Posts Tagged With: doubt

The Department of Self-Doubt

For today, a small “What if?” story…

So. Imagine you’re the head of a company called YOU. It’s a pretty complex place, lots of stuff going on, and your job, you’ve always thought, is to make sure everything at YOU runs smoothly. But you’ve always had a hard time making decisions, not sure what’s right, what’s best for YOU, and so you’ve been cautious. But lately there’s been a lot of excitement, a lot of hope, but there’s also been a growing dread, more overwhelming than you’ve ever experienced. And you’re not sure YOU is up to the task of whatever is coming.

You feel out of touch with YOU. Disconnected. You wonder what’s going on down on the ground levels of YOU. You think maybe you should leave the office for a while. Head downstairs. Take a tour. See how things are really going.

You pass all the usual departments—Organization, Coordination, Digestion, Circulation. Breathing. All of that stuff is humming with no problems. Creativity is going strong—you can hear them laughing as you pass by. A little nutty, that crew, but they’re having a lot of fun and you could sense that joy even up in your office. But still, something is jarring…

As you near the end of the ground floor, there’s this horrendous noise growing louder. Getting closer, you see it’s the door marked Self-Doubt. You’d practically forgotten it was there—they’ve been there forever, a small department, behind the scenes. But what the hell are they doing in there now?

You walk inside and floor to ceiling there’s this great contraption cobbled together from miscellaneous ancient parts—office furniture, old computers, adding machines, reel-to-reel tape, light switches, knobs—an old vacuum cleaner? And these two guys are pulling levers and adjusting some array of sensors, completely intense, lost in their work. You remember hiring them mainly to be fact-checkers, desk men, pretty much just to make sure YOU didn’t ever do anything really stupid. What was all this?

“Guys!” you wave and yell over at them. They finally see you, cut the noise down, and come over, grinning. Wiping grease off their hands, they shake yours. “Hi Boss!”

You look around. “Uh, guys? What is all this? I don’t remember all this ever being here.”

They look slightly sheepish and one of them grins and says, “Well, Boss? We were just doing our jobs, you know, but the other departments were running a pretty tight ship—no really weird requests were coming through that anyone thought we needed to look at. We got bored. Really bored. And those guys over in Creativity—they get to make stuff! And they’re having so much fun, so we thought, ‘Hey! We can make stuff too!’ Our job is to keep YOU safe—so we started thinking of all these scenarios and options for things that could be scary or dangerous or pretty much just what could go wrong in any situation in general and then we built a machine that could generate the possibility of all those things based on predictive mathematical formulas! It’s been a huge challenge, but we’ve worked really hard on it, and we think by next year we’ll have figured out everything that could ever possibly go wrong so that YOU will never be disappointed or embarrassed or afraid or hurt ever again. So don’t worry about us, boss. We’ve got YOU covered.”

At this point, you’re rubbing the back of your neck with your hands, massaging the muscles that have gotten so strained over the last few months while you were sitting at your desk worrying, and you finally realize what’s been happening.

But you look back at them. They’re so eager, so earnest. They just wanted to do their jobs. You see their care, their concern, their love, and this crazy contraption they’d built just trying to keep YOU safe. They’d just wanted to help. To make something useful. And you hadn’t been paying attention.

“Uh, guys?” you say, smiling at them. “Would you consider a transfer? You’re both just completely wasted here. Just go on over to Creativity. No paperwork necessary.”

“But what about…?” one trailed off, pointing at the machine.

“Just leave it on low. And maybe just pop over from time to time, just to make sure no one’s doing anything really stupid?”

“Will do, Boss.” they saluted and headed down the hallway. Grinning.

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Categories: On the Page | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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