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Rising to the Doom - Qualified Perceptions
firstfrost
firstfrost
Rising to the Doom
So, due to various people being lame or miscommunicating, and some denial on my part, I ended up getting poked by the producer for Patience yesterday afternoon: the program designer had punted or vanished or fallen in a hole and wasn't answering email, so could I do the program? For Thursday? Of course "for Thursday" really means "for Tuesday" because Copytech wants two days turnaround (unless they're hosed and want three, which could be a problem). So now the program is done and to Copytech, and I've taught myself to use InDesign (which is, I have to kind of admit, a better tool for graphic layout than LaTeX is, much as I love LaTeX). But now "program designer" will haunt me until the end of my days, as my attempt to foist the task off on someone else this time was a catastrophic failure.

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chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: April 18th, 2006 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
As long as you prevent other people from suffering negative consequences they won't find a way to get by without you.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 18th, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, yeah, but it's all about self-image. :)
I'd rather be the exasperated hero who gets to leap in and save them than the person spent her holiday goofing off playing computer games. (If I hadn't had the day off, it might have been a different story).

And I do usually say "I'll do the program, if you can't find someone else" - in this case I even found the someone else, but it turned out she was flaky (which I don't quite consider my fault, but it does sort of make it part of my catastrophe).
arcanology From: arcanology Date: April 18th, 2006 05:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

You should pick one of the main cast and sub in your name. Then they'll find someone else next time. Or you can build up a lovely connection of plays you've been a lead in.
visage From: visage Date: April 18th, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if that'd be a viable reversal of the standard "If *you* don't write your bio, *I* will" threat (which seems to fail so often): "If you don't write your bio, I'll write it and use someone else's name, too!"
desireearmfeldt From: desireearmfeldt Date: April 18th, 2006 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, saying "I'll do it if you're hosed" means you're volunteering for hero duty.

Next time, if you don't actually want to do it, say No the first time they ask. (And if they really really need you to be a hero at the last minute, they'll probably ask you anyway, but they'll probably be more serrious about solving the problem in some other way first.)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 18th, 2006 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not that I care all that much about doing it or not doing it. It's that I thought there was someone who was psyched to do it (which there was), so I didn't have to bother. It's the timing that's inconvenient, and if I want to teach them the lesson of "Don't ask someone flaky to do programs", then, well, they've learned that lesson and will just ask me harder next time. :)
merastra From: merastra Date: April 18th, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
They should also learn to monitor their minions better so if the minion appears to be flaking out, they can go to plan B w/o having to call in heroics.

Though you are 1) a superhero with several clones and 2) had the day off, I still think an answer of "I don't think so" would have been a good lesson. In this case, it sounds like you like them and you really *did* have the time and even enjoyed the opportunity, it's just that after being in the workforce for a while, unprofessional scheduling just bugs me.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 19th, 2006 01:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I agree that saying "no" could have been a lesson for the producer. I thought at the time that it would leave the rest of the people in the show somewhat unfortunately off to not have any programs, though given desireearmfeldt's encouragement to say "no" as well, perhaps other people care about them less than I expected. :)

I'm not really a Theater Person the way many people I know are. I don't get involved because the Show Must Go On or because it's my Muse or my Hobby, I get involved because people I know ask me to help, and I would rather help the people I like than not. This means it's not hard to convince me to do something, even with poor timing, but it also means I get sad if I feel taken for granted or unappreciated or don't get my pat on the head for doing good.

I have clearly told my anecdote all wrong to get the desired effect, and I must ponder this.
From: tirinian Date: April 19th, 2006 02:29 am (UTC) (Link)
*I* understood. :-)
But I saw you working on it, and interpreted your mood correctly. :-)
merastra From: merastra Date: April 19th, 2006 07:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Did I mean what you think I meant?

What I understood was that you were pleased to have done the program because it was more noble and cool than sitting around playing computer games. I *do* think this is noble. The thing that impressed me the most is that you learned the app in the *same day*.

It's just that recently I've seen other people who were convinced to do things that they did not find fun in the slightest which is why I hijacked your entry. :-)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 19th, 2006 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Did I mean what you think I meant?

Yeah, that's more what I meant. (After pondering) I was bragging, but bragging is not polite, so I carefully camouflaged my bragging with exasperation (because I was kind of exasperated, but that's annoyed-in-good-fun rather than actual annoyance). But my camouflage was too good, so people gave me helpful advice on how to avoid exasperation in the future. :)

(I can usually sort between "stuff I don't want to do" and "stuff I don't mind doing" and "stuff I want to do"; being Productive often pushes things up one class.)
desireearmfeldt From: desireearmfeldt Date: April 19th, 2006 12:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Not having a program would make me sad, yes.

But having the group get into the habit relying on some people's ability to make Noble Sacrifices, rather than putting in the work to do the planning and recruiting and monitoring and mentoring that would avoid it, also makes me sad. It's not good for the people who end up doing all the work when they'd rather not, and it's not good for the group's long-term health.

(Also, I was more saying that if you said No firmly up front, you'd be justified in not leaping in to save the day, and if you really didn't want to, you should say so. If you want to, by all means go ahead. :) )
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: April 19th, 2006 07:00 am (UTC) (Link)
If you really don't want to say no to a last minute request (or fend off an early one firmly enough that they don't come back to bother you later), you could try mentoring an alternate program designer so that 1) someone else is trained and 2) you have warning if flakiness is impending.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: April 19th, 2006 01:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
They did get chanaleh to do programs before, and hers was much prettier than mine was, as she is artistic and skilled, whereas I am skilled. :)

But I would be very bad at the mentoring thing. I multi-task well, but delegate exceedingly poorly. (I find it interesting to compare chenoameg's efficiencies to mine, as she doesn't have as many timelines as me, but delegates very well. So I might be faster at small projects, but she'd be running a vast empire of minions long after I exploded.)
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