Saturday, December 23, 2006

Foiled, every step of the way ...

I'm sitting her, the day before Christmas Eve, and realizing how frustrating the last week has been on the holiday front.

Not in any holiday-familial-angst (or, really, any important) kind of way, but in a foiled-at-every-step-of-the-professionalism-side-of-the-Biz kind of way.

Seriously, hear me out, because this was bizarre.

First, understand I'm a really professional person. Part of how that plays out during the holidays is me getting holiday cards out to a select list of business contacts (past and potential clients and industry friends and associates), and business gifts out to an even more select group.

Cards were beast this year. We're talking constant miss-prints, not being able to print on the cards I'd bought, boxes of cards I bought being shorted (packs of 20 were packs of 14, etc.), ink not drying, blah blah blah blah. A project started two weeks before Christmas took until today. Literally.

Which made half of my cards on time, and half ... belated. The perfectionist side of me hates that. You have no idea.

Then there were the professional gifts. Clever gift baskets with a bunch of stuff I won't detail here, because people probably haven't freaking received them yet.

I had the concept and the stuff done for the baskets early. There was just one signature "Adam item" I needed to add, and it kept getting delayed, kept getting delayed, kept getting delayed, until the whole basket effort was delayed. The effort finally got done, and the baskets were put together on the road as I drove to deliver them yesterday, and ... everyone had left town. Everyone.

So I went to ship them at UPS, which -- though there was no line -- took me an hour, as the person at the counter moved like chilled molasses to put the label on each package (I'd even already done all the work on the "customer station").

And then, they told me they couldn't ship one of the packages, because it was going to a PO Box, and I'd have to do it at a post office. So I drove to a post office that was closed and used the automated station to get postage and went to drop it in the box and ... it was a half an inch too big.

And even though I know the box is 12 inches square, I still tried to rotate it 6 ways to see if, by some small chance, it would fit. I yelled at the package drop box, bounced my head against the package, and lay there drumming my fingers on the wall, then realized since it was a post office, there were probably a lot of cameras watching my petite turrets moment, and I so want to see how I came off. Always an actor.

And it was at this moment I wondered if I had inadvertently pissed off the holiday shipping gods, and all of this is some sort of righteous punishment.

Anyway, despite all of this frustration (which seems petty, I know, but it didn't happen to you), I'm doing way better with this than I would have in the past.

See, I struggle with getting it right. And being right. And other trappings of perfectionism.

But lately... not so much.

For example, I didn't redo cards or envelopes or labels that weren't Absolutely. Perfect. I didn't go nuts trying to get stuff delivered by today. And if I was working on a card and had a "well-if-they-don't-like-this-then-f***-them" moment, I removed them from my address list. Seriously, I'm not going to give myself an ulcer for some folks. And it makes it more important for the folks I keep on the list.

And I turned the whole "fiasco" into an opportunity.

For example, my headshot wouldn't print on most of the cards, but created a wet, surrealist kind of version of me. So, for my more artsy friends and contacts, I bought Monet holiday cards, printed the picture, then pressed and pulled paper off of the headshot multiple times to create a unique, "original Adam", with every card. I hope they get it.

And for the late professional gifts, I put a sticker on the box that reads, "This isn't 'late' -- it's 'extending your holidays'." It's fun, memorable, acknowledges I'm late, and that it's not that big of a deal.

Anyway, this is probably my longest post about almost nothing. But I feel good ...

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