A watched pot: an ode to waiting

Boiling bot of water

You know that expression, “a watched pot never boils?” I think it is fair to translate it into 21st century terms and say, “a watched inbox gets no new mail.” Remember all those times you waited next to your phone (or iPhone in this case) anticipating an email from a potential new boss/girlfriend/employer? Well, it is one of those days for me. I was driving with an eye on the damn blank Inbox screen hoping to see a mail arrive there. But, like the adage predicts, nothing came…yet. It is so excruciating the wait. Like when, back in school, you were waiting outside the principal’s office waiting for punishment for some capital crime like talking in class to be meted out. Or, those interminable waits at the passport office, or the DMV, or at the social security, or (at least until recently here) at the post office. Waiting in line back more than a year ago here in Paris was one of the nine inner circles of Dante’s Inferno. You’d have grannies checking their bank account, dark foreigners wiring money to faraway relatives, homeless people counting out change in pennies for stamps, and loud neighbors complaining about their box that arrived in two pieces or didn’t arrive at all. Thankfully, La Poste completely re-engineered their offices and now there are separate lines for nearly all of these actions and so the wait time is down from 30-45 minutes for the simplest of chores to 5 minutes on average. Disney also does a great job with its lines as there is often a pre-show while you are waiting for the Big Show. Unfortunately, the same doesn’t hold for email or telephone calls. You are condemned to waiting. Merlin Mann’s post about Deciding to Read, despite the pitch for purchasing Instapaper 4, does give some insight into more active reading in section 4. I find that (unless I am driving of course), that Google Currents, AOL’s Editions, Flipboard, Lifehacker (since removed from the AppStore), and Mashable provide some relief while waiting. Currents and Editions are more news-related, Flipboard has social feeds (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc) but some news channels as well. Mashable and Lifehacker are for the nerd/geek/Apple fan crowd but all highly readable.

So, what do you do while you are waiting?

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About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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