Perpetual Overwhelm


Monday October 7th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

My days are getting more and more packed, and there’s no relief in sight. My phone is ringing constantly to the point I leave it shut off most of the time, and I don’t know how to handle it. I’m in a state of perpetual overwhelm, and even though I’m working hard I’m always falling behind.

I start my days with the best of intentions, and then that phone rings and it’s almost always bad news or something I hadn’t planned for to distract me. I’ve got several energy vampires to dodge that just can’t seem to understand that I’m very busy most of the time and need to get work done.

I try extremely hard to be polite, but that doesn’t work. They’ll keep calling and then scold me for not picking up when I do call them back – and I try to call everyone back at some point. I am often several days or even longer in doing it, but I never try to blow anyone off. I know what that feels like, and it’s not pleasant. But courtesy only goes so far, and this is becoming a big hassle.

I love to hang out and chew the fat and all that, but when there are things to do that earn me my living, I can’t afford that luxury. My phone is a business tool, and I have a limited amount of free time with too many people who want to use it for unimportant chatter. I have reached saturation.

Not everyone who calls me is a pain in the ass, and in fact most people aren’t. Most times I am delighted to hear from those that take time to call, and am flattered they thought of me in the first place. It’s just that I can’t call everyone back in a timely fashion, and that tends to insult people.

“Hey, you can make time to call ME back can’t you?” Everyone says that, and no I can’t. I try as hard as I can to get back to everybody, but between that and the constantly growing email pile and the activities of life itself it just exceeds my human capabilities. I need a secretary yesterday.

The way I’ve been handling it of late is to just leave my phone shut off. That’s not professional in the long run, and I do get important business calls mixed in with the time suckers who want to jibber jabber for an hour about nothing. I can’t predict who is going to call when, and it’s a mess.

Another hassle is the time schedule people call. Most of my business comes from comedians or comedy bookers, and that tends to be a night time activity 99% of the time. I never try to call any comedians before noon, and most comedians return that favor. Bookers sometimes call a little bit earlier, but rarely before 10. That’s acceptable – especially when they are calling with bookings.

Then there’s the group of clueless pinheads who crank up calls at 7am because that’s how they roll. They’re early risers, and expect everyone else to be up doing jumping jacks and pushups at 5am like the Marine Corps. This is a great way to get me to ignore you, so please don’t call then.

Part of this problem exists because I am just not a phone person by nature. I’d rather exchange an email or even a text when possible, as it tends to get to the point faster. A six word text often contains as much pertinent information as a ten minute phone call. Over a whole day, it adds up.

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be famous. I’m having a hard enough time keeping track of everything now. Time is a valuable commodity, and I’ve got all I can handle to manage mine.

Boy, ain't this the truth.

Boy, ain’t this the truth.

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