Wednesday, May 18, 2005

My office as 'Tar Baby'

When I was a child (in the pre-television era) my father and grandfather often read to me aloud. The Uncle Remus stories by Joel Chandler Harris were among their selections and I have always remembered the story of the Tar Baby (you can read it on line, with commentary by Googling “Tar Baby.” In brief one of the two protagonists, Brer (brother) Fox makes a baby out of tar to trick his adversary, Brer Rabbit. Brer Rabbit is angered by the Tar Baby and as he tries to get the baby’s attention. The more vigorously he tries to arouse the baby, by shaking it, the more stuck he becomes.

Sometimes, my office seems like that at the end of the stay. The more I strive to “finish” my work – answering emails and ‘clearing my desk’ the more stuck I become. It is after nine. I need to adjourn and have dinner.

Stopping work will be an existential decision, having little to do with finishing.

Good night, office.


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