You’re familiar with this term, half-ass, no? Consulting one of my favorite references for serious academic research like this, I found the following definition in Urban Dictionary http://www.urbandictionary.com/,
|1.||halfass||77 up, 3 down|
Something done poorly, a bad job, a rushed task the person could have done better at.
I told him to clean his room and he did a halfass job!
Evidenced by the fact that the definition is a sentence ending in a preposition, Urban Dictionary is a reference written “for the peeps, by the peeps” But I digress….I
It started this morning with a call from the school nurse to say that my son had popped a lens and needed to have his little glasses repaired. No one could have been more surprised than me when I found my little eyeglass repair kit in the first place I looked. Taking it, a pair of reading glasses, my keys AND my phone I hotfooted it over to the school and had the boy and the glasses summoned to the nurse’s office. All sounds in order doesn’t it? Would have been a perfectly executed mission had I not dropped the tiny screw on the floor where it got lost faster than a sock in the washing machine…..
And by that time I’d had enough of being in the nurse’s office. Prying the glasses out of the boy’s hand, which I had to do because he was reluctant to stay at the school without the glasses which is another way of saying he didn’t really want to be there today anyway…..I came back home. And now I’m finally getting to the half-ass avoidance maneuvers I took.
See, I have this thing about doing things “the right way” or not doing them at all. Some might call this perfectionism and I can see it from that angle but this need of mine to avoid doing things in a half-assed fashion, ok, maybe it’s a shade of perfectionism. (btw, thanks for that Mom) I think of it as the just the way I was raised or in line with the axiom “something worth doing is worth doing well”. Yeah, whatever my point in bringing this up is to advise you that in order to avoid doing things in half-ass fashion and subsequently being accused of doing a “half-assed” job you must often put in some time and effort to get things done right. Yes, as a matter of fact, I have an example and it may seem a bit convoluted to some but for me, the satisfaction lies in putting in the work and accomplishing several things. To properly explain I must start at the other beginning – before this morning – the genesis of today’s bit of insanity…..
Let’s say you have a small problem. In this example let’s say a pair of glasses popped a lens and the itty bitty screw is lost. Let’s say you figure you’ll take the glasses back from whence they came and have them repaired. Let’s say you take the time to locate the case for the glasses for safe transport to the optometrist. Let’s say the insolent little lens falls out of the case on the way to the optometrist and you don’t realize it until your number comes up and you hand over the case to the technician. Ok, let’s say it was me doing all of that……and I know I put the lens in there so I know it fell out somewhere along the path I took from my kitchen out my front door and into my car parked in the driveway out front.
I’m so sure because I went directly from the kitchen to the car with the glasses in the case, picked up the kids from school and drove to Hour Eyes. (unlike other times when I go up and down the stairs a few times looking for my keys or my cellphone or my brain or a jacket or a pair of earrings b/c I forgot to put any on, or a spritz of perfume b/c I can’t go out of the house not smelling like Light Blue from Dolce & Gabbana……it’s that ADDiva thing….which in a way can be tied back to perfectionism but that’s another side path to this main story and I won’t go there right now.
So the boy’s been wearing his backup pair of glasses which you know you have to get if you have also have an active 10 year old boy who wears glasses. And now there’s no backup glasses for the boy. So this is on my mind and it’s irking me that the lens just vanished and I look around in the car….thoroughly I thought but it turns out that the several times I searched inside the car, under the seats, in the seat, etc. I was doing a half-assed job.
So here’s what I did when I got back.
- Poured myself a cup of coffee (duh)
- got the shop vac out of the garage, found the extension cord, emptied the shop vac so I wouldn’t have to sift through old dirt afterward
- moved seats first alllllll the way back, vacuumed under driver’s seat, moved seat forward then left rear, next front passenger, more seat moving then rear right and what do you suppose I found when I lifted the floor mat in that very last quadrant of the car?
- you’re a genius – I found the missing lens and please note that I’d asked the boy and his sister to check around on the floor on the way back from the first trip to Hour Eyes, just sayin’ this is typical, i.e. things don’t get found any too quickly unless Mom’s in serious recon mode
- Have you started to wonder yet why I ABSOLUTELY HAD TO GO SEARCH ONE LAST TIME, THE RIGHT WAY, TO FIND THE MISSING LENS FROM THE OTHER PAIR OF GLASSES rather than hopping in the car and zoom-zooming the glasses to the eyeglass shop for repair?
- I’ll bet as soon as you started to wonder that you quickly realized “Ohhhhhhhhh, she didn’t want to do this half-assed! She wanted to do it the right way!!!!! BINGO!
- Since I was lying across the car seats searching and vacuuming I decided it might be time to grab some soapy water and a scrub brush and see if the coke and iced tea, and maybe a little coffee I’d spilled might not want to come up out of the rug under the passenger seat.
- But wait, I got a lot of the water on the floor back there…..so I did what? I emptied all the dust and dirt from the shop vac, removed the filter, and used it to suck up the water from the floor of the car.
- But wait, before reassembling the shop vac I dumped out the water, closed it back up, vacuumed the accumulated crud-age from the filter and then I put the whole business back together, wound up it’s little cord and put it back in the garage then wound up the extension cord, blah, blah, blah
- I’m already at my 10th step and haven’t mentioned the boy’s glasses in quite a few steps. Now I had two pairs of the boys glasses each missing a screw and I had both loose lenses and so I assembled the repair items, the little kit with the extra screws and screw driver and a pair or two of old glasses in the event I needed alternate back-up screws.
- I’ll just say this: Eyeglass repair is not an easy thing to do and I learned several things during this process because I was determined to be successful in repairing the boys glasses and doing it the right way. After more than several tried I got the itty bitty screw lined up and after several attempts got it screwed in. Guess what? the threads didn’t catch on the lower part of the frame set-up.
- I’ll cut to the chase and tell you now all of the things I learned during this process: the screws go in from the bottom up and not from the top down and this allows you to seat the screw in the bottom half, line up the top half, start the screwing together process, stop and insert the lens without disturbing the frame and screw apparatus, line all these components up and finish the screwing together process.
- Repeat with the boy’s second pair of glasses. Mission accomplished – boy’s glasses are good as new; boy’s back-up glasses are good as new; crape myrtle tree blossoms and other detritus accumulated since last vacuuming; coke/coffee/iced tea stain gone from the rug; mom avoided having to go to Hour Eyes and has the satisfaction of knowing that all of those little nagging things got done “the right way” because it was finally time!
- Many of you would have zoom-zoomed to Hour Eyes then stopped at the car wash or maybe even called to schedule a car detailing. Not me. I’m not working and so I’m getting no car-detailing done – my hair/body need some detailing right now and if that’s not getting done no car work is happening either! And I was damned if I was going to Hour Eyes with 1 pair of the boy’s glasses when he needs the back-up pair and I knew that lens was hiding this whole time (taunting me). There was no way I’d have my nose down on the floor in the back seat of my car without addressing the beverage spills…..and then even after finding the lens – armed with my itty-bitty screwdriver for those itty-bitty screws, I had to make one more attempt to do the repair myself……
- And that my friends is my example of not doing things in half-ass fashion.
Are you exhausted???? Me too!!!!!!