Today’s pet peeve is brought to you by “Middle Aged Grouchiness: The Only Thing Worse Than Teenaged Angst.”
A couple phrases I absolutely hate hearing are “I will ___ when I get a chance” or “I’m going to do ___ when I have time.” They grate on me like nothing else. (And to be fair, I’ve uttered those words and regretted it every time.)
When someone tells me “I will do this or that when I get a chance,” it’s more like a brush-off. It’s as though they’re telling me “I can’t be bothered. Let me tell you something to get you off my back.” It’s frustrating. Just do whatever it is you need to do! Why wait? Why imply a promise of action when you could be doing the action instead?
The same goes with “I’m going to do this or that when I have the time.” Ugh!! Do it now. Take care of it now. You know what needs to be done!
These phrases have irked me for some time. Yes, I’ve used them before and I’ve not felt good about them.
What brought this to my attention was a recent interview I heard on NPR with an author whose new memoir contained egregious plagiarism. The author (sorry, I don’t remember her name) replied to the accusations by saying “I will get to them soon.” She knew there were problems, pointed out several of them herself, and carried on like it was nothing. If I recall correctly, I think many of her citations to other books were wrong or led to the incorrect pages of her cited works.
No! Do them now! You know the problems are there and you know the solutions. Fix it now! Why wait? What do you have to gain from postponing the action?
It sounded more like she was deflecting away from the errors and giving an answer she thought would satisfy her critics while doing nothing about it. She promised future action as a means of quelling the immediate problem.
Can we all stop this? Can we be people of action and not deflection? I include myself in this. I’m just as guilty as the next person. The sooner we can take ownership of the problem, the sooner it will be fixed. Responsibility folks: it’s a beautiful thing.
Rant over. Thanks for dropping by.
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