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Time.

It's a wondrous thing. Also, evil.

It never flows quite right, it seems. It always plays tricks on me.

I've read that the perception of (the passage of) time can be heavily affected by ADD. It's distorted by everything from the moment to moment inattentiveness to excitement. This means I often tend not to realize how long things take or will take--that is, how long I took doing something or how long I'll need to do something.

I've learned to cope with it (mostly); other people think I'm crazy sometimes, othertimes they think I'm just bullshitting them. But there's a reason, a method to my madness. Or unmadness. Either way.


For example: Because of a scheduling snafu--or as I like to call them, a clerical error*--I was scheduled to potentially work today when I was already supposed to be at an appointment.

My manager said it was ok if I came in later on (if they end up needing me at all). Naturally he asked when I expected I could get to the store.

I told him plainly, "Oh, 5? maybe more like 5:30 tops?" That was a rather generously short expectation, I thought.

He looked at me and said, "Really? It takes you an hour and a half to get back here from Dupont? Really??"


Well, yes and no. In reality, the actual train ride is only about 32 minutes long. But I've learned, in that roundabout way that life lessons are usually learned, that it simply isn't that simple. (Least of all for me.)

See, it used to be I'd probably have said  "Oh, sure, I can be here at 4:30!" not realizing that would require me to rush out of my appointment, sprint all the way to the station, pray there's a train already waiting, hope there isn't any track maintenance or single tracking or just plain ass waits, and then sprint again (thankfully having caught my breath...) from the station to my store in the mall.

Back in reality, I've learned to account for that much better...usually...hopefully....

Adding up everything--from walks to waits, from travel to obstacles--it may take more like 45 minutes to an hour.


But there's more.

I've also learned, and maybe this is purely an ADD-centric management skill, that I need to take the amount of time I think I need--no matter how realistically I think I've thunk it out--and add half again as much time, maybe even double the estimate.

Today for example I'm going to leave for this 3pm appointment by 1pm. Of course, leaving one's house is always much harder/takes longer than departing anywhere else, so of course I'm going for the doubled estimate. But also I'm account for the 20minute walk to the station, the desire to be early to the appointment, and other "extraneities".

This may seem like a lot of bother. And maybe it is. But in my experience, if I approach time-management any other way, I make promises I can't fulfill--like promising I could be at work at 4:30--and make a world of hurt (frustrated managers, ashamed me's, and other forms of guilt, frustration, and haste).


And for fuck's sake--I'm not running anywhere. Because once I start running, whether because of the running or the cause for the running, that's when I start getting agitated, worried, frustrated, pissed; that's when my day goes sour and I start taking it out on everything and everyone around me. And, frankly, I don't need that, and neither do you.

So hopefully you'll understand why my estimates sound absurd, why my plan-making seems preposterous: it's how I deal with the way I am.


* The snafu/error here was partly their forgetting I'm usually not available at that time on Tuesdays for this reason but mostly my forgetting to tell/remind them.

So, being responsible,

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