Two p.m. is an inauspicious time. No — there’s no halfway through, or halfway from. Starting at noon or starting at 1:00, it makes no difference. Two p.m. languishes in the same non-urgent, no-account hour as say, 9 a.m. Not much going on. “Hey, Marvin, can I have that report by 2 p.m.?” It doesn’t sound nearly as pressing as, “Marvin! I need that report by noon!” And so 2 p.m. sits on the clock and looks longingly at 1 p.m. and then at 3 p.m. and wishes it were anything but itself.
One day, a military strategist comes along and says, “Two o’clock is imprecise. Let’s make a twenty-four hour clock.” And so, lowly 2 p.m. became “fourteen hundred hours.” Now, there’s a time that struts. There’s a time that salutes. There’s a time that sergeants can bellow across a room and not sound like a sissy. “I’ll see you at fourteen hundred hours, soldier.” And he means that you should be there fifteen minutes before, or “Soldier, you’re late.”
Lunch hangs warm in your stomach. Your brain’s fogged. The afternoon looms and with luck, your To-Do list from the morning has some items that are crossed off, or checked. I prefer crossing off. How about you?
As you face the afternoon list, you wonder if it’s prioritized correctly. There are three “A’s” two “B’s” and three “C’s” looking back at you. Just before lunch one of the A’s became a B because another A stole in when your boss (you?) changed your priorities for you. That’s not so bad, is it?
You ponder each of the items, planning your attack when ** KA-BOOM ** your email unleashes its revenge: your best client has an emergency. Order runs for the doors. Calm disappears behind the file cabinet. Control (a figment of your imagination) sidles behind a dusty dictionary.
You’re staring at the clock. It’s now 1:10, and one of the “C’s” has disappeared into the basement. The A that pushed the C down the stairs has been downgraded to B and swings dizzily from a rotating fan blade.
The new “A” preens, sitting atop the list. Is that a smirk?
Nice try on the organization. It just went out the window.