Why can’t I just dream about exotic tropical places?
Why do I have to have “work related” nightmares?
Here’s my latest. And I knew I was in deep trouble when I spotted those pearly gates and the streets of gold.
God had “miraculously” cleared my calendar behind my back with my superintendent and I was now in His office.
“Page,” He said. “I’m launching a brand new program and I need a school communicator to help me get the story out. Given your track record – and given my track record – I thought you’d welcome the opportunity to redeem yourself. You’re due to get something right.”
“Fine by me,” I replied, thinking that God was just fooling around.
“I’m not fooling,” He said. (Oops! I should’ve realized that it’s impossible to keep thoughts to myself. Luckily, I thought of “oops” instead of something worse.)
“My new program will take me about six days to pull together,” HE said. “On Day Six it’ll be completed. My part will be done. We’ll rest on Day Seven. And then on Day Eight – we’ll make the big public announcement.”
“Fine by me,” I replied, thinking that his Day Seven was certainly going to be much more restful than mine.
“Watch it, Page,” He said. (Oops, again! But I could sense myself inching ever closer to thinking something worse. I’d better be cautious.)
“Stay focused,” He continued. “My new program needs a visually appealing logo and a catchy tagline for the grand unveiling on Day Eight. You can have these ready, right?”
“Count on it,” I replied, now intent on keeping my mind blank. (my years of practice finally paying off…)
“You’ve got a vision and direction for your program, I assume?” I asked, hoping to appear minimally competent.
“Think big. Think universal. Think good,” He said. “You shouldn’t need much more to go on.”
Hmmmm. Easy for him to say. And I was tempted to say something back but stopped in the nick of time – which surprised me because I usually muff it right away whenever temptation is involved. (The air must be better here…)
But panic was starting to set in. (In me. Not Him.) And contrary to popular opinion, I couldn’t keep my mind blank forever.
Maybe I should just explore a way to break out of this dream all together. Perhaps I could just play along like I’m really hung-ho about this “new program” for awhile longer – and then on Day Seven quietly make my escape by simply waking up. Yep. This could work. This new plan has potential…
“And Page, one more thing,” He said. “You can pick up your laptop and username and password from Jonah as you leave. He’s a super guy. He went to great depths to skip out on one of my assignments years ago. Listening to his experience might be good for you.”
No, I thought, my mind temporarily no longer blank. I’ll pass on chatting it up with Jonah. I got the message loud and clear. Put me down as “all in” for the original Plan A.
So I proceeded to pick up my “loaner” computer (no credit card required) and before I knew it, it was Day Seven.
The pressure was now on for me to have something awesome for Day Eight. Whew boy. Presenting a creative concept or idea before a large audience is daunting enough, but a presentation before an audience of one (Ok, One) was unnerving, and I don’t mind admitting this to you.
The better air and the lack of cable TV quickly restored some vitality to my brain, though, and within seconds, I remembered the hallmark tactic hauled out by every school communicator whenever the going gets tough: just borrow and modify an idea from another source!
And a “perfect source” was already in my grasp – one click away right here. (a link to 20 excellent examples of premier logos with a few sentences about each one)
So on Day Eight, I was ready. And I could tell He was impressed by both my presentation and my attention to detail. (if not my humility…)
“Page, as you know, I’m rarely shocked,” He said. “You really nailed it. This is quality work. And you’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve already tapped Coca Cola and McDonald’s to establish our critical distribution network. Thanks for writing about this yesterday.” (Wow! He’s got the time to read emails, too?)
“And, by the way, Page,” He closed. “You didn’t borrow or modify these ideas from another source, did you? There’d be many more school communicators here if it weren’t for this practice.”
“Oops,” is what I meant to say.