Category Archives: Open Door Stories

Open Door – Talking to Myself

SETTING
Tim’s office, where the door is generally open, but today is closed.

TIME
Mid-Afternoon
Tim is in his office at work. He has a spreadsheet open on one monitor, and a report of some kind on the other.

IV: Got a minute?

TIM: No, I’m busy. Can’t you see the door is (he looks up at the closed door) ..closed?

IV: Yep. But I’m your inner voice, you can’t shut me out.

TIM: Of course I can. I’ll just get back to my planning spreadsheet over here….

IV: Well, yes, of course you can ignore me. But you can’t shut me out. You know I talk to you when you are sleeping, right?

TIM: What do you want? I told you, I’m busy.

IV: So you said.

TIM: You want to nag me about my eating habits? Or is this about my workout schedule?

IV: None of the above. Though, if you want to get into those, I’m sure we can.

TIM: Look, I’ve got the monthly RIF reports due, I’m dealing with two new projects that I haven’t really dug into yet, and so I closed the door to get something done. Are you going to let me do that?

IV: Don’t let me stand in our way. Go to it. I won’t say another word.

Tim grabs his mouse, turns to his keyboard and continues working on his RIF report

TIM: I can’t concentrate. I know you are here for something. What is it?

IV: Writing. Your blog. Remember that Mr. HRIntrovert? That little bit of whimsy you started a few years ago? The thing that not only helped you connect with a lot of people, but became the way you solidified some of your ideas that help you work so well; that keep you so “busy”?

TIM: Have you looked at the internet lately? That blog is a speck of dust in the universe. If that. Nobody misses it.

IV: We do. It serves as a way you clarified key ideas. Some of the very things you struggle with today, the things that make you so busy. It brings a balance to your work that you didn’t have before. And that you don’t really have now.

TIM: I just don’t have the time.

IV: Well of course not. Are you really going to go there? Do you want to argue that you don’t have the time to do things that bring you the satisfaction of creating something and, at times, bring clarity to problems you are trying to solve? Do you think it’s so much better to languish in the muck that is your work life? Your busy-ness doesn’t come from the amount of work, but from your failure to rise above the mundane part and make it better. You have been working for more than 38 years now. You’ve been a proponent of change throughout that time, and now you are regressing into a status-quo pit. Is that where you intend to finish your career? That’s certainly not what we discussed…

TIM: Wow. It took you less than two minutes to come in here and make me feel like a piece of shit.

IV: It’s one of my strengths. Remember in the performance review a few years ago? She told us to be more direct. Speak truth to power.

TIM: Ok, I get it. You realize I have been writing with the team over at Performance I Create, right? I signed up because I needed the discipline of a schedule.

IV: Yes, and that showed you still were interested and you still can put a couple of thoughts together and write something interesting. Maybe even compelling at times. But really, once a month?

TIM: What kind of deal do I need to make here for you to go away?

IV: Certainly you know better than that! I’m not going away, I’m just trying to nudge you toward something that is good for us. Something that helped us reach our creative side and allowed you to be better in your work. When you challenged yourself to be creative outside of work, you got more creative at work. And that’s good.

TIM: Except with expense reports. They don’t like creativity there.

IV: I’m leaving now. At least to the extent I ever “leave”.

TIM: Good, now I can get this done.

IV: Oh, one more thing. Get that workout schedule back to five days minimum, ok?  Bye.

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