The Snapping Point

It’s been a little while since I wrote anything. The main reason being I have been exceptionally busy the past couple of weeks. Busy, but not particularly happy. No surprise there really.

At the moment, I am getting particularly fed up about the demands being put on me by work. I have tried to stick to stricter rules in recent times than ever before, thanks to the luxury of being busy enough that I don’t need to feel like I’m constantly “on call” every waking moment of the day. The first step in that direction was the end of answering the phone on Sunday. I now ignore the landline on Sundays, and the mobile gets put into vibrate mode only, and certainly doesn’t even get switched on until the afternoon. This has made Sundays my favourite day of the week, something I never thought would be possible given childhood memories of endless, depressing Sundays…

The only problem is that it hasn’t exactly stopped me from working. Lately I have taken on an awful lot of web work: the kind of stuff that can be pretty flexible. So the stuff that I inevitably don’t get done during the week because I’m too busy ends up being done at the weekends, because things are more relaxed that I can sit down in peace and quiet, knowing I won’t be disturbed and can get on with it.

And so the seven day work week continues. Yet, when I look at my records, I don’t seem to be all that better off for it.

In any event, that’s only part of my woes. I have too many “customers” on my books now that have turned into what I call “friends-when-needed”. That is, they call me up when they have a problem, and pretend to be all friendly and matey with me, and then reveal they’re actually calling for some other, computing, reason. I then, stupidly, proceed to help them out over the phone, taking up my time, and getting absolutely nothing back in return.

These people have no guilt. They are professional users. I know they are not friends, because I can count the number of times I’ve had social calls from them on one thumb. Friends do help each other, of course they do, but actual friendship is about far more than that. Friends spend time with each other for its own sake. There doesn’t necessarily need to be an excuse to call in for a cup of tea.

I then think: this service must now be a loss of hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds to me. Not necessarily because they would actually pay for me, but because these days, every minute I spend wasted with them translates into a much longer period of distraction, which is lost from the other work I could be doing.

At some point soon, I just know I am going to snap. It nearly happened with one of them this week. It did happen with one other, when I suddenly got out of the conversation saying I’m too busy, but no lesson was learned, since the guy called me up the following day.

When I snap it will be glorious. I will finally be liberated. It will probably lose these people as customers forever, but I shouldn’t be so concerned about that. I don’t need them. They can toddle off to some other PC repair supplier, and see how they get on calling them at unsociable hours, asking for free technical help. Translation: they wouldn’t ever do that.

It’s always been in my nature to be helpful to people, usually way beyond when most other people would say, “you’re really taking the piss now”. One thing business has taught me is not to be such a pushover.

Probably a good lesson in life though, really.