If it Breaks, Let Someone Else Fix It

Two incidents illustrate the fault lines that remain with my personal brand of OCD.

Mood music for this post: “Coming Undone” by Korn:

“Fuck! Even in the future nothing works.” — Dark Helmet, on discovering that the cancel button for his ship’s self-destruct command was out of order.

Yesterday was a bad day for our Internet to crash. I was working from home and had a lot of stuff to do. Today is a bad day for my company content management system to fail, because I have a lot of stuff to do.

My reaction to both incidents shows how much better I am at managing my OCD — and how far I still have to go.

Yesterday wasn’t a bad day for the most part. I wrote the article and produced the podcast I wanted to do. But right as I was about to file my article, the Internet took a dive. Worse can happen. Much worse. But when OCD runs hot, little things become a big deal. And since I need the Internet to do my job, this wasn’t exactly a little thing.

So I let my mood swing deep into blackness. I couldn’t see or hear anyone around me. It became all about trying to regain control of the situation and get the Internet back. Since the problem was a cable outage in the neighborhood, there was no way I could do anything about it.

Erin handled it better. When she realized she wouldn’t be getting any work done, she shrugged and decided to break for lunch. I did too, but I carried my bad mood late into the afternoon — long AFTER the Internet was back up.

As I write this today I’m waiting for repairs to a critical function in our content management system that allows me to grab stories from other sites in the company and post them to our homepage.

These things happen. Nobody’s fault.

I put in the help desk ticket, shrugged my shoulder and decided to put the wait time to good use by writing this blog entry.

I’m going with the “Let Go and Let God” philosophy I’ve come to cherish over the years. Or, I guess more accurately, I’m subscribing to the belief that if something breaks, you let someone else fix it.

Yesterday that meant Comcast. Today it’s our online production team.

One could think of that as the selfish “Let George do it” approach. But really it’s about trying not to be a control freak and trusting the professionals to do their jobs.

That remains a hard concept for me. I crave order and control, even after all the progress I’ve made.

I’ll just have to keep working on that one.


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