For reasons that I can’t (and therefore won’t) get in to right now, I’m obsessively waiting on an email. One. Specific. Email.
This sort of obsession is hindered by the very reality that on any given day, I get about 200 work-related emails (if you include the junk mail from vendors who seem to think I’m hiring scads of people or want to outsource scads of work) and probably 50-70 personal emails (not including the invitations to enlarge my manhood or acquire millions from a long-lost eccentric cousin in Nigeria). The fact that this one particular email will come within a 5 to 10 day period, which means it represents 0.04-0.6% of my LEV (Legitimate Email Volume) does not help.
When waiting for that one email, a couple of behavioral shifts occur, including, but not limited to:
- Obsessively checking the iPhone to see if it arrived there
- Re-checking the desktop browser to see if it arrived there
- Keeping a browser tab open to email to see when the tab status changes to indicate a new mail has happened, and when you notice it does your stomach gets all giddy, and then you change tabs to open this one and discover that your Amazon order has shipped, and the giddy excitement crashes away into a wave of “meh”. Inbox(1) does not necessarily equal joy.
- Questioning whether or not you really expected the mail to come between 3:20am and 5:20am, which was this morning’s particular brand of insomnia (no, that wasn’t reasonable). Neither was it reasonable to expect it before 8am yesterday, or after 8pm, either.
- Trying to convince yourself that when they said 5-10 days they really meant “don’t expect it before 5 days, and from then on expect it within five days of that”, and not believing that *at all*
- Repeat steps 1-5.
There are two possible outcomes to this email: one is Tigger-esque mind-blinding joy and excitement. The other is a sense of doubt, self-questioning, and (eventually) redoubled efforts. There does not appear to be a contingency I can plan for beside these two results.
I am on day 2 of 10.