Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Are you a BPIW?

Do you know any busy people? Are you one of them?

Here's my pet peeve (and by now you know it has nothing to do with physical pets): people who are busier than you, no matter what. They're the people who can force you into exaggerating your own busyness just not to lose the busy battle. Or maybe I'm the only one who responds that way when someone tries to convince me that he's the busiest person in the world (BPIW).

My father used to say: he's the kind of guy, if you've got a bottle, he's got a case.

I think that translates nicely into what I mean.

You can have 5 classes to teach, 4 deadlines to meet, and a marathon to run, but BIPW will best you every time. "I'm doing all that, AND I'm expected in New Zealand any minute," he'll say. To which I'm tempted to respond, "I just got back from there and I'm packing for Greenland."

I never like myself when I get into that mode of claiming to be a BPIW. It makes me tense about my life and my projects. I'd rather take it easy and think how lucky I am to have many things to do, instead of trying to impress people with my to-do list.

I had a colleague once who was a BPIW and also a BMIW (busiest mother in the world.) If I came into the office with a new jacket, she'd moan about how she'd love a new jacket, but she had to feed her children. If I went to a movie, she'd complain that she hasn't had time for a movie since her twins were born. The only way I got her to stop was to confront her with, "Gee, BMIW, you make me very happy I never had children. I'm so sorry you weren't so lucky."

Here's a paraphrase of one of my favorite cartoons: God is on a cell phone, saying "I'm sorry, I can't. I have to be everywhere."

Now, that's busy.

[a big PS: sorry I wasn't around to welcome Betty! We did a great interview with her for the Newsletter. If you're not signed up, you missed it, but email me and I'll take care of it!]


Kathryn Lilley said...

What an apropos post, Camille! I know lots of people who are BPIG (Busiest People in the Galaxy). I never try to compete--I just let them go about their galacticly busy way, lol!

Camille Minichino said...

I'm trying to learn that, Kathryn!

Yvonne said...

Wow, what a great post! I know many people like that - mainly colleagues. So many have the most busiest jobs in the entire world. I just shake my head, but sometimes I find myself competing with them and it becomes so silly.

Kathryn Lilley said...

That's an adorable cat, Yvonne, by the way!! Kathryn

Betty Hechtman said...

Yvonne's cat looks like the flipside of my cat. We recently adopted Rocky and his sister from the SPCA. We're not so sure about the brother-sister thing since she's 10 and he's 7.

Rocky makes it very hard to one of the BPIU (busiest people in the universe)because he jumps over the back of my chair and lands on my shoulders when I'm trying to work at my computer. I have to stop and give him a little kitty hug time.

Yvonne said...

Socrates (the one pictured) is huge - about 20 lbs. When he jumps on my computer keyboard, it's because he's hungry (which is often - LOL). I have two other cats and one of them jumps on the keyboard more often because he feels I need to pay more attention to him.

Anonymous said...

Camille, you certainly are one of the BPIW, but obviously shared with lots of people you love, admire and respect. (They don't sound off about it!) Imagine: an adorable cat making it into your blog! xoxoxo

Joanna Campbell Slan said...


When I was a corporate trainer, I taught a balancing home, family and work class. One woman vigorously resisted all attempts to be less busy. Her therapist had even suggested she take my class. Eventually I realized she wanted to be BPIG or BPIW--and she wanted EVERYONE to know she was that flipping important! It was a sort of sickness. (Love the cat, Yvonne. I wish I could reach out and rub its belly. I had a friend at Ball State University, Nancy, who had a cat named Socrates.)