on the other hand, I'm sure has been imagining getting inside of you for months.

by mg at April 2, 2004 5:01 PM

I don't know what it is about homo jokes, but they make me laugh every time.

by MrBlank at April 2, 2004 5:43 PM

Just for the record Carson Kressley is the clothes guy and he hasn't ridden my junk in years.

by anna at April 2, 2004 8:04 PM

Carson is awesome. Once one of the others asked if their guest, since he was a telephone repairman, climbed poles, and Carson said, "No, that's our job."

by jean at April 3, 2004 7:08 AM

Heh-heh. I love it when the sports pages talk about some race car driver who takes the pole.

by anna at April 3, 2004 9:47 AM

comments are closed