The Big Black Dot

April 13th, 2007

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Charles-

First off, close your eyes. Picture me sitting at my new desk. A deep-red stained wood, u-shaped curving around the room, a nice black office chair, those holes in the desk to let computer wires and such through inconspicuously, and me sitting here, coffee to my right, inbox to the left, date-book, external hard drive, notebook, phone, pens, pencils, Charlie, I tell you it’s fucking magnificent! Okay, now open your eyes.

I really love workspaces, and now, finally, we have enough to accommodate all the assistant editors! What I’m trying to tell you is please send me links to funny office-related comic strips. I’ll tack them up on my door or above my computer so when I gaze up to make some calculation or struggle with some problem, I’ll see it there are remember that the work place is ultimately silly and absurd.

But as I mentioned, I do love being at a work station, and since I spend easily eighty-five percent of my waking hours at one, I end up thinking about methods of working, my efficiency, & cetera, and lately I think I dilly-dally too much. I’ll spend inordinate amounts of time picking music or wait, let me fill my coffee first or smoke a quick bowl… you know, procrastinating or even just working too slowly, going to IM someone between every step. It’s time for all that to stop. How? The Big Black Dot. I just need something to remind me to pick up the slack, to get to it, some visual cue. It doesn’t matter what it is, I don’t need a poster of Mr. Spacely looking down at me all accusingly to make me feel guilty, all I need is something that I know means get to work, asshole. So now I have The Big Black Dot. It’s a filled, black circle about seven and a half inches in diameter on a piece of standard printer paper.

For the first time, I understand why people hang images of Jesus or Buddha or Cathy comic strips. It’s just a reminder. Don’t forget that stuff you think is true. I guess it’s not as creepy as I once thought. And even all the extra imagery is just more reminders, more little visual cues. I mean, maybe I could pack a little more into the Big Black Dot…

Alright, here’s the new deal. Now the dot is a clock because time is all we have, right? Can’t waste it. It’s real and measurable and you feel it and you shouldn’t use it poorly. And then across the face of the clock it just says SHUT UP! Because I need to shut up and get to work. I talk too much. Bottom line, Charlie. I spend too high a ratio of time talking about work as I do to actually working. So far The Shut-Up Clock is working like gangbusters. I’d suggest you try it, but then we’re really pushing this into the zone of religion, and frankly, The Shut-Up Clock and me, we’re going to keep this between the two of us.  Nonetheless, I’ve enclosed a copy for you… just in case.
-Shababo

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