Friday, November 26, 2010

Appreciation (31) … Walk or wait?

Appreciation (31) … Walk or wait?
Torrey Orton
Nov. 26, 2010

Time was when the best way to summon a train, bus, tram or cab was to light a cigarette. Pretty much turned the corner within seconds of striking the light. Nowadays, 25 years on, the story is cleaner and more irritating. It's just a question of when to walk and when to wait between trams. I never minded the lost smokes all those years. But the threat of a lost walk or a lost punctuality is mildly gut shaking.

I'm a work walker. I believe I do myself goods by walking as much of my work routes as can be fit into the train / tram schedule which bridges them. But these do not mesh with the smoothness of high class gearing. Their rather more grindy operation, slightly unsynched it seems, signals their respective owners persistent proudly proclaimed unmet performance objectives. And I regress…

I do need to be at work on time (clients await). I leave home an hour before shutters up. Because of the just noted asynchronous public transports, I often walk a few tram stops. I know how long it takes and I can do two stops in the normal waiting time – about 8 minutes. That's easy. Uneasy is the non-arrival of the scheduled tram which opens a gateway to walk another stop, if I dare. If I dare wrongly, there's a prospect of another 8 minute wait as the scheduled tram ambles past catching me between stops*.

So what? Well, so I do not get the longer walk I usually take towards the end of the route (about 1 km. of quick-paced passage through the salubrious inner city streets of Albert Park). This walk sets me up for the day by providing a slight sweat and leaving me at the keydrop** with 10 minutes to settle down. If I do not have the walk I'm not well balanced, which leads to increased stress in therapy management. I know that will matter both towards the end of the day (an energy gulf) and during the day as my finer senses of process and detail are dulled.

This whole thing seems simple, and is simple if I drop my various other personal performance objectives embedded in the above narrative (my scripts for managing my day). It condenses a clear stressor into a clearly bounded area (6:50am – 7:50am), with almost guaranteed release. The almost is the lurking awareness that I could still mess up, or be messed up, by misjudgement plus fate.

Wait or walk?

*the loss leader of such events was the 7:26am arriving at 7:35am, closely followed by the next one, the real 7:35am. The wrap-up: I was ten minutes late and two trams down, so had my 1km walk at 1.5 km distance from the clinic; Result: just got there before 8am client. Plus, I lost X% of the training effect of the 1km thru apprehension about missing 8am.

**this is the café we leave clinic keys in overnight to allow the earliest arriving therapist to open office.

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