Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'm sorry, I've been in training all week and haven't had a chance to check e-mail...Excuses version of the T3

From Terry:

Why, if this is Thursday…
…that must mean it’s time for The Axis of Weevil Thursday Three! ::restrained applause::

We’ve covered so much together over the years that coming up with new and interesting questions to ask is something of a difficulty.

Okay, well, so that’s not true.

Thank goodness for such an excuse, though, because it leads us right into this batch of questions. Today we’ll be dealing with those things we tell ourselves in order to keep from doing what we should be doing. Take a moment to answer the questions below, either in the comments or by leaving a link to your blog, and tell us, please:

1) What is your favorite all-around go-to excuse for not doing things that you really just don’t want to do?

2) Is this excuse a one-size-fits-all sort of thing, or do you have one set of excuses for work, and another for social situations?

3) What is one of the lamest excuses you’ve ever heard?

There now--if it’s not too much trouble, or if you’re not having to go wash your hair, or if you don’t have a roast in the oven--take a minute or two and fill us in on your answers. As always, the game is open to everyone, so no excuses for not playing.

As for me...

1. and 2. together: When someone attempts to add an unpleasant task to my full-to-overflowing plate at work, I generally begin with, "Oh, but that is something that really calls for (fill-in-the-blank coworker's name)'s special talents. You may want to talk to them about this." Note that this may not be the way to win friends at work; still, I can usually find a legitimate reason why the coworker is a better choice for the task. In short, I plead incompetence.

Failing that, the next line of defense is, "Sure, I'd be happy to do that for you. Be aware that at the current moment I am working on (insert list of current projects and immovable deadlines). Which of those would you like me to drop for you? Will you be the one informing (insert Finance VP's name) that I will miss the tax filing deadline to take on your project?"

Socially, I'm less likely to recommend someone else, but use the same general tactic: "Oh, that sounds like a worthwhile project, but I really don't have the skills/tools/time/motivation to do it justice."

As I've gotten older I've become an advocate of the uncompromising (and usually unmistakable) "No, thank you." Even that doesn't always work...remind me to tell the turkey story some day.

3. It isn't so much the lame excuses themselves I remember, it's the way they are offered up. The people offering the excuses don't even believe them, and don't expect you do believe them, either. But they still expect them to be accepted.

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