Monday, March 09, 2009

Over the years, I’ve gotten used to some wild swings in my activities and surroundings. This weekend was one for the books, though. On Friday night, Armani and I had a very luxurious and decadent day and night at a local resort, with 90-minute massages, Chateaubriand, a hot tub, lots of wine - and lots of other things.
Saturday morning we woke up to snow – quite a lot of that, too. Now, I don’t know what it is, but it seems like whenever Armani and I leave town for a getaway, some dramatic weather-related thing happens. Like the ferry ride that we took in the windstorm of ‘07 yeah, that ferry! Just our luck, we seem to stir up Mother Nature.
But Armani is a talented man, and he got us down off the mountain and delivered me home at noon. Whereupon I discovered that the cleaning people I had engaged – the highly trained team of professionals who were going to remove the heavy layer of nasty post-construction dust that was coating every single surface and every single object in my whole house – were not coming. At all.
So I was looking at a busy week starting Monday, with lots of people coming to see me, and a very filthy house. So guess what I was doing for nine hours alone on Saturday and for another four, with Monk, Sunday? Yeah. I looked like a chimney sweep on Saturday, only grayish-white instead of black.
People did offer to help me Saturday, but I’m hard to help sometimes. Certain types of things I can easily give clear directions about, but some things – well, I know how I want it done, but the effort of conceptualizing and then clearly communicating exactly what to do and why to do it that way? Oh, I’d honestly just rather do it myself. Unwillingness to delegate - it's a failing of mine. Control issues, me? Why would you ever think such a thing?
If the team had come, I would given them the keys and walked away - and then come back later and re-done whatever they didn’t do right. But directing another person, moment-by-moment for hours, in a huge and vaguely defined task, that’s actually composed of ten thousand tiny little tasks? Oh, no. As exhausting as it was to do alone, I would have been twice as stressed trying to do it and simultaneously manage someone else.
So Monk came on Sunday, when I had a clear and specific list of things I needed him to do, and that’s just exactly perfect. This is why I don’t have “apprentices” - and what a silly term that is - or personal slaves. I do not enjoy labor management - even the labor of people I’m very fond of.