I don’t know about you but I just love it when a client calls at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday to “run some ideas past you.” After all, freelancers don’t need no stinking “sleeping in” on a romantic, rainy Sunday. Sleeping in only results in spontaneous sex. Better to lie beside your spouse and listen to a conversation about distribution quotas while you quietly seethe. That will bring the population growth down.
I also love it when clients call in the evening, during a movie. Do you answer? Yeah, so did the guy in front of me in the multiplex last night. First he tried whispering. Then he got “stink eye” from his neighbors. When someone beaned him with a wadded up napkin, he left the theater talking all the way. You could hear the conversation. It was about a deadline that had been moved up. (Why are deadlines always moved up? Why are they never moved back to give you some breathing room? Why is that?)
I suppose he could have ignored the call but my experience tells me that if you don’t answer, they will just text you. Over and over again.
Why are we allowing ourselves to become on-call slaves? Because we live in the age of instant gratification. Early morning; late at night; weekends; holidays. BTW, what are holidays? I haven’t seen a holiday since 1972. And I live in Hawai‘i, the state that has more official holidays than any other state in the union. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, New Year’s Day, Prince Kuhio Day, King Kamehameha Day, Independence Day, Statehood Day (which is celebrated by native Hawaiians by displaying the flag of the nation of Hawai‘i upside down – the international distress signal) and all the rest. Oops, did I accidentally say “rest?” Ha, ha! That was a joke. The only people who get to rest on most holidays are state workers. For everyone else, it’s just a day in which the busses don’t run as often (for our convenience).
I realize that this is a far fetched concept. But think about it:
- · When you call your bank after hours, does the President of the bank interrupt his dinner to answer your call?
- · Would you expect your hairdresser to meet you at Starbucks on Sunday morning to review some pictures of hairstyles that might look cute on you?
- · Do you wake your butcher up at 11:30 at night to tell him about your upcoming dinner party and get his “feedback” on entrée choices?