Central Snark

Self Starter by mattresspolice
Thursday, 5 July 2007, 8:10am
Filed under: funny..., Pop! goes the Diesel

DieselIt’ s been awhile since I’ve updated my resume, but one of the things you used to see on resumes all the time was “Self Starter.” This was meant to signify that you were the kind of person who would just show up for work and start doing what needed to be done without having to be told. You might, for example, make the coffee, sweep the floor, organize the place a bit, maybe even clean the bathroom if you’re feeling particularly motivated. But nobody appreciates that kind of initiative any more. “That’s not your job,” they’ll say. “Why aren’t you wearing gloves?” they’ll say. “Shouldn’t you be on the other side of the police tape?” they’ll say. What do they expect me to do, just stand around watching the front door until the detectives show up?

Well, I’m sorry, I’m a self starter. I don’t wait around for people to tell me what to do. In fact, by the time someone gets around to telling me what to do, odds are that I’m hip-deep in something far more important, and whatever they want me to do is just going to have to wait. I’m like a pit bull. The only thing that’s going to make me release my vice-like grip on whatever task I’m currently obsessed with is to dangle an even bigger, juicier task in front of me. If you want me to do something, your best bet is to hold it behind your back so that I can just barely get a glimpse of it, and maybe wrap it in bacon. Then I’ll be like, “Ooh, forbidden bacon!” And then you’ll “accidentally” loosen your grip on it and I’ll drop whatever it is and lunge for your thing. I’m surprised my employers never learned this trick. I can be a pretty good employee if you know how to manage me, and you don’t mind losing a finger once in a while.

Take our beloved Snuppy, for example. If I worked for her, I’d probably be dead from exhaustion (or bacon-induced coronary) by this point. What’s that you’ve got there behind your back, Snuppy? Guest post for the Snark? Wrapped in bacon? Woohoo! I can build my house later. I always thought that Maslow rated shelter on the high side anyway. What? Put together a book of my Mattress Police posts? Yeah, that’s what I want to do! And is that bacon I smell? Forget this novel I’m working on, let me at that bacon-wrapped book idea! And then another Snarkster mentions something about t-shirts, and I’m like, Yeah! So what if I’ve been working on this master’s degree for four years? What I really need to do is design my own t-shirts!

So yeah, I’m a self starter. I can start things like nobody’s business. You know what would be a fantastic trait to go along with being a self starter? Being a self-finisher. If I had a nickel for every project that I’ve gotten 90% done but didn’t quite finish, I’d have a big jar of nickels sitting on my counter, plus one extra nickel for never quite getting up the motivation to cash in the nickels at the bank.

The funny thing is, about 9 months ago I was finally getting a handle on all my unfinished projects. I laid to rest a software application that I had been trying to get to market for about three years, resisted the urge to learn to play the guitar, and made plans to quit my job so I could finish my other outstanding projects (basically my house, my master’s degree, and a screenplay I’d been toying with). No more projects, I told myself, until I finish at least one of these.

Then one day I was screwing around on MySpace and I wrote a goofy blog entry called What I Learned Today from a Sea Turtle. And then I wrote a dummy movie review called The Widow of Turmeric Falls. And I kept writing them, just for fun. That grew into MattressPolice.com, which then spawned Humor-Blogs.com and guest posting at the Snark. My discovery that I was halfway decent at humor writing prompted me to scrap my morose screenplay and start on a humorous novel. Then Antisocial Commentary, a compilation of my Mattress Police posts. A post about Antisocial Commentary prompted an email from a friend asking me if I wanted to pitch a book to an editor she knew. So now I’m working on that as well. And then there’s my ex-employer, who keeps taking me up on my exorbitantly expensive project proposals. I can’t say no to that kind of money, so I’m working on projects for them too.

Anyway, if you’re wondering why I’m not around much any more, that should explain it. I’m really trying to wrap up the Antisocial Commentary book and the other book proposal this week, but my motivation always lags when I get this close to being done with a project. Somehow once something starts to become real, it loses its appeal for me, and I want to get working on the next Big Idea. I guess this post is my attempt to (1) take a break from the craziness, (2) let you all know where the hell I’ve been, (3) get up my motivation to get this crap done. Any encouragement you can give me would be much appreciated.

~Grindstone Diesel (no, Snuppy, not “Rhinestone”)

I can’t hear you over the laughter coming from Humor-blogs.com!” said the blind man to the deaf mute, as he picked up his hammer and saw.


