Today at work, I was reflecting on the old adage ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’. It might be the years of corporate greed that’s starting to seep into my bloodstream, but I’m actually starting to understand what Fiddy Cent meant by that. Except that whilst he was probably talking about dying as the victim of a drive by shooting following a deeply complex gang fight, I’m more likely to have a heart attack aged 45 at my desk, due to stress and an “unhealthy lifestyle”, having never really been that rich. Regardless, I do feel like I identify with Fiddy (note since the last sentence Fiddy and I are now on a first names basis due to identification of similar life goals).
Anyway as my day went on I continued my introspective journey, and I decided to determine if I was closer to Getting’ Rich or to the Die Tryin’ part of Fiddy’s proverb. I started comparing the work I was able to do today with the work I did when I was a grad three years ago. I’m not sure what my boss thought but i certainly thought it was quite a relevant exercise which I found extremely interesting and insightful.
Anyway, much like the way a relative you haven’t seen in 25 years congratulates you for growing “so tall” since you were 2 months old, I gave myself plenty of pats on the back because “I’ve come so far” (ignoring the fact that improvement is generally inevitable when you spend more hours on one task). However in this process there was something that did catch my eye – despite the fact that I was increasing my years of experience, the number of mistakes I make hasn’t changed. But whilst the mistakes I made as a grad were due to genuine ignorance, the mistakes I make nowadays are more due to simply not bothering to do work properly. It was at this stage that I realised that something was terribly wrong – it was all connected. The lack of motivation to do any work, the 5 hour mid-work day journeys of self-discovery, the frustration with not being able to follow in the footsteps of Fiddy. It all made sense. This was all happening due to symptoms associated with my extremely-rare-yet-to-be-medically-proven-but-nonetheless-existent condition. I suffer from “CBF Syndrome”.
Now please do not be alarmed by the threat of contagion or my apparent disregard for sufferers of medically proven conditions. Rather CBF Syndrome is a very different and clearly a very serious condition where the sufferer is perfectly healthy yet still overwhelmed by moments where they decide to be distracted from the task at hand with the excuse that they “can’t be fucked”. Other names for the condition include the words ‘procrastination’, ‘care factor zero’, and ‘there-are-just-too-many-man-being-hit-in-the-groin-videos-to-watch-before-doing-work”.
General symptoms include feelings of disenchantment, lacking motivation and a general realisation that the 150-page presentation you’re working on will generate more value for the world through recycling it/not being printed/preserving the electricity used by computers to make the presentation, than its actual content. More specific manifestations of this disease include:
- Playing Fruit Ninja on your phone in the work bathrooms for so long that the lights turn off and work colleagues can only assume that you’re doing a shit the size of Clive Palmer and cordon off the area for safety reasons;
- Going to work hoping that your computer is plagued by “IT problems” so that you can just fart around for the entire day whilst IT try to give as many new names to “restarting your computer” as possible;
- Having the life-or-death need to play guitar for an hour every morning starting at 10am before going into work; and
- Starting a blog to write about how much you procrastinate…
Given my condition has become so advanced, I’ve had to take steps to hide my symptoms – I can now make my internet surfing look so intense that if someone actually knew what I was reading, I can only imagine that their disapproval of me for not doing their work would be outweighed by their amazement with my ability to have so much concentration put towards deciding on which picture of Ryan Gosling I would like to marry more.
It’s a real problem but just a shame that they still don’t recognise it as a legitimate sickness particularly given its current rate of infection amongst juniors working in the corporate world. It’s so discriminatory. Especially since work is the primary cause for people to develop CBF Syndrome. I think in my next performance review form where it says “is there anything we should know that has affected your performance?” I should erase “yes, your face” and instead be serious and admit to suffering from CBF. That’s the only way they’ll start to recognise it and perhaps try to stop the CBF Syndrome becoming an epidemic before it’s too late and everyone is just too CBF to do anything about it.