Do you have any idea what I’m going through? Work is killing me. Yes, by Frank standards, I am rich! It seems like Scrooge McDuck rich. I mean, if I am running errands, I can just stop at a deli and buy a sandwich. I don’t even think about it. When I buy rice, I choose Basmati over Jasmine, because it is somewhat better, even though it is a lot more expensive. I’m rich! Rich I tell you! But I’m also totally stressed out.
I manage a gaggle of writers. (Look it up: it’s a tower of giraffes and a gaggle of writers — really!) And they have me in a state of anxiety. It isn’t because they are bad. It’s because they are great! Really: I’ve known a lot of “professional” writers in my day and most of them didn’t deserve the status of “writer” much less “professional.” But this group is really good. Some of them are — and I know this will shock you — as good as I am. But this sucks! Because it’s made me very paternal toward them. I worry that they get enough work and that they realize just how wonderful I think they are.
But it isn’t just that. There’s a whole technical side of things. And everything is different. The company I work for is typical of something that started small and grew from emergency to emergency. These are, of course, the best kinds of companies to work for. It means that they are run by creative people who don’t feel the need to plan everything out in advance. But it does leave me with having to remember a whole lot of weird things. And that would be fine if I were still 26 years old with a mind so sharp it could cut peas. But now I have a mind that is more likely to create a squished spot of green.
When I started working seriously for this company, I tried to work four hours per day. Now, I get four hours in before I finish my tea. I could easily work 12 hours per day. But instead, but I love all you so much (and because this blog gives my life some sense of meaning), I work for about four hours, then I write the daily feature here (Like this exciting one!) and then I work a couple of more hours and then I write the morning posts and then I make dinner and then… Well then I spend the rest of the night trying to not end my day just further behind than I started!
And I can’t even take time off. I try! I keep very careful records of the work I do. So I will “sign off” — make a note in my spreadsheet. And then I will notice an email that has to be dealt with and this or that little thing, and before I know it, I’ve worked for a half hour and I figure: screw it, I’m back on the clock. Don’t get me wrong: I’m well paid and I have a great luxury in American life: I can work as much as I want at a job that I actually rather like with really fantastic people. (Really! You wouldn’t believe it! For the last eight years, the internet has been very low energy. We’re going to make the internet great again!)
So next week, I’m planning to get out of town for two days. I’ll still work, of course. I’m afraid if I stop working, the sun may not rise in the morning. I’m not certain, but do any of you really want to take the risk? As a result, I think I’m going to post some of my fiction. It’s old stuff, but still work that I think is pretty good. And if I’m feeling very adventurous, I might even post the first episode of “The Post Postmodern Comedy Hour,” which is probably the most perfect piece of self-expression I’ve ever written. But if you could put up with me whining about my life all these years, you can certainly put up with that!
This is also meant to inspire me to work on “Donna Q,” which I’ve been playing with for months. You can probably guess what it is about. But would you imagine in all takes place in a Starbucks? No, I suspect not.