16 Comments so far
Leave a comment

wait a minute… did you just say you won’t be around much, anymore? what what WHA-A-A-AT????

oh wait, heh heh, i knew this already, didn’t i? still… a boy’s got to eat once in awhile, right? as a vegetarian, i’d be HAPPY to substitute pork-flavored seitan for bacon, in hopes of staving off that coronary. mmmm. doesn’t that sound delicious? i’ll bake cookies, too. real cookies. real good cookies. with chocolate chips and everything — think you might be able to wrap a post around a few of those from time to time??

actually, i admire your desire to finish up with a few of these projects. not long ago i traded in my own jar of nickels for a bag of dimes, which i now use to beat myself over the head with whenever i start thinking about my own incredibly-clever-yet-uncompleted projects.

sigh. go. do what you need to do. all i ask is that you keep us, um, posted on your progress, whenever the mood strikes and/or i do a little baking. 🙄 xox

Comment by One Hot Puppy


You sound pretty self-encouraging to me, Diesel.


They’re strong to the finish over at humor-blogs.com. Cause they eats their spinach. Ark ark ark.

Comment by Al

Go Diesel! Go Diesel! Go Diesel! Dude, you make me tired just reading about all your projects. Keep up the good work and we’ll keep up reading about the good work.

Mucho lucko, my friendo!!!

Comment by Pavel

Motivation is hardest when almost done, I think

Blogging and life are so interactive. Writing is so solitary

Half the time I wish that I had never started one so that I wouldn’t be used to having people “around” for everything

I forced myself to go to grad school and finish in the alloted two years. When it was over I realize I had nothing to prove to anybody including myself

It had taken me eight years, on and off, and three universities to get my undergrad degree

Comment by pia

Dear Diesel,

I think first we need to explore the subliminal issues at work here. For instance, in one paragraph, you used the terms “self starter” and “never quite getting up”.

When we can get to the root of all this starting and never finishing, we may be on to something. Consider this encouragement.

Signed and sincerely,

Dr. Snark

Comment by Dr. Snark

May I offer as encouragement that this was one funny post from “self start” to finish? Yes indeed.

Comment by Lampsha

I’m not a self-finisher, either. (Well, when I do that other “self” thing, yeah, but that’s it.) My problem is that I’m rarely a self-starter, either. Hell, I get tired just reading about other people working hard. I think I’ll go take a nap now.

Comment by Jami

Oh, and I’m gonna buy a shirt now that you’ve got girly styles.

Comment by Jami

I’m a pretty good self starter myself, but I know what you mean about trying to finish someth

Comment by CrummyJoel

truth be told, i have the opposite problem — well, sort of: i’m great at coming up with the ideas, and a regular little worker bee when it comes to the actual “doing”. that is, after i get started. in other words, i like to think of stuff. good stuff. and plan it out. and think about how amazing it will be once it’s done. the only “detail” that eludes me is the actual action required to begin.

so, Diesel, you’re way way WAY ahead of the curve, as far as i’m concerned. my words of encouragement to you are same ones i’ve heard dozens of times in the United Airlines terminal at O’Hare Airport (which can be heard when in the underground walkway, from the terminal to the main part of the airport): “keep moving… don’t stop… keep moving… don’t stop… keep moving…” i tell ya, it’s like a freakin’ “mobile mantra” — and annoying as hell. but hey, once i’m on that automated sidewalk and/or in that mode, by golly, i do get where i’m trying to go. 😉 xox

Comment by snuppy

SWEET!!!!!!! It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Go, Diesel, go!!

Comment by Angela

I was a self starter in highschool AND a self finisher, but only because I could never get a date.

I know – EWWW!

Comment by Jeff

Jeff: ewww. but also, HAHAHAHAHA. that said, you’re supposed to save comments like that for tomorrow… you know, Sex, Ed? day? or not… because really, that was just funny. despite being just a little ewww. 😉

Comment by snuppy

Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin were self-starters, too.

For all the good it did them.

Comment by Jocelyn

You have mucho stuff going on. I sometimes have a hard time finishing things, too. Especially if I think about them too much.

Comment by Nessa

“I can’t hear you over the laughter coming from Humor-blogs.com!” said the blind man to the deaf mute, as he picked up his hammer and saw.

Absolutely hilarious!

Comment by Jaesoreal

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