Here’s the back story: I have a very part-time job mailing out CDs and books for a local personality. The orders come in through the website, I get a notification in my e-mail that the PayPal account has received a payment, then I pack up and ship the order.  The way my schedule is currently (8am-5pm, plus 40min way for the commute), I can’t possibly get to the post office during the week unless I go during my lunch hour, which I am loath to do. My other option is to go during Saturday hours, which are something like 9am-1pm. This usually works pretty well for me: any orders I receive over the course of that week get shipped out on Saturday.

So. My client/employer, who travels a lot, needed to ship out some of his manuscripts and realized he wasn’t going to have time to do it before he would be leaving the country at the end of August. He called me up on Tuesday the 30th rather desperate to get someone who would mail them out for him.  I agreed, and we met that evening so he could hand them over to me. There were some demo CDs that were in the process of being pressed — those needed to ship, too, and I agreed to pick them up when they were ready.  WHY DID I DO THAT??  Reflecting, it was pretty crazy of me to think I could/would do all this given the constraints on my time because of my regular job, my tendency to procrastinate and my tendency to get depressed and be completely unmotivated and unproductive on weekends.  But I agreed.  Then came Labor Day weekend, the 4-day work week went by super fast. I was so caught up trying to make sure everything was all set at work that I think I must have forgotten about the mailing.  That’s what I tell myself anyway.

So here I am, on a week-long vacation.  Sometime Sunday or Monday I got an e-mail from my client asking when I mailed the manuscripts because some people were telling him they hadn’t received them yet.  So I had to e-mail back and confess that I hadn’t mailed any of them yet, that I was out of town and would be unable to mail anything until I returned.

I got a response the next day, and I haven’t had the nerve to look at it yet.  Actually, when I went into gmail through the google website and not in my e-mail application, I saw the first line or so, which read something like “This is simply unacceptable. It has been TWO WEEKS…” I get the idea.  And I know his irritation and frustration is completely justified.  I said I would do something for him and I didn’t do it.  I might as well have been lying when I first made the commitment, because the end result was the same: people were waiting for these documents, and they’re not even in the mail yet.

I have almost talked myself into reading the response tonight.  I know I will feel like shit afterwards, but if he sent it on Tuesday morning and it is now Friday night, I’ve already been putting it off for 4 days.  In the instantaneous world of internets and e-mail, that kind of delay is unthinkable.  Unacceptable.

I know why I put these things off.  The slightest admonishment causes me to feel terrible things about myself.  You’d think, after nearly 30 years of life on this earth, that I would have developed a slightly thicker skin.  I guess it boils down to the depression.  If I already believe that I am an unworthy, lazy, unreliable cow, any such admonishment just serves to reinforce that self-loathing, as opposed to compliments, which I can brush off like they’re meaningless.

Anyway, let’s see how I respond to this e-mail.  Just as soon as I work up the nerve and quit stalling.